It seems like just yesterday that The John Locke Foundation — the alleged conservative HQ of North Carolina – was smacking around Jones Street for spending like drunken sailors.
In case you haven’t heard, state government is running a $900 million surplus. That means they took $900 million more from us than the budget required. (State government is not a for-profit enterprise. So, a surplus — or profit — is not necessarily a good thing.)
This week, GOP leaders on Jones Street proposed refunding a good chunk of that surplus –– something we’ve been advocating for some time — to the people from whom it got confiscated in the first place.
Now, let’s segue to this weekend’s NC Spin. (You know — the failing show that Harry Smith and the black helicopter guys are trying to run off the airwaves.) I usually catch it on YouTube — hoping to catch a stupid and / or outrageous comment from the panel. At this point, I think I’m about one of a dozen people still watching.
This weekend’s panel consisted of: former Lt. Governor-turned influence-peddler Dennis Wicker (D) , former NC Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, John Locke’s Rick Henderson, and Chris Fitzsimon. Grandpa Tom, the host, starts off each show promising “balanced debate. But this particular episode featured the alleged Republicans (Henderson and Orr) agreeing quite a bit with the Democrat panelists (Wicker and Fitzsimon).
One example of this was the issue of the tax refund proposed by Berger and Moore. Grandpa Tom asked the panelists whether the surplus should be SPENT, SAVED, or REFUNDED. Wicker and Fitzsimon both said “invest” it — meaning SPEND IT. Orr wanted legislators to tuck the money away and SAVE IT.
Then came Henderson, the editor of John Locke’s Carolina Journal (at the 10:25 mark HERE) : “Had it come earlier in the fiscal year, I would say probably do some spending with it. Perhaps one-time spending , infrastructure or something like that. Then sock the rest of it away in savings.”
So, the “voice of conservatism” thinks government knows better what to do with OUR money? That’s a serious bit of ideological evolution for the folks at Locke. You can go through their archives — back in the days of Democrat control of Raleigh — and find an overall message that says the exact opposite. How many of you folks who send money to John Hood’s little operation realize that you are funding “Me-Too”-ism rather than turn-over-the-tables, dynamic conservatism?
SO, there’s NOT ONE piece of waste in state government that can be cut or eliminated to free up currently budgeted funds? Government has been growing steadily since Republicans took over Jones Street. Letting them keep this “extra money” just encourages them to grow government further. “One-time” spending and temporary programs tend to have staying power. We’re still funding stuff originally created and funded on a “temporary” basis during The Great Depression.
What happened to putting together a serious operating budget, and then figuring out how you pay for it? Stop playing class warfare with the tax rates.
The Raleigh crowd has done a whale of a job watering down what it means to be a Republican or a conservative. Never mind that silly party platform. If you go to church, and quote Bible verses (á là Mike McIntyre, you’re “conservative”). If you have an (R) next to your name, you’re a conservative.
It’s a good thing those of us living outside the beltline know better. Now, we just have to do something about it.