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Cut the Rhetoric, Show Us the Revenue

Show Me the MoneyEverything is on the table.” I’m pretty sure that phrase has become meaningless in Raleigh. Last night’s State of the State speech did nothing to, as the biz people say, add value to a tired phrase that illuminates nothing. It’s great that Governor Perdue will consider anything to help the state through these tough times, but when I keep hearing the same phrase from state leaders, I get worried. If everything is on the table, why haven’t I heard more about increasing revenue? Why do I only hear about cuts and more cuts? Are Dems so worried about predictable GOP whining about taxes that they won’t even discuss where they’re going to get more money? You can’t cut your way out of a $4 billion hole, which should be self-evident as we’ve been unable to cut our way out of this year’s $2.2 billion hole. So, where is the money going to come from? Listening to our leaders, I have no idea.

WE START BY REVIVING NORTH CAROLINA’S ECONOMY: We must go after every federal recovery dollar that is available. We need to get that money into North Carolina. …

In the budget I present next week we will reduce and cut state government programs and services that many, including me, know have been effective but which, in these times, we simply cannot afford. …

This is the time to stand up to the sweet seductions of special interests, the temptations of politically popular pork barrel spending, and end the practice of backroom dealing.”

Again, that’s all great, but where’s the revenue? Federal stimulus money will be helpful, but even if we really did load a pickup with South Carolina’s share, it still wouldn’t be enough to solve our budget problems (although, since we’re cutting, Gov. Perdue, let’s lose the bad lady driver joke that even the most casual observer has heard more than twice). I guess we have to wait another week, until we actually see the governor’s budget, to find out how she intends to pump up revenue. Then we’ll have to wait and see what the legislature plans to do with her suggestions. The one thing I don’t want to see again is the phrase “everything is on the table”, not until someone will say just what “everything” might entail.

6 Comments

  1. Show Us The Jobs

    March 10, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Interesting headline on the front of the Philly Inquirer this AM:

    “Corzine budget: Expect targeted hikes
    By Jonathan Tamari and Adrienne Lu

    Inquirer Trenton Bureau

    Businesses, the state’s wealthiest residents, and anyone buying cigarettes, wine, or liquor could all pay higher taxes under the budget Gov. Corzine is set to present today, according to officials briefed on the plan.”

    Bev, are you listening?

  2. James

    March 10, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I don’ think Bev is listening. I’m afraid she’s already running for reelection.

  3. IBXer

    March 10, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Raising revenues isn’t on the table because she said “everything is on the table” but “Our first and only duty is to stand by North Carolina families.”

    Raising taxes on families during an economic downturn is something that only someone who has no understanding of basic economics would suggest.

  4. Rob Schofield

    March 10, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    It may take time and occur in a crazy, convoluted way when it does, but at some point in the coming weeks, state leaders will heed the advice of the respected economists who tell us that, at the state level, raising revenues on the well-off is preferable to to cutting services for people in need — even during a recession.

  5. Show Us The Jobs

    March 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    let’s wish Bev luck and hope that she has “The Right Stuff” to balance the budget by increasing taxes on beer, ciggys and junk food! LOL

  6. Rob Schofield

    March 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Actually, the best revenue raising technique would not involve simply relying on alcohol, cigs, etc… This only buys you a little time before you’re right back in the same boat becasue such taxes will decline over time. Such taxes are also generally regressive.

    Perdue will be better off in the medium to long run if she focuses more on raising smart, progressive revenues that close loopholes and expand the tax base so that everyone (individuals and businesses) pay something closer to their fair share.