• John Locke Update

    North Carolina Has More Covid Cash Than It Can Use

    posted May 21, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    State government prioritized spending federal Covid money over knowing that the money is accomplishing a goal. Cooper and legislators have time to make future expenditures more accountable. With $13.6 billion in federal funds still available and the worst of the pandemic behind us, the best course is to return the money.
  • John Locke Update

    Now is not the time for new programs or debt

    posted January 27, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    An uncertain economic time is not good for borrowing. If the state takes out debt and the post-COVID economy turns out to be smaller, then debt capacity will shrink and the debt will end up taking more from other priorities. If the economy recovers quickly, then the state would have more money available for capital anyway.
  • John Locke Update

    State revenue picture continues to improve

    posted November 23, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    North Carolina state government continued to have strong finances seven months after the economy first began to slow in March. Budget writers should nevertheless be cautious about adding spending commitments, however.
  • John Locke Update

    Tame spending now or be forced to cut it later

    posted November 9, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    As Milton Friedman often remarked, the bill always comes due. Today’s spending must be paid by taxes, regardless whether those taxes were collected in the past, are collected this year, or will be collected in the future.
  • John Locke Update

    Election 2020: Local bond and tax ballot questions

    posted October 21, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    The middle of an economic and public health crisis, when people are worried if they will still have work in December and the federal budget deficit is in excess of…
  • John Locke Update

    Cautiously Optimistic FY 2021 Budget Update

    posted September 17, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Just before Labor Day, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the final bill appropriating money from North Carolina’s $3.6 billion share of the Coronavirus Trust Fund. He was clearly under duress. A veto of the bill that passed with large bipartisan majorities would surely have been overridden.
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper’s state budget gambit is reckless

    posted June 15, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Gov. Cooper’s risky bet to keep spending like it’s 2019, despite a $1.6 billion loss of revenue between March and the end of June, is reckless and irresponsible with…

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