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Senator Bob Rucho’s tweet that “Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined” (see below) is bringing more unwanted national attention to the Old North State.

Among the outlets covering the absurd and offensive comment:

Seems likely that Jon Stewart and/or Stephen Colbert won’t be gar behind.

Meanwhile, Kevin Rogers of Action NC offers the following as a partial response: Read More

Bob RuchoAs noted in last week’s Weekly Briefing, hyperbole and dramatic overstatements have their place in politics.  That said,  it’s also true that those holding public office should possess some minimal connection to reality and basic human decency. And in these latter two categories, Senator Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County has raised real questions about his fitness for public office with his public statement on Twitter yesterday that:

“Justice Robert’s pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis,Soviets & terrorists combined.”

As Rabbi Judy Schindler of Charlotte’s Temple Beth El told the Charlotte Observer:

“The systematic murder of 11 million human beings, among them 6 million Jews … and acts of terrorists using explosives to indiscriminately decimate the lives of men, women and children can in no way be compared to legislation aimed at expanding health care accessibility and quality insurance for the poor. Comparing the two is deeply offensive.”

Of course, all who “tweet” have undoubtedly “said” things they’d like to take back. But good grief! State senators ought  to have enough common sense to think about their words before hitting the “Tweet” button. Rucho needs to do much more than “clarify” the intent of his statement; he needs to specifically and unequivocally apologize ASAP.

Bobby JindalThe political freefall of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is interesting on multiple levels (Chris Fitzsimon will have more on this subject this afternoon). Notwithstanding the man’s infamous deer-in-the-headlights state of the union response from a few years back, conservatives were still touting him as a rising star and potential national candidate not that long ago.

That he would now have trouble getting elected dog catcher in the Bayou State and be forced to abandon his signature tax plan is emblematic of a remarkable  political collapse — especially for a politician without any apparent immediate problems with prosecutors or prostitutes. (Of course, it should be noted that current Louisiana Senator David Vitter admitted to the latter problem with no lasting ill effects).

What the fall of Jindalnomics would seem to say most clearly is Read More

North Carolina policymakers have pledged to make revenue modernization a legislative priority in 2013. Earlier today at a press conference, North Carolina Senate President Phil Berger indicated that there will indeed be a revenue reform package. At this point, it is not entirely clear which specific policy decisions and principles will guide the leglative leadership’s revenue plan.

With that said, Senator Rucho, the Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is touring the state and pitching a proposal that would eliminate the state’s personal and corporate income taxes. One of the arguments used in support of this proposal is that sales tax revenue is less volatile than personal income tax revenue. This is one of many persistent tax myths, however. And if this tax myth is used to guide policy decisions, the result could be even more problems with North Carolina’s tax code.

For sure, sales tax revenues are volatile in the face of economic downturns. This is especially true when the sales tax fails to include services. While Senator Rucho and others have claimed that the sales tax can deliver greater stability than other revenue sources, it is important to note that research demonstrates that the personal income tax is no more volatile than the sales tax in the long-term. Read More