August 30, 2020

With the upcoming session of the NC General Assembly around the corner, it seems appropriate to take a break from COVID impacts and talk about money.

We’ve talked before about how the Governor’s budget proposal takes $85 million from the Opportunity Scholarship program that helps low-income families with scholarships so they can send their kids to the schools of their choice.

Now, Civitas’s Brian Balfour has done a report on the Governor’s budget that spotlights some of its more notorious recommendations. Like increasing the state budget by nearly one billion dollars when our economy is in a precarious position because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic shutdown he called for, and uncertain government revenues. 

Balfour says that under the Governor’s proposal, “total General Fund spending would come to $25.04 billion for the current fiscal year.” He cites that “total actual spending for the last fiscal year (2019-20) came to $24.06 billion” – for an increase of nearly one billion dollars.

The Governor is nothing if not consistent. He and his left-wing cronies seem to be born with the innate instinct to spend, spend, spend taxpayers money – even in a financial crisis!

We believe the state would do better to trust the budget to the Reform Majority’s leaders who crafted responsible state budgets for years in the period from 2011 to 2020 and gave the state a healthy Rainy Day Fund with $1.2 billion still stashed away for emergencies like this.  For comparison to all of you who are curious – the Rainy Day Fund was a measly $150 million in 2010.

The Reform Majority’s prowess for success is reflected in the latest Rich State, Poor State analysis by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Dr. Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams, which shows North Carolina ranked 5th in the country in its Economic Outlook Rank – which takes 15 important state policy variables and ranks the states to determine their economic viability. (Most of the measurements were based on data as of January 1, 2020 or earlier)

Again, we are thankful for the hard work, dedication of the leaders who paved the way to responsible fiscal conservatism in state budgeting and reformed North Carolina’s tax and spend system so that businesses could grow and create jobs and invigorate North Carolina’s economy.