Pete's Prep: Thursday, June 7, 2018

Democratic Governor vetoes GOP budget

NC Gov. Roy Cooper enlisted about a dozen teachers to stand around him, as he announced he was vetoing the Legislature's $23.9 million budget - including a 6.5% pay raise for teachers.

Gov. Cooper said the Legislature didn't fund all the things he wants funded - at the levels he wants them funded - so he wanted to "send a message."

Cooper had proposed spending several hundred million dollars more than legislative leaders ultimately agreed to. The main difference, which Moore alluded to, was that Cooper wanted to stop the implementation of another corporate income tax cut next year and freeze planned tax cuts on income that people earn above $200,000, using the extra revenue to give teachers a larger raise and also spend money on other projects.

Despite Cooper's requests, the legislature kept its new tax cuts on track to go into effect next year and spent less on numerous state departments than the governor had wanted. But the budget Cooper vetoed isn't entirely more austere than his own plan.

For state employees, the legislature goes further than what Cooper had proposed in some cases, including raising the minimum wage for most state workers to $15 an hour. The legislature also gave bigger raises to prison correctional officers and state troopers than Cooper had proposed.

One message he was NOT prepared to send: fiscal responsibility.

Cooper defended his budget from suggestions from the legislature's nonpartisan fiscal researchers that if the state had adopted his proposal, the state government would soon face a deficit. Cooper said that not only does his plan not lead to deficit spending, but that he thinks the Republicans will eventually put the state into a deficit.


The Governor was using bad math, apparently.

From Brian Balfour at NC Civitas:

Some relevant comparisons between Cooper’s budget and the one he vetoed include:

  • Cooper’s budget would spend half a billion more taxpayer dollars
  • Cooper’s budget would mark a $1.5 billion increase in spending over the current year
  • Cooper’s year-over-year spending increase would have amounted to a 6.6% rise, the largest annual increase in ten years
  • Cooper’s budget would have raised taxes by $110 million in the first half of 2019 alone
  • Cooper’s budget would have expanded Medicaid, a massive expense that would blow a hole in the budget while doing little to actually improve access to care for enrollees

Additionally, Cooper’s irresponsible budget proposal has now been scored by the General Assembly’s non-partisan Fiscal Research Division. Their research shows that Cooper’s ratcheting up of recurring spending obligations would result in a structural budget deficit of nearly half a billion dollars by FY 2019-20 ($469 M – see bottom right of pg. 2).

This means that, if Cooper had his way, by this time next year budget writers would be faced with finding nearly a half billion in spending cuts or imposing a half billion dollar tax hike.

This should not surprise anyone. It's how the Democrats governed for decades until the GOP won control of the Legislature in 2010.


Today, the Governor's office is trying to clean up the mess.


So, to be clear...

Governor Cooper vetoed a budget, attacked Republicans, and pitched a plan based on bad math.

Charlotte could host the 2020 Republican National Convention

WBTV reports that it's down to Charlotte, Las Vegas, and one other city:

Two cities are left fighting for the chance to host the Republican National Convention in 2020  - and one of them is the Queen City. 

Charlotte and Las Vegas have been named the two finalists to potentially host the RNC, sources told WBTV Tuesday evening. In May, WBTV reported that Charlotte was reportedly one of seven cities to submit a formal bid to host the event or take some part in the bid process.

Members of the 2020 site selection committee announced to hundreds of RNC activists at the spring meeting in Miami that the seven original cities had been whittled down to "about three"  strong contenders.

Those cities reportedly included Charlotte, Las Vegas and another unnamed city in Texas, which sources at the meeting said were likely either Dallas or San Antonio.

Charlotte hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

By the way, we're going broke

Medicare will become insolvent in 2026.

Social Security will become insolvent in 2034.

These programs will run an $82 trillion dollars deficit over the next 30 years.

Knock me over with a feather.

Eighty-two trillion dollars.  That's more than four times the size of US GDP.  The cop-out "solutions" from both parties on this -- "economic growth!" (Republicans), "raise taxes on the wealthy!" (Democrats) -- are woefully, insultingly inadequate.  These programs must be reformed to survive.  That's a mathematical fact.  Yet neither major party has the political appetite to do what it takes.  One pretends to care, then runs up new bills and punts on the toughest calls when in power; the other doesn't even pretend to care, except as a means of attacking tax cuts.  I'm not sure which is worse. 

In this analysis, Guy Benson also points out that when Democrats see this report they think, "We need to expand these programs."

And another thing...

A Texas man nearly dies from the bite of a decapitate rattlesnake.

We're getting close to undermining all video evidence, thanks to development of fake video that looks real.

And local state lawmakers want Asheville politicians to see all police body cam video.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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