New budget repairs balance sheet

by John Hood As Democrats and Republicans debated North Carolina’s recently approved state budget, they devoted much of their attention to the income statement of state government. They argued about next year’s revenues and expenditures. What didn’t get nearly as much attention...

Making education a better investment

by John Hood Is state spending on education an investment or a political payoff? Critics of the North Carolina state budget just approved by Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature use the term “investment” a lot. But their arguments sound more like cheap politics. If education...

Growth strategy backed by research

by John Hood When you hear politicians utter the phrase “economists say,” be skeptical. There may well be economists who agree with their particular policy idea, but economists and other social scientists don’t speak with one voice. There are many differences of opinion,...

Tax reform part of broader plan

by John Hood A few weeks ago, I was interviewing one of North Carolina’s senior Democratic statesmen for my upcoming biography of former Gov. Jim Martin. Not surprisingly, the interview occasionally veered from the events of 20 years ago to the events of 2013. “John,” said the...

State needs better business brand

By  John Hood Liberal politicians, activists and commentators have spent months prodding, baiting and criticizing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led state legislature. While occasionally goading their targets into making unwise comments, the obstructionists have...