GREENSBORO – As the odds slowly diminish that congress will be able to coalesce around the kind of transformative reforms to the federal tax code that President Trump campaigned on and freedom lovers have been begging for, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) is providing a few congressmen from the North Carolina delegation a lesson in how it is done.
— Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (@LtGovDanForest) October 10, 2017
Indeed, North Carolina, more than any other state in recent years, has provided a model for what pro-growth tax reform and conservative fiscal policy looks like and Republican majorities in congress should take note. Earlier this year, the N.C. General Assembly exercised their veto override powers to enact a budget including the largest collective tax reductions in State history. And that was only the latest in a string of tax reductions that allowed for individuals to rightfully keep more of their hard earned money.
In 2011, when Republican majorities took over the State House and Senate, North Carolina faced a struggling economy and a daunting $3.1 billion budget gap. Unemployment levels were higher than the national average – among the top five worst in the country.
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At the time the Old North State had the highest tax rates in the Southeast. Over the subsequent 6 years and multiple rate reductions, North Carolina taxpayers have seen their individual tax rates drop precipitously, businesses have watched corporate rates sink right to their bottom line, and the state economy has buoyed past its neighbors and business publications tripped over themselves to laud the performance and bright future of the Tar Heel state.
Obviously, the Republican majorities in Washington D.C. are operating with a slimmer margin of error. And, lucky for us, the State must balance budgets for lack of a central bank printing press. But if there is any doubt about the economic implications of a shift toward morally sound taxation, congressional leaders should should listen to Forest and heed the lessons from the land of the Longleaf Pine.