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Top of the Morning

sun145North Carolina is back on the front page of the New York Times this morning, in a story with the headline “North Carolinians Fear the End of a Middle Way”

That is putting it mildly. The story includes an interesting take on the General Assembly by News & Record columnist Doug Clark.

Doug Clark, a columnist for The News and Record of Greensboro, welcomed the partisan change, but he now sees the state’s Republican leadership as fostering “extreme partisanship and abuse of power.” He questioned why the legislature, after passing laws governing abortion, guns and voter identification, and frequently trying to exert control over issues traditionally left to local governments, never got around to passing the governor’s plan to overhaul job recruiting.

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sun145The debate rages on about the tax cut for millionaires passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory, breaking a campaign promise that any tax reform would be revenue neutral.

A Charlotte Observer analysis of the tax plan included this from Rep. Ruth Samuelson, who reportedly wants to succeed Thom Tillis as House Speaker.

State Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Charlotte Republican, said she’s certain the tax cuts will spark more than enough economic growth to balance out the revenue lost. She said the cuts should give North Carolina an edge in the chase for corporate relocations.

The assertion that tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals will spur massive new job creation is a common refrain of supporters of the General Assembly’s tax shift, though most lawmakers don’t generally claim it is a certainty. Read More

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AP reports that the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce is worried that cuts in federal spending on transportation, schools, and health care will cost the state 34,000 jobs. 

Funny that the chamber folks didn’t have anything bad to say about a state budget that made huge cuts in spending on transportation, schools, and health care. In fact, they supported it.

Apparently public investments are bad one day and good the next. Government spends too much and it spends too little.  It cannot create jobs but it can create jobs. Got that?

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Monday was one of the more bizarre days and nights at the General Assembly in a long time and we will have plenty to say about it here in the next few days as we sort out all the deals and the damage that was done.

But you have to give the Republican legislative leaders credit for one thing. They are vigilant about not letting the facts get in the way of their talking points.

Last night Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger appeared on the Capital Tonight show on News 14 and said that the small business tax break passed last year was just for small businesses, despite a News & Observer report last month that showed it was also going to wealthy lawyers, doctors and private equity partners. Read More

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The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act has unleashed another round of ridiculous spin from the folks on the Right, including the “government takeover of health care” claim which GOP spin-doctor-in-chief Frank Luntz has encouraged all Republicans to use since 2009.

It was false then and it is false now. It was dubbed the “Lie of the Year,” in 2010 by the Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact.

The latest spin from Right Wing Avenue is that the Affordable Care Act is the largest tax increase in history and will raise taxes on all Americans.

That may end up being the lie of the year for 2012. Here’s a explanation from Media Matters which includes this from the well-respected Congressional Budget Office. Read More