Top of the Morning

Top of the morning

House Speaker Thom Tillis was back on the town hall trail Tuesday in Hickory, still trying to escape any blame for the disastrous budget cuts made by the General Assembly this summer.

He has a new, offensive explanation for why thousands of teachers and teacher assistants have been laid off after he and his colleagues absurdly claimed that the Republican budget funded every classroom position.

Not only did he repeat his claim that the decision to fire teachers was up to local school officials, in a meeting with the local paper’s editorial board Tillis said that politics could have been involved in the layoffs.

In other words, the Speaker of the House believes dozens of local school superintendents across the state, in Republican and Democratic counties, fired teachers for some imagined political gain, punishing children and families in the process.  

That’s absurd and offensive, but it does make clear how desperate Tillis is to avoid the blame that he deserves.


  1. Frances Jenkins

    November 2, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Did Perdue have cuts in her budget for teachers as well as teacher assistants? Why will you never present the entire picture?

  2. david esmay

    November 2, 2011 at 9:28 am

    The repub budget spent 258 million, or 2.3 % less than the governor’s budget on education, and combined with the cut in the temporary sales tax, that contributed anywhere from 800M to 1.2B to state coffers, revenue that could be directed to education, makes your observation pointless Frances. The fact is jobs could have been saved. Tillis and Berger need to own this tar-baby they’re stuck to, grow a spine, and admit to the damage their budget and political agenda is inflicting on this state.

  3. frances

    November 2, 2011 at 9:37 am

    But there were cuts in her budget for teachers and teacher assistants, correct?

  4. James

    November 2, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Perdue’s budget proposal was neither debated nor approved. It doesn’t matter what she proposed. And more to the point, why do you persist in your “nanny nanny boo boo” approach to discussion. If Perdue had joined the GOP in slashing the budget, that wouldn’t have diminished the responsibility of the TillisBerger in any way.

    You do this all the time, Frances, and it is antithetical to all your happy talk about accountability. One elected official behaves badly and you ignore that behavior by suggesting that others have behaved badly too.

    This is the really big difference between today’s conservatives and today’s progressives. You defend or ignore incompetence on the part of your party. True progressives challenge leaders across the board for their failures, regardless of their political party.

    Break your shackles, woman! It’s okay to think for yourself.

  5. frances

    November 2, 2011 at 10:40 am


    We are polls and worlds apart but I have gained some respect for you. I suspect you are driven by ideals and causes(most of which I disagree) rather than a drive for power for a political party or the desire to raise money for your organization. I am always suspect when only one side is presented. It seems to be the case so many times.

  6. Jimmy

    November 3, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I got a good laugh from James’ comments on the true progressives of today. I’m amazed how this group who I refer to as “the walking dead”, marches together on every issue, and even use the same talking points. They are led by the motley crew at MSNBC who believe the only solution in this country is to tax the rich, even though there are less and less of them as we march through this awful economy. Even though they preach tolerance and diversity, I find them to be the least tolerant folks I’ve ever seen and can be downright nasty at times. They love big government, and hate capitalism which hasn’t exactly worked anywhere else that I know of. It’s a joke to say this crew questions anything.

  7. david esmay

    November 3, 2011 at 9:34 am

    The simple fact of the matter is no one in a position of leadership in either party on the state or national level will step forward and state the obvious, both sides are going to have to accept things they disagree with. In order to move forward we will have to accept cuts in spending and an increase in taxes. This big government, or right size government arguement by conservatives is disengenuous at best, considering Bush increased the size of government 116% during his tenure. By eliminating the cost of two wars and the Bush era tax cuts we would go a long way in addressing the debt issue and allow us to focus on the real problems we’re facing. The majority of Americans have lived beyond their means for three decades, and all our debt financed growth has run it’s course, and now it’s time to pay the piper, but simply cutting spending and taxes will only prolong the misery. Congress has no plan, they govern day to day, election to election. Neither side will foment a 5,7,10, or 20 year economic and industrial plan that is needed to put us back on track. Our elected officals are not focused on what’s good for the country, but satisfying the needs of their biggest donors

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