This morning, it’s the Fayetteville Observer that’s blasting the North Carolina Senate’s radical plan to enshrine artificial and debilitating spending caps in the state constitution. Here’s the excellent conclusion:
“What happens in the next big financial turndown if revenues drop precipitously and there isn’t enough money to maintain our public schools? Do we just start firing teachers, because a temporary tax increase would be unconstitutional? It could happen.
And what if the condition of our transportation infrastructure continues to decline? What if our roads and bridges and railways become dangerous and need more work than the budget will allow? Do we just shrug, because a larger budget increase is unconstitutional, and let bridges topple and interstate highways crumble?
We’ve had temporary tax increases before, with “sunset” dates attached, and they’ve gone away after the problem was solved. The truth is that North Carolina lawmakers have traditionally been a pretty parsimonious lot, especially when we compare our taxes with those in other regions of the country. We’ve also gotten something out of that spending in the past: a robust economy, a well-educated workforce and, not all that many years ago, a reputation as the “good roads state.”
Putting budget handcuffs on our lawmakers, instead of trusting them to do what we pay them for, could consign all of that to history’s dustbin.”
Click here to read the entire editorial.