Spending has diminishing returns

by John Hood One of my favorite modern historians, the late Rufus Fears at the University of Oklahoma, was fond of saying that “ideas make history.” University of Chicago professor and North Carolina native Richard Weaver expressed a similar view in his famous 1948 book Ideas...

Questions raise more red flags about vouchers

by Chris Fitzsimon The more details you hear about the state’s startlingly unaccountable private school voucher scheme and the questionable schools now receiving taxpayer money, the more troubling it all seems. In an election year dominated by a back-and-forth over education...

DPI budget cuts: Rhetoric and reality

by Terry Stoops Earlier this year, the North Carolina General Assembly mandated that the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) trim its budget by 10 percent. Legislators observed that the $70 million agency had become too bureaucratic to be effective in their role of...

New jobs partnership off to strong start on transparency

by Patrick Gannon The state’s new, private job-recruiting and marketing agency appears to be starting off on the right foot when it comes to transparency. The nonprofit Economic Development Partnership (EDP) of North Carolina, which opened its doors in Cary last week, plans to...

Story of Silent Cal speaks to our time

by Jim Tynen Do we need a man like … Calvin Coolidge … again? That is a question that has to be taken seriously, thanks to the fine work of bestselling author Amity Shlaes, who was in Raleigh early this month to talk about Coolidge, her biography of the 30th president. Today he’s...

Good news on taxes

by John Hood Except when complaining that North Carolina isn’t giving enough targeted tax incentives to Hollywood studios, solar-panel manufacturers and commercial real-estate developers, liberals contend that cutting taxes on business has no effect on business starts, corporate...

Guns dominate headlines, spark debate

by Patrick Gannon Sometimes the news of the day begs for a broader discussion of important issues. That happened one day last week on an always polarizing topic. Scrolling through Twitter, news websites and emails that day, it didn’t take long to identify a common thread among...

Gerrymandering: The next ice-bucket challenge?

Whoever came up with the ALS ice bucket challenge deserves to be enshrined in the marketing hall of fame. It accomplished the dual purpose of focusing attention on Lou Gehrig’s disease while also raising millions of dollars for finding a cure. It caused us to ponder how we might...

On roasting marshmallows, the deficit and your family

Uncle Sam claims to knows best — even how best to cook. At least, that’s what is claimed based on a report this week from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Last Friday the Forest Service published an article about how to roast marshmallows. Tips included using a roasting...

Many unknowns as private organization takes over job recruiting

By this time next month, a private, nonprofit corporation will have opened its doors at a small office building in Cary with a big mission — recruiting jobs to North Carolina and promoting the travel and tourism, film and sports industries. The Economic Development Partnership of...

Kay Hagan is no moderate

To the editor: The senatorial debate Sept. 3 saw Senator Kay Hagan claiming recognition as the most moderate of U.S. senators — interesting when the independent conservative Heritage Action Foundation rates Senator Hagan’s voting record at a 4 percent factor, 96 percent...

UNC system makes progress

When Republicans won their legislative majorities in 2010 and expanded them in 2012, they ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism and reform. They’ve largely delivered on it. Tax and regulatory burdens are lower. State spending growth has been restrained. Lawmakers have...