Two weeks after speaking to a Raleigh audience about North Carolina’s opportunity for significant government reform, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips explores similar themes in an essay for The Blaze.

Earlier this month I was in North Carolina applauding the future of conservatism: principled, state leaders who are moving the state forward by rejecting the unwise policies of Congress and President Obama and passing bold, free market reforms and rejecting billions of federal taxpayer dollars. Just this week, Governor Pat McCrory, with strong support from GOP state legislators, announced that he would not set up a state health care exchange or expand the Medicaid program.

On cue, the liberal editorial writers – and even some Republicans who should know better – are criticizing these legislators and the Governor for rejecting the expansion of Medicaid, refusing to set up a state health exchange, and turning down “free” federal money for extended unemployment benefits. What the critics fail to comprehend is that the Governor and these legislators are trying to save American taxpayers from the federal government and the federal government from itself.

They know the federal government is effectively bankrupt and someone must put us on a more responsible course.

One of these new leaders is the North Carolina State Senate Leader, Phil Berger. …

… Only days into this year’s session, Senator Berger and his chamber have already passed a bill rejecting state health care exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid.

House Speaker Thom Tillis has courageously led his chamber in passing a bill rejecting federal-provided long-term unemployment entitlement benefits because they know research demonstrates that when a person receives unemployment benefits for over six months they are less likely they are to go out and find a job. Governor Pat McCrory has announced he will sign both bills.

Meanwhile, also in North Carolina, I joined our local AFP activists for visits to the local offices of several members of the North Carolina congressional delegation, including Senator Kay Hagan. Our goal was to encourage them to listen to their constituents and hold the line on spending, as the state legislature is doing.