May 19, 2015

According to the News and Observer, the State House is considering a budget that increases General Fund spending $1.3 billion next year or 6.3%.

Defending the 6.3% spending increase – the biggest since Chapel Hill Democrat Joe Hackney was Speaker of the House and Mike Easley was Governor – a Republican budget writer declared it in line with inflation and population growth. In fact, he was off by 100%. The Governor’s budget projects a 2% increase in population over the next 2 years and inflation last year was less than 1%.

By way of comparison, the Republican State House wants to increase spending next year nearly twice as fast as the hated team of Richard Morgan and Jim Black increased spending in their first year.

Besides the spending, which includes $60 million in grants to liberal Hollywood movie producers at the same time Governor McCrory’s Commerce Secretary says, “the film incentive program does not return dollars to the state”.

The House budget includes no across the board tax cuts but does include hundreds of millions of dollars in higher fees.

The House budget also includes hundreds of millions of dollars of special interest tax breaks:

Prominent liberal donor, GOP critic, and WRAL-TV owner Jim Goodmon gets his $40 million historic preservation tax credit for fixing up (and making money off) old buildings.

Tim Cook’s Apple, fresh off savaging Indiana conservatives over passing RFRA, could get $19 million through a new data center tax break.

The reliably conservative renewable energy industry (solar and wind) gets over $330 million in new pork through a special break in the tax code.

Governor McCrory proposed a responsible budget that kept the growth of spending within the sensible limit of the Taxpayer Protection Act. Now the State House is considering a plan that would more than triple the governor’s budget increase and blow to smithereens the Taxpayer Protection Act.

In the last election, most Republicans ran on across the board tax cuts for families, not special tax breaks for special interests. They ran on a promise to control spending, not an irresponsible and unsustainable $1.3 billion dollar spending increases.

Let’s hope House members will look to the Governor’s budget and that the final budget passed in the House will be more fiscally responsible than this proposal.