Uncategorized

Understanding the basics of the budget stalemate

In case you missed it, be sure to check out today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File in which Chris explains what’s really at issue in the stalemated state budget negotiations. Most notable on the list: the remarkably regressive positions of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.

“Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger told WRAL-TV that any budget deal must not only include the Senate’s estimates of Medicaid costs but must also reduce the number of people who are covered by the program.

Berger said the Senate wanted ‘reductions in the welfare spending that is ongoing at the present time.’  Medicaid, the health care safety net for the most vulnerable people in North Carolina, is now welfare in Berger’s far-right view of the world.

The budget the Senate passed earlier this session would kick at least 5,200 aged, blind and disabled people off of Medicaid. More than 1,600 of them have Alzheimer’s or dementia and are in special care units, which to Berger must be a new fancy way of saying welfare.”

As Chris also notes, there is an easy way out of the mess:

“It is important to remember that all three of the budgets ignore an obvious way to raise revenue to pay for a teacher pay hike, simply cancel the next round of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy scheduled to take effect January 1. The top one percent of North Carolina taxpayers received a $10,000 cut on average in last year’s tax package. They don’t need another one.”

That said, Berger’s stance is an extraordinary one that may well set a new standard for callous and cold-hearted behavior by a modern North Carolina politician in a position of real power.  Click here to read the entire column.

One Comment


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    July 1, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    The most obvious reason that Berger sent the bill back was that it did not meet the NC constitutional requirement to actually, you know, balance.

Check Also

Editorial: GOP budget proposal is “monument to bad management”

This morning’s Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

More than a month after a deadline to correct faulty campaign finance reports, N.C. Sen. Ralph Hise [...]

Even before he dropped the gavel on the Senate Finance Committee meeting, Sen. Jerry Tillman, a noto [...]

The $23 billion budget deal speeding through the N.C. General Assembly this week includes a platoon [...]

Royal Diadem Jewelers in Greensboro sets itself apart in a number of small ways - fast and friendly [...]

The final budget that lawmakers have proposed fails to strengthen the foundation of North Carolina’s [...]

Most of the initial headlines about the final budget agreement announced Monday afternoon by legisla [...]

Unexplained, backroom maneuver would rob already underfunded anti-poverty program There’s no denying [...]

Women and their access to health care has been in the news these past few months, as the plan to rep [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more