Wednesday, February 4, 2009

State Spending Reveals Democrats' Misplaced Priorities

In a new report from the Civitas Institute, Brian Balfour breaks down the five year growth rate of state spending by category.

"Three categories of spending have outpaced overall General Fund spending growth:
  • Debt service, the money required to pay down the interest and principle of the state’s debt, grew at the fastest rate of any category with a 5-year growth rate of 65 percent
  • Natural and Economic Resources (NER), administers a wide variety of endeavors including: environmental protection, corporate welfare and other economic development, agriculture and consumer services, land purchases, museums, aquariums and the state zoo. NER experienced the second highest rate of growth, with a 5-year growth rate of 53 percent
  • UNC system appropriations have increased rapidly, with a five year growth rate of 50 percent. This increase, however, doesn’t fully reflect spending growth on the UNC system. Because much of the new building construction on campuses has been debt-financed, spending for new construction is reflected in rising debt service payments"

While the amount of taxpayers' funds we are using to pay down debt, corporate welfare, and pork is rising, the rate of growth is slowest for transportation and K-12 education. Is it any wonder then that our roads and highways have fallen into disrepair and our students are being failed by our public education system? While Medicaid/Health Choice spending is ballooning out of control, the slowest rate of growth is for mental health. Is it any wonder then that mental health care in North Carolina has spiraled out of control?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. N.C. Democrats may talk about improving education, transportation, and health care, but their misplaced priorities betray their true allegiances.