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A new report from the Budget & Tax Center explains in stark detail why cutting corporate tax rates is precisely the wrong strategy for North Carolina — not just for our schools and public safety workers, but for business too.

Turns out that more matters to business than marginal savings on taxes. Having an educated workforce, world-class public amenities and healthy communities matters.

Add this to the study from Iowa we talked about the other day, and you have a clear picture: we need a modern revenue system, not more shortsighted cuts.

Here’s the news release:

Report: Cutting corporate tax rate unlikely to boost economy, create jobs

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There’s more to a good business climate than low taxes.

Look around at the states with rock-bottom tax rates — South Dakota, to name one example, or Alabama and Mississippi, for places closer to home. None of these places are as economically competitive as North Carolina.

North Carolina has built its economic engine around vibrant public investment. We have world-class universities that help workers educate themselves — and encourage bright, talented people to stay here. It’s why, even in bad times, we’re better off than states that take a different path.

A new study shows why. Cutting corporate tax rates is a counter-productive economic strategy.

There are about a dozen reasons this is true. The most compelling to me: public investments help attract business, and when you slash taxes, you have to cut services. A well-educated and healthy workforce is fundamental to business success, and those qualities require public investment.

That first link provides an able summary of the arguments. It’s based on this study from Iowa, which itself builds on decades of research. If you want to wade through the wonky study, it’s well worth it.

But just look around. North Carolina has been building for the future for years, and it has paid off. Let’s not undermine that progress now.

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I’m sure much more will be said, in this space and elsewhere, about today’s 5th annual HK on J march on Raleigh. This is my third year, and it was the most well-attended and inspirational of the three.

But don’t take my work for it. This is a quick post to let you see the photos on our Flickr site (about 100 are there now, and more will be added there as they come in) and the Twitter posts that helped #hkonj become a trending topic in the area today. We’ll also be adding photos to Facebook.

If you did follow the #hkonj hashtag, you saw a bunch of other photos detailing the creative signs and puppets people made. If you didn’t, you can see all the photos we uploaded remotely here.

Let me also direct you to possibly the cutest and most poignant sight I saw, personally:  http://ow.ly/i/86go

Thanks to everyone who made it out.

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Ever notice that the folks who shout loudest about the Constitution are the least likely to have read it?

You can add Sen. Rand Paul to that list. Paul’s trying to slash funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Services. Not only are these two of the most underfunded federal agencies, providing vital services to vulnerable people, they carry out Indian treaty obligations backed by the Constitution itself.

Our nation’s guiding document is unambiguous on the question of Indian treaties: Article VI, Section II of the Constitution declares treaties to be “the supreme law of the land,” inviolable, a sacred trust.

Rand Paul wants to break that sacred trust, and violate a document he claims to venerate — over a few dollars owed to largely impoverished people.

Make no mistake, IHS does not have the funding needed to truly address the crises facing native people. American Indians are in poverty at twice the level of the general population. The health and wealth statistics for North Carolina — a state with the second-highest American Indian population east of the Mississippi — are even more sobering. So the answer is to … slash funding for what is in most cases the sole agency providing them health care?

There are those who don’t much care about the considerable challenges facing native people. This is, of course, monstrous. But you don’t have to care about a single other human being to see why Paul’s plan must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Here’s the bottom line:

If you believe in the Constitution, you believe in upholding Indian treaties — and the responsibilities they confer on the U.S. government. Period. No wiggle room.

If Rand Paul follows through on these plans, it will prove that the U.S. Constitution is little more than a marketing strategy to him.

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Interested in the Egypt uprising, but don’t have the time to research what’s going down? Want to have a clear story to tell, without being whipsawed by the twin evils of context and nuance?

Well, have right-wing bloggers got a deal for you: if the uprising goes well, it’s because George W. Bush gave a speech about freedom and rights and stuff (while giving autocrat Hosni Mubarak a bunch of money).

If it goes poorly, and shifts Egypt into a fundamentalist Islamic state, it’s Obama’s fault, because … he cut aid to Egypt, and supports unions, and wants to shut down the Internet here, but wants to turn it back on in Egypt. Or something. (No really. Read the link.)

I would link to a thoughtful, in-depth treatment of the reality on the ground, but it’s Monday. Who wants to read that? Save yourself the hassle.

Just remember: if this results in a free Egyptian democracy, the guy you like did it. If it results in civil war or a fundamentalist state, the guy you dislike did it. It has nothing to do with the hopes or aspirations or actions of the Egyptian people either way.

They get off the responsibility hook for any potential bad outcome, since you’re just going to blame the guy you want to blame anyway, and you don’t have to do any pesky reading about that place in between Iran and Syria*.

Everybody wins! Except for the guys getting hosed down, but who told them to pray, anyway?

Hope this helps. Sincerely,

Jeff

*Egypt is not between Iran and Syria, but Fox News thinks it is.