First Posted: 8/5/2009
North Carolina legislators, along with Gov. Bev Perdue, dont seem to care much about the residents of their state.
At least that would be a logical conclusion based on the budget bill the General Assembly has put together.
In this time of economic struggle for North Carolinians, the majority party in the legislature has opted to simply slap more financial demands on state residents.
Part of that plan is a 1 cent increase in sales tax, still higher taxes on cigarette and alcohol products, an income tax surcharge on individuals earning more than $60,000, not to mention increases in corporate taxes and state charges to digital downloads.
This is a tough budget year, without question. Some difficult choices needed to be made both in spending cuts and some potential tax increases. The truth is, though, that North Carolina has been living way beyond its means for years, stealing money from enterprise funds and set-aside funds for the general fund.
Now that the cupboard is bare in those areas, Perdue and her cohorts in Raleigh are simply reaching in the pockets of state residents and taking more money to fund their spending habits.
This would have been an opportune year to change the way government is run in North Carolina. Building a budget from the ground up, determining responsible spending needs and equally responsible ways of generating revenue, rather than simply keeping the status quo in place. Gov. Perdue had a chance to make her mark as being different than her predecessors.
Unfortunately, shes showing its simply more of the same in the state capital.
More disturbing is the fact that the majority party in this case the Democrats simply ignored calls for a change from its GOP colleagues. It was as if the Democrats, sensing they could do whatever they wanted because of their majority in both houses of the General Assembly, simply decided GOP legislators didnt matter.
In so doing, they also said the people those GOP legislators represent dont matter, either, the same message their eventual budget package sends.
Perhaps, during the next election, North Carolina residents can send an equally strong message to those who have slapped together another tax-and-spend budget.