Carolina Journal Weekly Report

April 06, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of April 06, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina would boost economic growth and wealth creation by replacing its existing income tax with a new “flat-rate consumed income tax.” That's the prescription the John Locke Foundation’s top economist offers in a new Spotlight report.

“The state’s current income tax penalizes work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship,” said report author Dr. Roy Cordato, JLF Vice President for Research and Resident Scholar. “Those are the very income-generating activities that lead to the production of goods and services that spur economic growth. If you’re interested in growth, a flat-rate consumed income tax is a much better option.”

As its name implies, a flat-rate tax would apply just one tax rate, regardless of the amount of income taxed, Cordato said. “Unlike our existing system, a flat-rate tax offers no disincentive for people to work overtime, take a second job, or make other decisions that generate additional income. The next dollar of income is taxed at the same rate as the previous dollar.”

Focusing taxation on consumed income would remove the existing bias against saving and investment, said Cordato, a Ph.D. economist.

“The current state income tax distorts people’s choices about whether to spend or save the money they make,” he said. “Once the state has taxed a dollar of income, you can spend the remaining money without any additional tax penalty. Save the rest of that dollar, though, and you will face a form of double taxation when the state taxes any interest, dividends, or capital gains that result from the savings. This discourages saving, investment, entrepreneurship, and business expansion
in favor of consumption.”

News Features

CJ: Commerce official tries to divert money to his nonprofit
RALEIGH — A senior official in the North Carolina Department of Commerce launched a scheme in November to direct more than $2 million in federal funds to a small Raleigh-based nonprofit organization that he chaired last year.

CJ: Department of Labor giving national job data security review
RALEIGH — The U. S. Department of Labor has asked an outside agency to review the security controls designed to prevent early access to monthly employment data safeguarded by the federal government.

CJ: ‘Nugget’ lunch incident spurs debate on preschool nutrition
RALEIGH — The substitution of a chicken nugget lunch at a Hoke County pre-kindergarten program in January has done more than raise a few eyebrows. It has raised the ire of many who believe that government is overstepping its regulatory bounds.

CJ: Fracking opponents state case at hearing
CHAPEL HILL — Opponents of natural gas “fracking” heckled, hissed and tried to drown out vastly outnumbered speakers supporting the controversial process during a public hearing Tuesday night.

Worker’s comp insurance often not carried
RALEIGH — Tens of thousands of North Carolina businesses are putting their employees at risk by failing to buy workers’ compensation insurance, a violation of the law that’s driving some injured workers to destitution and businesses into bankruptcy.

Upcoming Events

Monday, April 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Patrick J. Michaels
Public Choice and Public Science: Global Warming and the Government-Scientific Complex

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 6:45pm
A special celebration of NC Spin's 700th show
with special guest Bob Schieffer
NC SPIN 700th Show Celebration featuring CBS' Bob Schieffer

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

It is shocking and really quite troubling.
Keith Debbage, UNC Greensboro geography professor, commenting to the Winston-Salem Journal on new Census Bureau population estimates showing that 44 of the state’s 100 counties lost population from 2010 to 2011.

I think it is a far better day than it was yesterday.
— State Health and Human Services acting Secretary Al Delia, as quoted by the Associated Press, describing the impact of a decision by federal Medicaid officials to give the state until January to enforce new personal care service requirements.

It is fiscally irresponsible to hold money aside for a project that has not yet started when we have so many deficient bridges and road maintenance issues and incomplete projects in Gaston and across the state.
— Sen. Kathy Harrington, R-Gaston, talking to the Charlotte Observer about the proposed $1 billion Garden Parkway toll road.

That’s the boaters’ highway. That gas tax should be used.
— Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, as quoted by the Wilmington Star-News, talking about the possibility of using marine fuel taxes to pay for dredging inlets.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Roy Cordato explains why the state’s ban on smoking in restaurants and bars is an infringement on property rights; Jeanette Doran of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law discusses rules surrounding N.C.’s constitutional amendment process; Afsheen John Radsan, founder of the National Security Forum, discusses legal implications of the U.S. government targeting a citizen for death; John Baker, professor emeritus of law at Louisiana State University, explains problems with government overreach in criminal law; and JLF’s Becki Gray previews the upcoming legislative session.

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join guest moderator Henry Hinton for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: The marriage amendment; interesting congressional races; and who buys lottery tickets?. This week’s panelists: John Hood and Becki Gray from the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; and columnist Cash Michaels.


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