Day: July 26, 2011

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will release a major report today showing that 38 of the 47 states with new budgets taking effect this month cut education, health care, and other state-funded services. Of the 38 states that have made deep cuts, all but one have reduced their annual investments in core supports to economic recovery to pre-recession levels.

North Carolina is among this number, having recently enacted a budget that reduces total state spending as a share of state personal income to the lowest level in almost 30 years. Not only will North Carolina spend less on education, health, justice, and transportation than it did before the Great Recession as the FY2012 budget takes effect, it will spend more than 10% less than the state’s 40-year average investment in public goods and services relative to the size of the NC economy.

The full report will be available via CBPP later today, or you can follow the Budget and Tax Center on Twitter at @ncbudgetandtax for updates.

Robert Greenstein, President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, released a statement last night on just how devastating Speaker John Boehner’s proposed deficit-reduction plan would be for the future of the country.

In particular, Greenstein characterizes the plan’s attack on programs for low- and moderate-income families and retirees as “class warfare.”

The entire statement is well worth reading, but here are the key points worth noting:

The Boehner plan would force policymakers to choose among cutting the incomes and health benefits of ordinary retirees, repealing the guts of health reform and leaving an estimated 34 million more Americans uninsured, and savaging the safety net for the poor.

It would do so even as it shielded all tax breaks, including the many lucrative tax breaks for the wealthiest and most powerful individuals and corporations.

During the 2009-2010 session of the General Assembly, 10 Republican Senators co-sponsored a bill introduced by Republican Pete Brunstetter to set up an independent commission to draw the lines for Congressional and General Assembly districts.

The ten Republicans included current Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, current Rules Chair Tom Apodaca, current Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, and current Senate Redistricting Committee Chair Bob Rucho.

Berger and his fellow Republicans believed that turning over the process of drawing districting lines to a nonpartisan commission was in the best interests of the people of North Carolina.

Monday night, Democratic Senator Dan Blue offered an amendment to the Republicans’ redistricting plan that would have turned over future redistricting duties to the independent commission that Berger last year thought was so important.

Rules Chair Tom Apodaca moved to table the amendment,  a parliamentary move that not only cuts off debate but prevents a roll call vote on the actual amendment.

All the Republicans went along of course and Blue’s amendment was tabled on a party-line vote. 

An idea that Berger and Apadoca supported last session was not even worthy of a discussion this year, much less a vote.

And that’s not the most disturbing part. Blue’s amendment wasn’t mentioned in many of the stories about the redistricting debate.

Republican hypocrisy in Raleigh isn’t news anymore.