by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The editors at National Review Online turn their attention today to North Carolina’s legislative session.
Democrats are terribly upset with Republicans in North Carolina: Having won the state house, the state senate, and the governorship, along with nine of thirteen U.S. House seats in the last election, Republicans in Raleigh are acting like they run the place.
The Republicans’ most controversial piece of legislation is a new voter-identification law, which Democrats are treating as the Second Coming of Jim Crow. Such is the low bar for controversy in the early 21st century: The new law simply requires that voters present a state-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or the similar ID that the state issues to non-drivers. Other forms of identification not subject to the same documentation and security standards — such as student IDs and work IDs — are not acceptable under the new law. It is really something to watch the Democrats treat a trip to the DMV as an unbearable burden: Under Democratic initiatives, everything from a trip to the doctor’s office to opening a business requires or will require running a bureaucratic gauntlet indistinguishable from a trip to the DMV. Such trips are therefore properly regarded as educational: There is nothing that quite so perfectly attunes one’s senses to the ineptitude and hostility of a Democrat-dominated bureaucracy as a visit to the driver’s-license counter. Little wonder the Democrats object. …
… [I]it also took the time to institute major tax reforms — replacing the tiered income tax with a flat tax and reducing corporate taxes, which will go lower still if revenue goals are met — and instituting a school-choice scholarship for low-income families, giving them up to $4,200 toward educational expenses at schools of their own selection. A healthier tax environment and a more flexible and effective education system are fundamental to improving a state’s economic competitiveness.