RALEIGH – At one point in time — actually, over and over again — North Carolina Democrats in the General Assembly, and then in the Governor’s Mansion, did their best Chicken Little impression regarding Republicans’ lowered taxes and how it would inevitably lead to such an extreme revenue shortfall that it would threaten core government services.
What followed, each and every time, were years of successive and growing budget surpluses. Then a few bad hurricanes, the 2020 pandemic hit, and lockdowns, and…the State coffers now runneth over more than ever before?
That’s right, the Fiscal Research Division of the N.C. General Assembly, a non-partisan group of analysts, is projecting about $6.5 billion, all told, ABOVE what was expected over these next two years. That figure does not include the infusion of billions in federal COVID-related funds, either.
The surplus was acknowledged by Governor Cooper and his budget office, and yet there is nary a mention of the relief they must feel that the sky is not falling, after all.
Surprised? Of course, not. Cooper actually had the gall to reiterate his redundant attacks on Republican budgets as somehow still valid, and then boasted that the legislature now has enough money to pass his Big Government budget.
“Even though the Republican Senate bill giving big tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy is bad policy, we have enough money to pass my entire budget plus all those tax breaks with more money still remaining. We must now negotiate a responsible bipartisan budget that addresses everyone’s concerns.”
In reaction to the news, N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden), said on the Senate floor that, “A huge surplus does not mean we’re spending too little. It means we’re taxing too much.”
Indeed, Republican lawmakers working on the budget have said these projections necessitate further tax cut packages than what has already been filed as legislation.
Right on cue, the corporate press and Democrat activists and interest groups are crowing about the need to spend this money before it even hits the account. ‘Investments,’ as they’re always deemed, come in familiar flavors like education and infrastructure. They all serve the same tastes for Big Government that are always seem to carry favor in capitals.
Fortunately, Republicans with a decade of demonstrated fiscal conservatism are in the majority. That means the budget will most likely include noticeable tax cuts on both ends of the scale. That is good news for North Carolinians of all incomes.
Unfortunately, there are enough Democrats in the chamber, and in the Governor’s Mansion, to leverage veto power in behalf of NOT letting you keep more of your money. They want to spend it on Offices of Equity & Inclusion for each school district and maybe a contingent of Woke Dogma Enforcement, too.
Budget and tax cut details will come together over the summer (Cooper’s budget proposal is worthless recommendation), and citizens will hopefully come out on top.