First Posted: 6/13/2009
Rep. Sarah Stevens, who represents the 90th House District in the General Assembly, this past week lashed out at Democrats who have proposed wide-reaching tax increases as a way to meet a projected shortfall in state revenue.
She accuses the Democratic Party legislator of using scare tactics threatening massive cuts in education to drum up support for the tax hikes.
We think she is probably right. North Carolina is already a high-tax state, and working families are finding it more and more difficult to live here. Businesses are finding their tax burdens higher than in some other states. And the budget is in runaway mode, gobbling up more and more money.
Former governors Jim Hunt and Mike Easley presided over unprecedented spending in the state, increasing taxes and raiding set-aside funds for general budget spending. Eventually there had to be a day of reckoning, and it appears to be fast approaching. North Carolina government cannot continue out-of-control spending, taking more and more from taxpayers to feed this addiction.
Stevens has suggested a new plan. She wants the legislators to rebuild the states budget, from the ground up, in open session. Her premise is simple the $19 billion available for the year is more than enough to operate an effective government, and all legislators need do is develop priorities for the money, then put that budget in force.
Doing this in open, presumably, would eliminate many of those sometimes shady pork barrel projects legislators have become so famous for.
We believe Stevens proposal has great merit. Such a process might be daunting, but it is certainly preferable to what state legislators have concocted thus far more taxes for more spending.
We hope the rest of the General Assembly led by local legislators Darrell McCormick and Don East will give serious consideration to Stevens plan.