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Why legislative Republicans are starting to back down and what should be done about it

The legislative newsletter known as The Insider reported this morning that Republican lawmakers were attempting to work out a behind-closed-doors deal with a small handful of conservative Democrats on the budget. According to the report, the Repubs are now willing to add additional spending that would bring their budget almost to the level proposed by Governor Perdue.  

The reason for this action is obvious: Repubs were getting clobbered in public opinion polls, editorial pages and the public at-large over their plans to slash vital spending so that they could cut taxes – mostly for the rich.

Of course, not surprisingly, their proposed deal is still a terrible one for North Carolinians. Rather than tackling the state’s systemic and persistent budget deficit in an honest way by at least keeping taxes at current levels, the proposal would apparently tap into reserves – reserves made possible by the temporary taxes the Republicans profess to loathe! So much for all of the talk about reform.

Moreover, as today’s Fitzsimon File explains, the budget still contains a long list of horrors that would set the state back decades in several terrible ways.

So what’s next? What should Governor Perdue and her allies think and do?  Here’s one suggestion:

Keep pushing.

The Governor is winning and holds the initiative. She’s forcing conservatives to retreat. She needs to keep pushing for a better deal and demand that all members of her party stick with her. There’s still another month to complete work on the budget. It’s good news that Republicans are admitting there needs to be a little more money for education, but that hardly fixes the innumerable shortcomings in their disastrous budget proposal.  

5 Comments

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  2. Mark

    May 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Yes, lets pass a good budget, but don’t forget the 45,000+ unemployed NC families who are going without this holiday weekend. We need our benefits restored LONG before July 1st budget deadline. It is shameful.

  3. Ginny

    May 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I for one think she needs to keep pushing, I need my benefits and I am on the verge of losing everything but I don’t want it on the backs of others!!! I think what the Republicans have done by using the unemployed as a barganing tool is shameful! One thing I do know is that by doing so they have put alot more eyes on this budget that may not have been there otherwise. They have not only caused the original 37000 to follow what they are doing so closely but the other 2000 per week that are losing benefits while this is still going on and every person they talk to about it. They have used us as poker chips in this political poker game what they need to realize is we have chips of our own and they are called votes! We can remove you just as easily as we put you in there!

  4. Greg

    May 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Please go home to your residences and stay out of Raleigh

  5. George Greene

    June 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Well, now that it’s all over, I don’t think this has turned out to be a good idea.
    I don’t think it even turned out to be what was happening. I think Lynn Bonner of the
    Charlotte Observer characterized it more correctly by saying that the “party of 5″ THEMSELVES
    took ALL the initiative — to which I would retort that they therefore deserve all the blame:
    THEY decided that THEY didn’t want a shutdown and THEY, NOT the Republicans
    and certainly not us, negotiated the best deal they could get — best for THEM and for the
    Republicans, and not for anyone else, since nobody else was at the table.

    And then Rob Christensen wound up saying precisely what the lead of this comment says, namely,
    that the Republicans negotiated skillfully. This is not the kind of company in which one wants to be.