Governor Cooper’s billion dollar spending increase budget blows through spending limits envisioned by the Taxpayer Protection Act – a 5.1% spending hike, or over twice the 2.3% budget restraint the conservative majority has delivered over the past four years. It’s over a billion dollar increase in the first year. Upwards of $1.7 billion in the second.
One of its crown jewels: A $1.4 billion Medicaid expansion, allegedly paid for by a massive hospital tax tops the wish list.
And the middle-class tax cut Cooper promised on the campaign? Nowhere to be found. No tax cuts to speak of in this budget. Which means the folks who worked hard, revived the state’s economy and generated a budget surplus won’t get a dime back in their pockets.
We’ve seen this before. It’s reminiscent of the Perdue-Easley spending sprees that wound up running historic deficits, raising taxes and freezing teacher pay.
Hold onto your wallets, folks.