by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Note: This post includes an update.
It’s another “year hence” since I reminded Locker Room readers of this last year.
Back in 2013, the editors of The News & Observer were adamant that Republican economic reforms would fail. It didn’t matter that those reforms — to taxes, unemployment benefits, and regulatory burdens — were empirically sound.
In fact, the editors were so confident we were headed for economic disaster that they sneered:
Perhaps years hence, North Carolina will be thriving economically, and credit will belong to these stout Republicans who persevered in their faith that Keynesian economics is wrong, that Obamacare is evil, that unemployment assistance fosters unemployment and that, on the third or fourth try, trickle-down tax cuts for the rich really will trickle down to everyone else. — Editorial board, The News & Observer, August 22, 2013
What we’ve seen in the “years hence” is a combination of state spending not exceeding available funds (such budgeting decisions were also viscerally opposed by the editors) and revenue collections coming in greater than expected.
2014-15: $447 million surplus
2015-16: $430 million surplus
2016-17: $581 million surplus
2017-18: $440 million surplus