Friday, May 10, 2013

In North Carolina Businessweek Reports How Republicans Are Violating Their Values

Shocking News – Republicans Have Values?

The state of North Carolina has been behind a bunch of other states that have turned government control over to Republicans.  But the Democratic party is pretty much ideologically and intellectually bankrupt in the state, like it is in many places and so in the 2012 elections the citizens of what was formerly a progressive state gave Republicans complete control. 

The results, catalogued in Businessweek, have been predictable.

Since January, Republicans in the General Assembly have introduced a series of bills that would curtail the ability of Democratic-led cities and urban counties to govern themselves. GOP legislators say Charlotte’s City Council can no longer be trusted to manage Charlotte Douglas International Airport, a major hub. They want an appointed regional authority to run it. “The Charlotte Airport has become a multibillion-dollar effort,” says State Senator Bob Rucho, the bill’s main sponsor. “We’re concerned and want to be sure you have the best minds and most experienced individuals in place to move that forward to get the most economic value derived from it.”

President Obama, with Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), center, and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, left, waves upon his arrival at Asheville Regional Airport in 2011
Photograph by Chuck Burton/AP Photo
President Obama, with Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), center, and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, left, waves upon his arrival at Asheville Regional Airport in 2011

Hey Asheville, Vote for Obama and Republicans Will Take Away Your Airport and Your Water System.  Hey Charlotte, you too.

Republicans say of course that they believe in local government, that Washington should not be telling states what to do and states should not be telling localities what to do.  But in the cities of Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville cities have been doing things that Republicans don’t like, such as voting for someone else.  So as soon as they gained power in the Tar Heel state Republicans abandoned any pretense of their beliefs.

State lawmakers also nullified a lease that let Raleigh use state property for a park and enacted changes limiting cities’ ability to annex land. Another bill would take away control of school buildings and construction from the Wake County Board of Education, which oversees schools in Raleigh and surrounding areas, and give it to county commissioners. “No one has come out to say specifically ‘this is political revenge against Democratic strongholds,’ ” says David Swindell, who teaches public policy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “But these changes amount to an unprecedented attack on the state’s cities, which happen to be home to many of the state’s Democrats.”

So what’s next on the agenda?  Why regressive tax reform of course.

 — Top Senate Republicans detailed a much-anticipated plan Tuesday to overhaul the state’s tax system by cutting personal and corporate income taxes in exchange for a broader sales tax applied to everything from haircuts to car repairs.

Senate leader Phil Berger, an Eden Republican, said the forthcoming legislation would trim the personal income tax from the highest 7.75 percent rate to 4.5 percent over three years and cut the corporate income tax from the current 6.9 percent to 6 percent.

The combined local and state sales tax would fall from 6.75 percent to 6.5 percent, but it would apply to hundreds of services currently exempted, including prescription drugs. The food tax would increase from the current 2 percent to the full sales tax rate, more than a three-fold increase.

The impact of course, higher taxes for working families, lower taxes for wealthy families.

But a calculator sponsored by the N.C. Republican Party to promote the plan found that a family of four making $30,000 a year with standard deductions would pay $2,405 more in taxes each year. By contrast, a single taxpayer making $100,000 would get a $1,886 tax cut.

The Democratic party is partly to blame here, they have generally mediocre candidates and no real organization.  So the only way to bring sanity back to North Carolina is to allow the Republicans to go ahead and implement their programs.  Only full exposure like that has a chance of teaching voters a lesson about what Republicans really stand for, and who they stand against.


  1. Jindal attempted a similar sales tax plan in Louisiana, and this forum commented on the resulting backlash. Do NC Republicans have any reason to think that their sales tax plan will avoid a similar fate? Or are they just that arrogant?

  2. There's a fascinating exchange in the comments in your linked News Observer article about the NC GOP tax plan. One commenter, named polifrog, is hardline supply-sider who is utterly convinced that cutting corporate taxes will reduce costs for everyone:

    "When input prices fall end prices always fall.

    That is the way the free market works. Only a dolt or the miseducated would deny this."

    The comments are littered with statements like this by polifrog, and then rebuttals by a range of intelligent readers absolutely demolishing polifrog's argument. But like any faith-based conservative, polifrog keeps coming back with claims that those offering disagreement are stupid or uninformed.

  3. There are two reasons why the plan in North Carolina has a better chance of passage than the one in Louisiana

    1. In North Carolina the plan was produced by the legislature, which has total Republican control whereas in Louisiana the plan was proposed by the Governor who has less influence.

    2. In Louisiana the plan was to totally abolish the state income tax whereas in North Carolina it would only be reduced. This allow for a much more 'stealth' approach, one that will sneak up on the public after it is passed.