The News & Observer‘s editorial page reminds us this morning why the word “temporary” affixed to “taxes” is such a misnomer.

The Old Reliable?s editors argue that Republican legislators and Gov. Bev Perdue should extend $1.3 billion in “temporary” sales tax hikes and surcharges on income taxes:

The conditions that led to these additional taxes haven’t much changed. If anything, they’ve grown worse. Perdue’s budget should retain the taxes – yes, temporarily – and let her Republican friends figure out which further spending items they would cut if they want to let the taxes expire.

The magic number: $1.3 billion. And if the GOP agrees after all that the wise course is to keep the taxes, or part of them, in place, maybe the governor could promise not to rub it in.

Yeah, let’s see how that works out.

In addressing the practical ramifications of renewing the tax hikes, there is one key difference: The N&O‘s editorial page writers won’t be on the ballot in 2012 (at least that I know of). The Republican-controlled legislature and Perdue will.