Like the throngs looking for smoke at The Vatican, the Carolinas media waited breathlessly for North Carolina governor-elect Pat McCrory’s address to The North Carolina Bankers’ Association. Some highlights:
[…] First, however, McCrory says the state has to decide how it will deal with costs associated with the federal Affordable Care Act.
McCrory says his transition team is “working with urgency” to decide whether to administer the program itself or allow the federal government to do it.[…]
THAT sounds like surrender to me. South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and 22 other states are fighting the establishment of health exchanges tooth-and-nail. (If those exchanges get funded, the feds WILL BE calling ALL the shots.) Expert after expert has found that — with enough states resisting implementation of the exchanges — ObamaCare will struggle mightily to get off the ground. THAT would be a GOOD thing.
McCrory also threw in his two cents about getting the state’s fiscal house in order:
[…] One solution McCrory offered to help resurrect the state’s economy was an overhaul of the state tax code.
Repeating lines from the campaign trail, he said a lower corporate income tax and personal income tax would make the state more competitive when it comes to luring industry to relocate. He declined again to give specifics on his proposal and tackling such an issue will prove difficult given failed efforts in years past. But McCrory sounded ready for a fight.
“Let me send all of you a message because this is not going to be an easy battle with an easy solution,” he said, directly admonishing lobbyists who may try to undo his ideas. “It’s going to step on everyone’s toes a little bit.”
At the same time, a more pressing issue may take priority when McCrory assumes office. The state owes the federal government nearly $3 billion – money it borrowed to pay for the first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. McCrory said after the forum that he doesn’t know if the state will accept additional federal loans, or reject them as others have done in the past. […]
Hmm. So we WILL take the ObamaCare setup money, but we MIGHT NOT take federal money to cover unemployment insurance payments? I am not hearing much about spending cuts. THAT is a really good way to straighten up a financial mess. GOP legislative leaders are floating the idea of cutting back unemployment benefits and raising the unemployment tax rate. Wow. We’ve got record unemployment, and these people are doing all they can to make it MORE EXPENSIVE to employ people.
Gary Pearce is trying hard to gin up a “fight” between McCrory and the state’s mainstream media:
[…] Democrats should hold their fire here. Especially since a McCrory vs. media fight is brewing. Don’t get in the way.The North Carolina Press Association objects to the one-camera, one-reporter pool for the new governor’s swearing-in Saturday.The Henderson Daily Dispatch editorialized:“McCrory campaigned on openness and transparency. Granted, there’ll be no major deals brokered during the ceremony, but the state’s highest elected office should be treated special. Public ceremonies are preferred and, whether directly or indirectly, a message is being sent to constituents of ‘behind closed doors’ activity….“If we are to believe McCrory is going to be open and transparent, he should give us reason to believe it from Day One.”Go back to 1993 and the early days of the Clinton administration. Team Clinton abruptly cut off the press’ access to the West Wing press office. Once that milk got sour, it never got better. The media’s mistrust of Clinton – and the resulting tough scrutiny – played no small part in his impeachment. (Of course, that’s all forgotten today.) […]
For decades, pool reporting has been a pretty common practice. It’s especially appropriate for situations when there is neither the space — nor patience — for hundreds of reporters and their accessories. Everyone will get video footage. Everyone will get notes from the pool reporter. What bombshells are you expecting to drop during the inaugural? How is McCrory NOT being transparent and open? A camera and a reporter are being allowed unfettered access to the proceedings.