A budget is the set of choices our policymakers make to lay a foundation for North Carolina’s future. Will it stand future tests of economic challenges and opportunities? Will it extend to every corner and household of our state? The answer for this budget is that it will not.
For those who say this is as good as we can get, the reality is we can do better. Our leaders have chosen to limit our sights.
There is no great mystery about what has happened in this year’s budget debate. Policymakers have set a low bar based on a rigid formula and ignored the realities of our growing state and the families who strive to do well. They have continued to allow tax cuts to phase in that benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations, and they even pursued more poorly targeted tax cuts that will fail to effectively address the increase in sales taxes that North Carolinians will pay.
To those satisfied with baby steps, this final budget may be okay. As those who seek leadership that charts a stable path into the future and embraces the challenges of our changing state, we are disappointed.