by Paige Terryberry
Senior Analyst for Fiscal Policy, John Locke Foundation
Did politicians learn their lesson from the Great Recession? It’s a question I pose in my latest piece at RealClearPolicy.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s recent budget proposal would increase state spending by 18%. This shortsighted effort would spend down the savings our state has amassed, and could ultimately increase the tax burden on North Carolinians.
“It takes courage and willpower to say no to the politically expedient ‘quick fix’ and yes to policies whose results may not be immediately visible, such as saving for the future and responsibly restraining spending. Conservative policies tend to focus on long-run results as they affect multiple or all parties. As such, they are much harder to articulate and envision in a tangible way. But they work.
In North Carolina, we have an important case study in short-run versus long-run priorities. Since 2013, the new, conservative General Assembly has restrained spending and cut taxes. We have become the most business-friendly state, and people are voting with their feet and making the Tar Heel State their home. Today, North Carolinians are set up much better for the next recession. The Rainy Day fund sits at $4.75 billion, and the General Assembly last year created separate reserves to cushion against inflation.
The political “wins” for conservatives often take time to yield results. It is easy to forget the committed, monotonous, and politically risky efforts that went into the restrained savings, for example, that allowed hardworking families to keep more of their money today.”
Thankfully, Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget is dead on arrival. With continued discipline, our state can avoid short-term political wins. We can continue to be the best state for business and the best place to call home.