Art Pope: Having it both ways

Art popeToday, Governor, er ah, State Budget Director Art Pope told reporters at an event in Chapel Hill that eliminating the state personal and corporate income taxes is “a bad idea.” Earlier this morning, in concert with scores of other reports and blog posts it has distributed in recent years, the Pope-Civitas Institute (which Pope funds almost exclusively) distributed an article entitled: “Why All U.S. States Should Eliminate The Income Tax.”

Any more questions as to why so many are so concerned about Pat McCrory’s decision to invest such power in this individual? How do we (and the members of the General Assembly — many of whom he helped put in office with campaign contributions and personal, direct participation in drawing the electoral maps under which they were elected) know what his real position is? And how will those lawmakers hold the Budget Director’s feet to the fire (as is their job) under such circumstances? 

One final word: This is not a “personal attack” as Pope keeps labeling the criticisms that Policy Watch and others have directed his way. I’m sure Pope loves his family and is sincere in his beliefs. There is no evidence that he is trying to enrich himself directly with public dollars.

This is an attack on the destructive ideology to which he gives voice and power and the unprecedented position he has assumed in our state as both a powerful state official and the chief funder of a movement, a party, and an array of far right nonprofits.

11 Comments

  1. love my state

    January 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    he’s a fox in the henhouse… just wait and see. i have no doubt that mr. pope will do what’s best for the 1%

  2. Rob Schofield

    January 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    It’s increasingly clear that the various groups and individuals on the right are playing their assigned roles in the current state policy drama. By advancing truly extreme proposals like eliminating the income tax, conservative senators and the Pope-Civitas Institute serve to make alternative right-wing proposals to merely slash tax rates (like the ones that Pope himself and the John Locke Foundation will soon advance) seem to be a “reasonable compromise.”

  3. James Protzman

    January 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Oh where oh where have the watchdogs gone?
    Oh where oh where can they be?
    With their access cut short,
    And their leashes cut long,
    Oh where oh where can they be?

  4. Jack

    January 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    We ain’t seen nothing yet.

  5. JeffS

    January 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I am concerned that Pope is going to draw an inordinate amount of attention. Attention that should be directed towards McCrory and the legislature.

    None of these people are really acting outside of the overall GOP agenda. Singling them out as individuals is giving them far more credit than they are due, and actually serves to undermine the message in my mind.

    And yes, it is personal. Don’t back away from that. When a person goes to such lengths to impose their will upon the lives of so many people, they don’t get a reprieve because they tuck their kids in at night, or “really believe” they’re doing the right thing. If anything, you should focus more on what type of man this is and less on the irrelevant, sound-byte fluff.

  6. david esmay

    January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    The existence of Pope as our state budget director is just a manifestation, or an extension of the GOP/Corporate agenda at the state level. The U.S. was founded as a Democratic Republic that employed capitalism as our economic system. Today our economic system is corporatism which does not follow the laws of democracy, the Republican party is the political arm of corporations. Corporatism seeks to control every aspect of the political and business spectrum, supply, demand, economic competition, voter representation, education, and undermine democratic institutions. Their plan is to cut or eliminate taxes on the wealthy and corporations while they reduce spending, holding the state’s debt at current levels forever, so they can blame “liberals” and use it as an excuse for government inaction. Art Pope is the embodiment of this agenda.

  7. Frances Jenkins

    January 24, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Where is the information on who funds NC Policy Watch? Your hate of Art Pope is showing.

  8. david esmay

    January 24, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Frances, how hard is it to go to the NC Justice Center website or the A.J Fletcher Foundation website? You seem to find this one quite easily, if your interested in information it’s all there. But your not really, now are you?

  9. Frances Jenkins

    January 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Never a dumb question just a dumb answer!!!

  10. Gene Hoglan

    January 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    It doesn’t take Columbo to figure out why Pope’s against the plan. The hardest hit by a giant sales tax hike are the working poor who make up the prime demographic of his stores. If they don’t buy as much from Roses and Maxway his bottom line is hurt. People think he’s an ideologue but at the heart of it he’s just looking out for #1.

  11. Frances Jenkins

    January 25, 2013 at 8:45 am

    You boys need to take some chill pills and get off the hate train of Art Pope. At first there were questions about Pope. The questions are becoming focus on the hate boys of Art Pope.