John Hood's Syndicated Weekly Column | 2013 Archive
Dec. 6th Poles Vault Far Above Us
If North Carolinians are looking for models of how to deliver valuable services at an affordable cost while fostering rapid economic growth, Poland would be a good place to start.
Nov. 29th Liberal Claims Get Reality Check
For North Carolina liberals intent on recovering some political power in Raleigh, a funny thing happened on the way to a quorum.
Nov. 22nd Carolina Enacts Conservative Ideas
The North Carolina legislature has enacted Ronald Reagan’s favorite tax reform, Barry Goldwater’s favorite regulatory reform, and Milton Friedman’s favorite education reform.
Nov. 15th Drastic Cuts Never Happened
Remember when fiscal conservatives took over North Carolina government and radically reduced its size and scope?
Nov. 8th Hawke Learned His Lessons
North Carolina politics will be a lot less colorful without Jack Hawke thick in the middle of it, as he was for five decades.
Nov. 1st It's Not Just Obama's Fault
The causes of the great slowdown are complex and often outside the purview of public policy.
Oct. 25th Preening Is Not A Rebuttal
If they want to be taken seriously, liberals need to do their homework and come up with better arguments.
Oct. 18th Back to Court on Preschool
There is no constitutional right to preschool. No such provision was written into the current state constitution or added by constitutional referendum.
Oct. 11th What Comes After Obamacare
Obamacare is going to collapse. North Carolina officials and citizens need to start thinking about what comes next.
Oct. 4th Justice Filed Political Lawsuit
Republicans in Washington have drawn criticism for picking a federal budget fight they can’t win. On voter ID and election law, however, that’s exactly what the Obama administration and its allies have done.
Sep. 27th Show the Real Report Card
North Carolinians may initially be surprised and troubled when they get more-accurate information about student performance, but they’ll appreciate the truth in the long run.
Sep. 20th The Right Way to Cut Taxes
Eliminating special breaks and lowering marginal tax rates for everyone constitute sound tax reform by any reasonable definition. It’s also good for business.
Sep. 13th NC Roads Are Getting Better
According to two recent national studies, North Carolina has made substantial progress in the management of our highway system.
Sep. 6th The Crystal Ball Stays Hidden
While there are some patterns in midterm elections, they are hardly ironclad rules for confident prediction.
Aug. 30th What McCrory Is Counting On
It was foolish for liberal critics to pounce on the July numbers as evidence that the economic policies of North Carolina’s new leaders are failing.
Aug. 23rd Legislature Gets A- on Growth
hen it comes to addressing North Carolina’s most-pressing challenge, our lackluster economy, the state legislature deserves a grade of A- for its 2013 session.
Aug. 16th When Education and Politics Collide
Establishing valid relationships between education reforms and education outcomes is challenging. The task doesn’t lend itself to self-serving rhetoric or political gamesmanship.
Aug. 9th New Budget Repairs Balance Sheet
The new 2013-14 budget put $150 million into the repair and renovation reserve for state facilities and another $233 million into the state’s rainy-day reserve.
Aug. 2nd Making Education a Better Investment
If education spending is an investment, then it can be evaluated with standard criteria such as rate of return and opportunity cost.
Jul. 26th Growth Strategy Backed By Research
The fiscal and regulatory decisions made this year by Gov. Pat McCrory and the state legislature are the right medicine for North Carolina’s economic maladies.
Jul. 19th Tax Reform Part of Broader Plan
Job creation and income gains flow from productivity, which in turn flows from effective investment in facilities, machinery, technology, and know-how.
Jul. 12th State Needs Better Business Brand
Investors, entrepreneurs, and business executives don’t make multi-million-dollar decisions on the basis of Huffington Post screeds and MSNBC tirades.
Jul. 5th Conservatives Press for NC Progress
I won’t deny that anger can be politically powerful. But it has to be married to something other than reflexive defense of the status quo.
Jun. 28th Big Government Slams Small Firms
As North Carolina legislators and policymakers continue to reform the state’s regulatory system, they should take into account the disproportionate burden on small business.
Jun. 21th Tax Reform Takes a Good Turn
The House tax plan puts us on the road to the right destination. The new Senate tax plan puts us even further down that road. Let’s make the journey as short as possible.
Jun. 14th Medicaid Costs Are Exploding
During the past year, North Carolinians have heard many things about Obamacare, Medicaid, and health care reform that turned out to be untrue.
Jun. 7th House Offers Broad Tax Cut
More than 80 percent of North Carolina households would pay less state tax under the House plan than they currently do, including all households below $40,000 in income.
May. 31st Carolina Needs Capital Ideas
What our economy needs now is more capitalism — by which I mean more risk-takers willing to invest their private capital in new and existing enterprises in North Carolina.
May. 24th Reform Case in Four Numbers
In the spirit of keeping things simple, the case for reforming North Carolina’s medical-assistance programs can be expressed in four numbers: 12, 15, 17, and 48.
May. 17th NC Activists Need Teachable Tuesdays
To use your body to obstruct the operation of government, and then to object when the police arrest and charge you for the crime, is to engage in uncivil disobedience.
May. 10th Conservative Case for Spending More
We can have better roads, and thus a healthier economy in the long run, without raising taxes.
May. 3rd In the Absence of Argument
On the top issue facing North Carolina, economic growth, it is difficult to argue that Republican policies have failed when they are, at most, two years old.
Apr. 26th Governor Should Be Mr. Fix-It
To assume that governors or presidents must make their political careers with new spending, however, is to reveal the usual bias of the insiders and commentators who make up the political class.
Apr. 19th Research Guides Policy Initiatives
To the extent Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers can reform the state tax code to reduce marginal tax rates, especially on private capital formation, North Carolina’s economy will likely show immediate, significant improvement.
Apr. 12th Medicaid Reform Holds Promise
There are many unknowns regarding the proposal Gov. Pat McCrory announced last week to use competitive contracting to reform North Carolina’s Medicaid program. But what I do know about it suggests the governor is heading in the right direction.
Apr. 5th Time to Fix Our Interstates
Motorists can cover the cost of a better, safer, and less-congested system as long as the state sets firm priorities and embraces new ideas.
Mar. 29th A Good First Fiscal Step
The idea that a new governor might be willing to make his reputation on cleaning up the messes left by his predecessors, rather than create new signature messes of his own, may seem novel in political terms.
Mar. 22nd A Modest Proposal on Electric Power
Even windmills and solar panels fail to maximize the potential creation of job years from high-cost electricity.
Mar. 15th For Many Happy Returns
These are among the reasons why tax reform is a bit like a TV meteorologist. That is, it looks great from afar, or on a low-resolution screen.
Mar. 8th NC Progress Requires Growth
The main levers that state and local policymakers can operate to boost economic growth in the short run involve the cost of doing business in the private sector.
Mar. 1st Don't Overdose on Government
In public policy, the distinction between what is valuable on average and what is valuable at the margin often mirrors the distinction between progressives and conservatives.
Feb. 22nd Seasons of Change in Carolina
The great political drama that is Republican rule in Raleigh has only just begun its first act. It's a bit early to start writing reviews of it.
Feb. 15th Saying No Is A Start
Repeal is impossible while Obama is president. But Congress may find it necessary to revisit key provisions of what will soon be revealed as an unworkable law.
Feb. 8th No Time to Relive Glory Days
While you are reliving your high-school glory days, the rest of us are trying to win some games this season. Mind if we get back to it?
Feb. 1st A Freedom Agenda for NC
North Carolina should reclaim our heritage and resume our leadership in the cause of liberty. Let’s be “First in Freedom” once more.
Jan. 25th Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
But there is no reason why North Carolina students, families, educators, and policymakers must live with the negative consequences of past political decisions.
Jan. 18th May I Speak to Mr. Locke?
If John Locke, that dogged champion of empiricism, were alive today, he would encourage us to accept reality as it is, not as we wish it might be.
Jan. 11th Let's Reform Judicial Elections
State lawmakers should repeal the government-funding system entirely and restore party labels to our statewide judicial races.
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