Roy Cooper is a master at running to the media and taking credit for stuff he had LITTLE to NOTHING to do with. (Don’t believe me? Check out the video from some of his press conferences during his AG days.) Now, he’s taking credit for the good report on the state’s finances and using said good news to justify his desires for massive new spending:
A new study released by the state treasurer’s office has reignited the debate over how North Carolina manages its expenses.
The Debt Affordability Study released Tuesday found that North Carolina can afford to borrow $11 billion over the next 10 years through government bonds, which are taxpayer-supported loans usually borrowed from the federal government.
The study has launched a new argument over the state’s $24 billion spending proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, which has been in limbo for seven months.
Gov. Roy Cooper said the study supports his budget proposal to use $3.9 billion in bonds for school construction as well as water and sewer-system upgrades.[…]
State treasurer Dale Folwell soaked in all of this nonsense from the governor’s office and BEGGED TO DIFFER:
The Debt Affordability Advisory Committee’s report is an annual, nonpolitical, informational report from a bipartisan committee. It is required by statute to analyze the state’s debt capacity. That capacity is directly related to the state’s creditworthiness. The state is no more or less creditworthy today, than it was the day before the report was issued.
However, the state is considered highly creditworthy because it has demonstrated the ability to make good decisions on living within its budget and knowing when to issue debt. The report’s increase in debt capacity is more related to a change in methodology than any real change in the state’s ability to issue debt.
Additionally, the report does not endorse or speak to any proposal to issue debt. The change in debt capacity is analogous to a credit card company raising your credit limit. Higher borrowing ability does not mean it is wise for you spend up to that limit, particularly if you have sufficient assets to pay for needs without borrowing. The decision to use debt capacity for any proposal is appropriately the initial responsibility of the General Assembly.
We regret that the Governor has chosen to politicize a nonpolitical, nonpartisan, data-driven report based on math, not opinions. Perhaps his energy should be more appropriately focused on correcting the multibillion-dollar mismanagement at his own Department of Transportation, which, according to this report, has maxed out its credit card and has no remaining debt capacity for a decade. This would be a greater service to the public than using the important issue of school construction to try and score political points.