A subpoena for state budget director?

The negotiations between House and Senate leaders trying to reach a final budget agreement didn’t seem to be going very well as last week came to an end. A local newspaper reports that State Budget Director Art Pope declined to appear at a Senate meeting called to discuss the...

Want to raise minimum wage? Approve fracking.

Protesters from North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement, as well as other grassroots protests around the nation, have cited an increase in the minimum wage as one of their chief goals. What happens, however, when government acquiesces to such demands? Seattle, Wash., recently...

Democrats, democracy suffer under GOP control

That Republicans express disdain for the Democratic Party is not unexpected. That they refuse to refer to it by its proper name, instead calling it the “Democrat Party,” is just rather childish. What is concerning, however, now two terms into GOP legislative control, is their...

Government spending remains high

Fiscal conservatives think government is too large, costs too much and tries to do too much. Fiscal liberals think government is too small, spends too little and doesn’t try to do enough. This is a yawning gap in philosophy. Still, if we stipulate that the two sides disagree...

Goooaaalll!

Like so many in America, for the past two weeks I have been caught up in the World Cup soccer excitement. When I say, “caught up,” I think I should clarify that I am not saying I don a multi-colored clown afro wig, drape myself in an American flag and paint my face red, white and...

Lottery money adds up to reckless budget

As the 2014 legislative session opened, a business lobbyist explained the incentives House Speaker Thom Tillis, Republican U.S. Senate nominee, had for seeking quick adjournment. Among other reasons, Tillis would want to adjourn “before one of his whack-a-doodle members does...

One way to shave the N.C. budget

Where can state budget writers find savings to help fund priorities such as teacher raises? In our opinion, a review of University of North Carolina Centers and Institutes might be a good place to start. They are UNC-affiliated entities that address some of the most challenging...

Waging a war on social science

Despite all the talk of a “war on science” being waged by political conservatives and Republican politicians — to match their supposed wars on women, men, the young and the old, no doubt — North Carolina now features a shrill and relentless rhetorical war on social science by...

Minimum wage does maximum harm

A minimum wage law, in essence, outlaws employ-ment. If two parties volun-tarily agree to trade money for labor, they should be free from government interference to determine at what rate this exchange should take place. Limiting opportunities for exchange does not make people...

To pay more, employ fewer

If Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly enact a 2014-15 budget that eliminates some government positions in order to fund pay raises for other government employees, they’ll get criticized in the usual manner by the usual people. So what? Such a decision would be consistent...

Legislators improve reading initiative

The General Assembly did something unusual June 5. Legislators admitted there were problems with a law enacted in 2012, worked in a bipartisan fashion to amend it, and probably saved what is an important, well-meaning initiative from causing more harm than good. Read to Achieve,...

Teachers asked to trade security for pay raise

Teachers may have a big decision ahead: Take the pay raise but lose career status job security, or keep career status and get no raise, maybe for as long as Republicans control the General Assembly. Many a North Carolina family will gather at the kitchen table this month if the...