• John Locke Update

    Why the “Ability to Pay Principle” to Justify Progressive Taxation Fails

    posted August 6, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Top income earners pay the overwhelming share of state income taxes, so of course any tax cut plan will result in “the rich” receiving a larger dollar amount reduction in taxes. Basic calculations show that the Senate’s tax cut plan would provide larger percentage reductions in the tax bills of lower- and middle-class households compared with those of higher earners. Insisting that “the rich” should pay a higher share of their income in taxes because “they can afford it” is based on faulty and uneconomic reasoning.
  • John Locke Update

    Progressive Recommendations Would Harm, Not Help, Hourly Workers

    posted July 22, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    A new report published by a left-wing group included policy recommendations they claim will help hourly workers. The recommendations, however, largely introduce more restrictions, costs, and burdens to hiring hourly workers, which leads to less hiring. A better recipe to help hourly workers would be to peel back layers of government meddling in the labor market, not introduce more layers.
  • John Locke Update

    How Not to Argue Against Tax Cuts

    posted June 30, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Despite weak opposition to the Senate tax plan, tax cuts benefit more than just the one with the reduced legal tax liability. Low- and median-income households receive a much larger benefit from the Senate’s rate cuts.
  • John Locke Update

    Three Reasons Why North Carolina Should Eliminate Its Corporate Income Tax

    posted June 7, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Eliminating the state corporate income tax would enable a more fair tax climate for businesses. Research shows that workers are most harmed by the corporate tax. Corporate tax elimination, combined with reducing or eliminating crony handouts, would strike a major blow against corruption.
  • John Locke Update

    Corporate Tax Elimination Means Relief for Workers

    posted May 27, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    The Senate tax plan would continue to build upon the past decade of successful tax reforms. Critics say corporate tax elimination only benefits “wealthy corporations.” Research shows, however, that workers are the biggest beneficiaries of corporate tax cuts.
  • John Locke Update

    The real lesson from Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights

    posted May 6, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    In the decade for which Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights was fully in effect, its economy far outperformed the national economy. In contrast, during the decades before and after, Colorado’s economy fell short of the nation’s. Also during the TABOR decade, Colorado taxpayers received more than $3 billion in refunds,
  • John Locke Update

    Time to make spending restraint a permanent policy for North Carolina

    posted April 20, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Conservative spending restraint was key to preparing North Carolina for last year’s economic slowdown. Similar restraint could have avoided the fiscal crisis we experienced in the Great Recession. A Tax and Expenditure Limit added to the state constitution could make wise conservative fiscal policy permanent.
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper’s budget is just a Christmas list for cronies

    posted April 5, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    Cooper’s budget proposal is an unrealistic political document, not a serious budget plan. It would increase budgeted expenditures over the current year by 11.6 percent. The budget would direct hundreds of millions to cronies and “niceties” that are outside the core functions of state government.