RALEIGH – When the lawmakers get together on Jones Street to put together or readjust the state budget most of the media coverage focuses on only a few of the moving parts. Controversial spending (or lack of spending), tax cuts/increases, and political fights over taxpayer money get headlines, while the bigger picture is often glossed over as the Democrat-friendly media inevitably pivots to how teacher’s don’t get paid enough.
Senior Fellow of the John Locke FOundation Joseph Coletti has rolled out an easy to digest, yet comprehensive visual guide to the state budget, and it’s something every conservative concerned with government spending should familiarize themselves with.
“The state budget is one of the most important bills the North Carolina General Assembly considers each year. For the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2018, the budget bill (S.L. 2017-57, S.B. 257) directs $27 billion in direct appropriations of all state revenues, as well as another $20 billion in funds from the federal government, the North Carolina Education Lottery, community college and university students, and other sources. Changes in the tax system and various policies often are included as provisions in the budget. Legislators usually conclude their legislative session and head home soon after they pass the budget.
Despite its importance, few people give much thought to the full budget picture. We have designed this website to help more people understand the total budget.”
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Despite Republican control for eight years and plenty of tax cuts and myriad reforms, state spending has continued to grow. If measuring government’s purpose by spending priorities, as Coletti points out, apparently the state government is here to provide healthcare, education, and welfare, in that order.
Now, education is written pretty clearly into the N.C. Constitution, but you’d be hard pressed to find the rights to healthcare and welfare enshrined in that document. It just goes to show how pervasive and entrenched Big Government is, even in a state that has enjoyed relatively conservative fiscal and social policy for the better part of a decade.
Be sure to click through the visual guide here, learn just how many different places your hard-earned tax money is going, and make a list to complain about to your representative.