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Grover NorquistHow low have things sunk in the Raleigh policy debate? This low: A front group for corporations and greedy billionaires is bringing a has-been Washington lobbyist to town to promote higher taxes on poor and middle class North Carolinians and some are calling it a “tax reform” event.

Grover Norquist is about ”reforming” tax policy in the same way that Rush Limbaugh is  about ”reforming” American political discourse. Norquist is a well-funded bully who has done much to ruin the well-being of the Republic. His most infamous quote — that he wants to shrink government down to the size at which it can be “drowned in the bathtub” bespeaks the hatred and violent underpinnings of his noxious, greed-is-good “philosophy.”  

Norquist will confirm the dishonesty and hypocrisy that lies at the heart of his work today when Read More

Bobby JindalMaybe it’s no coincidence that Senator Phil Berger’s new plan to cut taxes at the top, reduce public services and raise taxes on the working poor appears to have a lot in common with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s failed tax plan. It turns out the new and schnazzy website Berger unveiled today was produced by a conservative Louisiana ad firm – Innovative Advertising LLC.

As you can see by clicking here, the website domain www.nctaxcut.com is registered to: Read More

Phil BergerThe experts at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center will be out with more detailed analyses in the hours and days to come, but here are some preliminary takes on state Senate President Phil Berger’s big tax plan announcement/opening salvo in his race for the 2014 GOP U.S. Senate nomination:

#1 – Same ol’, same ol’ – This is what we had to wait more than four months for? After all the delays and big promises, all Berger and his aides could come up with was a plan to slash the state’s most progressive taxes (i.e. the personal income tax, the  corporate income tax and the inheritance tax) and raise more money from the tax that hits poor and middle class people the hardest — the sales tax. Oh, and since the plan won’t bring in the revenue necessary to keep government going at its already underfunded levels, the plan also contemplates lots more spending cuts to essential services. No wonder these guys are championing bills to raise class sizes and cut pre-K!

#2 – Perverting a good ideaRead More

New this morning from the wonks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

“Federal taxes on middle-income Americans are near historic lows, our updated report explains, and that’s true whether you’re talking about federal income taxes or all federal taxes.

When it comes to income taxes, a family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 5.3 percent of its 2013 income in federal income taxes next year, according to a new analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center….”

Read the rest of this post by clicking here.

State income tax cutsMichael Leachman, one of the top fiscal wonks at the D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities authored a very compelling post yesterday that makes clear why cutting (or, God forbid, eliminating) the state income tax is not the right path for North Carolina.

Leachman writes:

“A number of states, including Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, are considering deep cuts in personal income taxes to spur economic growth. But both recent history and empirical studies suggest that this approach doesn’t work particularly well, as our new report explains.

First, let’s look at recent history.  Of the six states that cut income taxes sharply between 2000 and 2007 (when the recession hit), three grew more slowly than the rest of the country in the years that followed.  The other three saw above-average growth, but they are major oil-producing states (Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma) that benefitted from a sharp rise in oil prices. Read More