• Research Report

    Spend and Tax: A History of General Fund Crises in N.C. and How to Prevent Them

    posted September 13, 2006 by Joseph Coletti
    The General Assembly is often said to have "tax and spend" policies, but its pattern is one of "spend and tax" policies. During economic booms, tax revenues increase and legislators fund new programs that cannot be sustained during an economic bust. When the bust comes, legislators raise taxes to pay for those new government programs.
  • Press Release

    Overspending sets table for N.C. tax hikes

    posted September 13, 2006
    RALEIGH – North Carolina legislators employ a “spend and tax” budget policy that paves the way for regular tax hikes, according to a new John Locke Foundation Policy Report.
  • Press Release

    Wage Bill Would Hurt Low-Income Workers

    posted May 31, 2005
    RALEIGH — A bill in the North Carolina House would raise the state-imposed minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, but a new analysis from the John Locke Foundation suggests…
  • Research Report

    Still a Bad Idea: State Shouldn’t Try to Force Up the Minimum Wage

    posted May 31, 2005 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    The NC House is considering a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. While intended to help lower-income workers earn a “living wage,” the more likely result is to boost the earnings of some non-poor workers, including many teens and seasonal workers, while increasing the unemployment rate for many poor and minority workers. Employers will not hire people whose work efforts are worth less in the market than a government-imposed wage. A better policy to boost the earnings of entry-level workers would be to address their educational deficiencies.
  • Press Release

    Report Probes Economics of Lobbying Reform

    posted May 8, 2005
    RALEIGH – Entrepreneurs, investors, and the vast majority of business leaders in North Carolina have little to fear from proposed lobbying reforms, according to a new report from the John…
  • Research Report

    Budgetary Rent Control: Why taxpayers should care about lobbying reform

    posted May 8, 2005 by John Hood
    A broad coalition of lawmakers and policy groups favors fundamental changes in NC lobbying laws to require more disclosure, create "cooling off periods" before former officeholders can lobby, and restrict the value of personal gifts to public officials. Still, reformers are overlooking an important issue: the role that special-interest lobbying plays in distorting fiscal policy and stunting economic growth.
  • Press Release

    Alternative State Budget Released

    posted May 1, 2005
    RALEIGH — As the North Carolina Senate prepared to release elements of a spending plan for 2005-07, the John Locke Foundation offered its own alternative Monday that avoids any new…
  • Research Report

    The Budget Untouchables: Increased Spending Overwhelms Reported Cuts

    posted February 20, 2005 by Joseph Coletti
    Despite a $1.3 billion deficit, Gov. Mike Easley will propose up to 6 percent higher spending in his 2005-06 budget, even with small proposed savings in most agencies. Medicaid and education spending have grown rapidly, and will continue apace. Instead, the governor plans to keep the temporary half-cent sales tax and add a large cigarette tax to pay for higher spending. This is no way to address what the Fiscal Research Division calls a structural budget deficit.
  • Press Release

    Getting Tax Reform Right

    posted January 2, 2005
    RALEIGH — As another large state budget deficit has some urging North Carolina lawmakers to “reform” the tax code to confiscate additional hundreds of millions of dollars, the John Locke…

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