Among the multitude of things we’ve got on the March 15th ballot is Gov. Pat’s $2 billion ConnectNC bond issue. Initially presented as a road construction effort, the governing class ended up turning it into the nastiest piece of pork since Barry Obama’s stimulus.
Gov. McCrory is pinky-swearing that there won’t be any debt problems or tax hikes associated with this issue. Others are saying otherwise:
While Gov. Pat McCrory has promised that taking on $2 billion in new debt from general obligation bonds for state universities, community colleges and parks, among other projects is a sound financial decision, some aren’t convinced.
McCrory promised the assembled state and educational leaders at the kickoff to draw support for the bond Tuesday that the decision to take on the new debt would come without any tax increase as well reducing debt levels from current levels in five years.
“As my budget director, Lee Roberts, has promised me, also, is that the state of North Carolina will actually have less debt in five years with the borrowing of this $2 billion than we have today, so this is a sound economic financial decision. It’s fiscally responsible,” the governor said.
While it is true, according to projections from the state Fiscal Research Division, that the state will carry less debt five years from now if the bond package is approved, the claim is misleading, some say.
In 2016 the state is expected to carry $5.2 billion in debt, and in five years the state debt is expected to go to $5.1 billion if the bond is pursued.
However, if voters do not approve the bond, then the state debt will sit closer to $3 billion.
In other words, if the bond passes, in five years the state’s debt will be slightly lower. But if the bond is defeated, in five years the debt will be more than $2 billion less than it is today.
“While technically this statement may be true, it may be a bit misleading,” Brian Balfour, director of policy for the Civitas Institute, said. “State debt will be lower in five years than it is now even with the new bonds. However, the issuance of the new bonds ensures that state debt will be far higher in five years than it would be without the bonds.”[…]
This is kind of like those promises we hear from DC about balancing the budget in, say, 20 years. Most of the people in office NOW will be gone by then. Arrangements like that are non-binding and can be easily wiped out in the next session.
Every previous bond issue has produced more debt and tax hikes. This one will likely be no different. The politicians are trying to get permission — from us — to send a bunch of taxpayer funded pork home. We’re paying for it, but they’re going to paint it as though they gave it to us.
Grassroots opposition to the bond issue has already come together. It’s being spearheaded by state Reps. Larry Pittman and Mark Brody, both of Cabarrus County, and state Senate candidate Lisa Baldwin of Buncombe County.