“We can’t afford it.” This is the prevailing refrain of state leaders nowadays in their efforts to explain away or rationalize their waning support for investing in North Carolina’s future.
Whether the issue is pay raises for K-12 teachers and other state employees, supporting targeted economic development initiatives, protecting the state’s natural resources and environment, one repeated excuse is that revenue is not available for such public investments.
This excuse was used once again in a memo by Art Pope, State Budget Director, in response to the UNC Board of Governors’ (BOG) 2014-15 budget request. In the memo, Pope informs the BOG that its budget “simply is not realistic” and warns that funding the respective budget request “would require the Governor and General Assembly to make major reductions in other state agencies and programs, such as our courts, the “K-12” public schools, and health care.”
North Carolina is NOT broke. The costly tax plan passed by the NC General Assembly and signed into law by Governor McCrory last year has created a self-imposed budget challenge. This challenge is occurring, as Pope acknowledges, even as the economy is improving. Read More