It takes a while for reputations to catch up to facts. North Carolina showed up again as the second-best* state for business in a poll of CEOs who are likely more focused on how to survive than where to expand. Meanwhile the state in February had a record high unemployment rate of 10.7 percent in February, the largest year-on-year increase of any state, and fourth highest behind just Michigan (12.0%), South Carolina (11.0%), and Oregon (10.8%).
You may have wondered why the Back to Basics Budget includes $1.5 billion in federal dollars from the stimulus for FY2010 and $500 million for FY2011. In preparing the budget, we took a realistic assessment of what revenues would be available to the NC General Assembly and the stimulus money would clearly be one source of revenue, as much as we would prefer Gov. Perdue rejected the money and its strings.
Since the federal money would be available to spend, our objective was to show the least habit-forming way of applying it. For Medicaid, we showed that the state could take the money the first year and prepare the system to transition to block grants. For education, we used it to pay down debt and to delay cost reductions or tuition increases for two years, again preparing the system now for the eventual end of federal money.
The Left have suggested $1 billion in new taxes to fill in "30 percent" of the budget hole that they repeatedly claim to be $4 billion (new math). Even with the $1.7 billion in federal money the governor budgets, they implicitly call for $300 million to $1.3 billion in program cuts that they refuse to specify. They can only complain.
Citizens Against Government Waste has named Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., its Porker of the Month, "a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers."
Oh, by the way, Frank is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Truth be told, I don't blame Obama for a moment of levity amid the stresses of the presidency. Then again, I haven't lost a job or home, been evicted, or had my retirement savings wiped out. Those who have probably have a different take.
According to the Mooresville Tribunehere, city officials are waiting to hear if a developer has accepted a bid to buy 16 acres of the city golf course. Why not sell all of the city owned golf course and save taxpayers nearly $100,000 per year. That's the annual subsidy we documented in this Spotlight report.
Is there more behind the Obamas' vegetable garden than meets the eye? Could the first family be setting the example for when the president's assault on the free market makes homegrown gardens our only source of food?
This week Competitive Enterprise Institute announced the creation of Human Achievement Hour (HAH) to be celebrated at 8:30 p. m. on March 28, 2009 (the same time and date of Earth Hour).
Our press release described ways people might celebrate the achievements of humanity such as eating diner [sic], seeing a film, driving around, keeping the heat on in your home -- all things that Earth Hour celebrators, presumably, should be refraining from. In the cheekiest manner, we claimed that anyone not foregoing the use of electricity in that hour is, by default, celebrating the achievements of human beings. Needless to say, the enviros in the blogosphere didn't take to kindly to our announcement.
Our AEI friend, Steve Hayward wonders about an Obama/Frank conspiracy over on the Ashbrook Center blog No Left Turns.
Now, if I was in a
conspiratorial frame of mind, and thought Obama was an evil genius, I’d
wonder whether the murky TARP II provision that allowed the AIG bonuses
was deliberately calculated to provoke outrage in order to justify
greater government control over executive salaries across the board, as
indeed Barney Frank has intimated is his desire. Nah. Can’t be that
clever, can they?
Peter Lawler's review of Gran Torino is worth reading.
By chance, this is the only
hyped movie I didn’t get to see--until yesterday. It’s easily the best
movie of the year, or maybe the last several years. There’s more about
the strengths and weaknesses of our country as it once was and now is
than in all the Oscar nominees put together.
As North Carolina's unemployment rate reaches levels we haven't seen for a quarter century, government leaders are pushing policies that would make the economic situation worse. Joe Coletti explains in the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.
Speaking of bad government policies, Daren Bakst will join us to discuss the Environmental Management Commission's consideration of the state's first regulation of carbon dioxide emissions.
We'll also hear competing ideas about the state's budget priorities from Gov. Beverly Perdue — as outlined in her recent State of the State address — and Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham.
And we'll hear from two Britons. Winston S. Churchill, grandson of the famous prime minister, does not oppose government involvement in addressing the nation's economic crisis, though he did sound an alarm in a recent John Locke Foundation speech about moving too far toward socialism. Meanwhile, Duke professor John Staddon says the government has no good reason to get in the business of regulating smoking.