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(Cross-posted from the Action NC blog)

Conservatives are obsessed with cutting spending this year, no matter the collateral damage. Think early childhood education is important? Too bad – cut. Maybe higher-ed? Nope – cut. Healthcare for poor children? Cut. Services for seniors? Tough luck – cut.

At a certain point, you have to wonder what in the world these legislators think they are doing. Forget the moral arguments for a moment (we’ve made them), and let’s concentrate on something we know they’re focused on: self interest.

Take Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, who just reiterated his objections to fully funding the early childhood education program that the Superior Court has ordered him to support. Looking at statistical models, we can project what the rest of his life, as well as millions like him, will look like. Tillis is 52 years old, which means–at least statistically—that he has another 29 years to go. We can also project that his health will begin to decline around age 60 and continue to do so, with a probable trip to a nursing home, before he dies somewhere around 2040. Read More