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:
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.