Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Will Larry Kissell Raise Energy Costs on North Carolinians During Hard Times?

The NRCC put out a press release this afternoon asking if Larry Kissell will raise energy costs for struggling North Carolinians just when they can afford it the least. It's a good question and one that Rep. Kissell should answer for his constituents in the Eighth District.

Will Larry Kissell Support Devastating Energy Tax?
North Carolina Families Would Suffer from Skyrocketing Home Heating Costs Under “Cap-and-Tax”

Despite Democrats’ promises to deliver tax relief to families who need it the most, the recent budget proposal from the White House includes a “cap-and-trade” provision that should more appropriately be named the “cap-and-tax” provision, because if it became law it would raise energy taxes on every single person who flips on a light switch. As Congress takes the President’s federal budget under consideration, North Carolina families deserve to know if Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) would support such a devastating energy tax proposal.

The cap-and-tax proposal made by President Obama would drastically increase electricity rates for every American, causing additional hardships for already struggling North Carolina families. A new analysis shows that electricity rates could rise by as much as $6.4 billion per year, costing a North Carolina family of four approximately an additional $2,797 per year.

NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain asks, “Will Larry Kissell put partisan allegiances ahead of struggling workers and support a fiscally irresponsible cap-and-tax proposal that will increase energy bills, raise taxes and overwhelm the budgets of American families? The last thing that American families need to worry about right now is whether they will be able to cool their homes this summer or keep their families warm next winter.”

Families in North Carolina would be even more drastically affected, as so many families’ homes are heated with expensive fuels: MIT researchers released an “Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals,” which shows that the increase would be an increase of more than $3,000 a year for each household. (A Report of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Climate Change; Assessment of U.S. Cap and Trade Proposals; http://web.mit.edu/globalchange/www/MITJPSPGC_Rpt146.pdf.)

What’s more disturbing is that low-income families would take the hardest hit from this “cap-and-tax” proposal: Testimony from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed that, “The rise in prices would impose a larger burden, relative to income, on low-income households than on high-income households for two reasons. First, low-income households spend a much larger fraction of their income than do high-income households. In addition, energy-intensive items compose a greater share of low-income households’ total expenditures.” (CBO Congressional Testimony; The Distributional Consequences of a Cap-and-Trade Program for CO2 Emissions. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10018/03-12%20ClimateChange_Testimony.1.1.shtml)

(Source: House Committee on Ways and Means Republican Staff, Analysis of Annual Increase in Electricity Costs, http://list.nrcc.org/t/2191043/10052024/3375/0/,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reader Mail: Tired of the New Change?

Linda, a teacher from Goldsboro, writes in to express her frustration with the administration and Democrats in Congress and also to raise awareness for the Goldsboro "New American Tea Party" coming up on April 15.
Are you already tired of the new CHANGE? The current administration is passing bills that will regulate our lives and leave our children and grandchildren in huge debt for many years. As concerned citizens, we are against more taxes, governmental controls and these huge deficits. When AIG received a federal loan guarantee of $180 billion to prevent bankruptcy, and then gave some $165 million to its company’s derelict executives the public was outraged.

Congress was in an uproar. Lawmakers rushed out to demand all sorts of penalties for these greedy bankers. Soon, they passed an unprecedented special tax law just to confiscate 90 percent of these contracted bonuses.

However, those who shouted the loudest for the heads of the AIG executives had the dirtiest hands. President Obama appeared to be outraged at their greed, but he signed their bonus provisions into law. In addition, Obama accepted over $100,000 in AIG donations during his campaign.

Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, acted even more infuriated at such greed, but he helped pass the retroactive tax bill. Yet for years, Mr. Rangel - who is in trouble over back taxes owed and misuse of his subsidized New York apartments - had tried to entice AIG executives to fund his Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York.

Sen. Christopher Dodd was the fieriest in his denunciations of Wall Street greed. Yet he was the one who inserted the bonus provision into the bailout bill, despite later denying it. And Mr. Dodd has taken more AIG money than anyone else in Congress - in addition to getting VIP loan rates from the disgraced Countrywide Financial Corp. mortgage bank.

Then, there is the budget... Mr. Obama inherited an annual budget deficit and a ballooning $11 trillion national debt, but nevertheless promised us a new national health plan, bigger entitlements in education and a vast new cap-and-trade energy program.

But paying for Mr. Obama’s $3.5 trillion budget seems to be a problem. Proposed additional taxes on the "rich" still won't provide enough revenue to avoid tripling the present budget deficit - and therefore putting us on track to add another $9 trillion to the existing national debt during the next decade. It appears that under this administration, we will receive much higher taxes and higher deficits than under any previous administrations.

This presents a BIG problem. Our government is spending money we don't have! Our lawmakers are telling us that the “rich” will pick up the tab, even though there are not enough “rich” people to foot the bill. Our new political leaders, who have gained power by appealing to people’s emotions and prejudices, have diligently sought to convince us that more government control and big spending is the best course of action.

Likeminded citizens are invited to attend a “New American Tea Party” at Goldsboro City Hall, at 12:00 Noon, April 15, to pray for our leaders, and let our voices be heard.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Senator Burr Launches New Website for Re-election

From Senator Richard Burr...

Brooke and I wanted to let you know that my campaign has a new website which I hope you will visit soon. Through this website you will be able to read recent news articles about what I am doing in the U.S. Senate, stay up-to-date with my campaign activities and learn about ways you can volunteer for my 2010 re-election effort.

The new site, www.burrforsenate.com, will be a great place for you to stay connected to me and my campaign. From my site you can link to my Facebook page and other social networking sites. Tell your friends about the new site so they can sign up to receive campaign e-mail updates such as this one. There is even a link where you can let me know if you are wiling to volunteer on my re-election campaign.

Check out my new site today. Just go to www.burrforsenate.com. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for your support.

Richard Burr

Myrick Supports Proposal to Help All Homeowners

Press Release
March 26, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Representative Sue Myrick (NC-09) today announced her support of a proposal to stabilize the housing market through tax credits for homeowners and additional incentives for lenders to work with homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

“Homeownership is one of the most important long-term investments families can make,” Rep. Myrick said. “By offering these tax credits, we’re giving Americans – who invest a responsible down payment – the incentive to buy homes, increase their own wealth, invest in the economy, and help the housing industry to reduce the oversupply of houses.”

The proposal also offers a $5,000 refinancing credit so that homeowners can cover the cost of mortgage refinancing, buy down points or reduce their principal balance. Lenders would be given increased incentive to renegotiate troubled mortgages in exchange for homeowners agreeing to share a portion of future home appreciation with their lender. Under the Responsible Homeowners Act, lenders would not be taxed on this future profit, and homeowners would not incur any tax liability as a result of the refinancing. Homeowners would be able to take advantage of these provisions on purchases made before July 1, 2010.

It would also direct the FBI, Department of Justice and FHA to increase efforts to identify mortgage fraud and prosecute these cases.

“This proposal will help correct the housing market without rewarding irresponsible lenders and consumers who took advantage of the system in ways that have led to the problems we see today.” Rep. Myrick said.

Foxx Leaving the Democrats Stumped

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx of North Carolina asks a simple question to Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio. However simple, Congresswoman Kilroy struggles for answers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Echoes From Across the Pond

Daniel Hannan MEP: The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government

Daniel Hannan, MEP for South East England, gives a speech during Gordon Brown´s visit to the European Parliament on 24th March, 2009. Read Daniel´s blog at www.hannan.co.uk

"You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt."

Carolina Journal Online: Republican Leader Questions Gas Tax Payment

Carolina Journal Online had an exclusive interview with Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) in which he questioned the use of gas tax revenue to join the Climate Registry while our roads and infrastructure across the state remain underfunded and in disrepair.
RALEIGH — State Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, isn’t keen on using North Carolina gasoline tax revenue to join the Climate Registry, a California-based nonprofit that seeks to fight global warming.

Berger recently criticized the use of gas tax funds for expenditures unrelated to transportation, including two payments made by the N.C. Division of Air Quality to the registry.

“We’ve talked for years about the transfer from the highway trust fund of the $170 million, plus the additional [money] that Easley and the Democrats approved over the last 10 years or so,” Berger said in a telephone interview with Carolina Journal. “There has not been a lot of discussion about the other transfers of those dollars, and this is just another example.”

DAQ authorized two contributions of $50,000 to the registry in 2007 and 2008. Half of the funds were drawn from DAQ’s share of the state gas tax (4/32 of a cent for each gallon sold), the other half from an Environmental Protection Agency grant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, of which DAQ is a part.

The registry is a national nonprofit that seeks to convince companies, organizations, and state and local governments to report their greenhouse gas emissions in hopes of reducing climate change. ...

North Carolina has the 14th highest combined local, state, and federal gas tax in the United States at 49.5 cents per gallon, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. In the Southeast, the Tar Heel State has the third-highest tax rate behind Florida and West Virginia.

One of the reasons for North Carolina’s transportation problems is because of lawmakers “siphoning off” gas tax funds, Berger said.

“I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be spending money on the Climate Registry,” he said. “What I’m saying is that, in terms of where the dollars are coming from and what people think that they’re paying taxes for, it certainly is not [appropriate] for the state of North Carolina to pay dues or to join a climate registry.”

Number of the Day

The 10-year deficit total under President Obama's spending plan that he is sending to Congress. Under President Obama's plan, the United States will take on more debt during his term as president than we have in our history as a nation from the election of George Washington up to now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jones to Congress: "No More Bailouts"

Jones Cosponsors No More Bailouts Resolution

Press Release

March 24, 2009

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC) has joined Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) as a cosponsor of H. Res. 199, the No More Bailouts Resolution. The resolution calls on Congress to stop spending billions of borrowed taxpayer dollars on bailouts for private industries.

“Over the past year, financial markets have been infused with well over a trillion dollars from the federal government – including $200 billion to bailout Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, $29 billion for Bear Stearns, $85 billion for AIG, $700 billion for Wall Street, $25 billion for automakers, and $247.5 billion for Citigroup,” Congressman Jones said. “Yet instead of driving economic growth, these bailouts have done nothing but fuel public anger over how these institutions are spending the taxpayers’ money.”

“Bailout after bailout, the American taxpayer gets put on the hook again and again,” Jones continued. “There seems to be no recognition by government officials that many taxpayers face just as difficult of an environment as the financial institutions they are being forced to bailout – the kind of bailout for which individuals and small business are ineligible to apply.”

“Without a doubt, our country is in serious economic turmoil. But passing massive government bailouts at the expense of the American taxpayer and future generations is not the proper solution. Applying bailout band-aids merely rewards the executives and companies who have broken their promises and helped put our economy in its current sorry state – it doesn’t address the root of our nation’s economic problems,” Jones said. “For this reason, I’m proud to join Congressman Tiahrt in his call for Congress to help American workers and businesses achieve long-term prosperity through incentives for private-sector solutions instead of government bailouts. I hope many more of our congressional colleagues will join us in saying, ‘No more bailouts!’”

Constitution? What Constitution?

George Will, in his column for the Washington Post today, runs down the litany of consitutional abuses that have gone on so far with the new Congress and the Obama administration in power. Democrats have taken a no-holds-barred approach to governance, run ramshod over previous promises of bipartisanship, and have displayed ignorance and outright disdain for constitutional mandates.
... From Mexico, America is receiving needed instruction about fundamental rights and the rule of law. A leading Democrat trying to abolish the right of workers to secret ballots in unionization elections is California's Rep. George Miller who, with 15 other Democrats, in 2001 admonished Mexico: "The secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose." Last year, Mexico's highest court unanimously affirmed for Mexicans the right that Democrats want to strip from Americans.

Congress, with the approval of a president who has waxed censorious about his predecessor's imperious unilateralism in dealing with other nations, has shredded the North American Free Trade Agreement. Congress used the omnibus spending bill to abolish a program that was created as part of a protracted U.S. stall regarding compliance with its obligation to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S roads. ... Mexico has resorted to protectionism -- tariffs on many U.S. goods -- in retaliation for Democrats' protection of the Teamsters union.

NAFTA, like all treaties, is the "supreme law of the land." So says the Constitution. It is, however, a cobweb constraint on a Congress that, ignoring the document's unambiguous stipulations that the House shall be composed of members chosen "by the people of the several states," is voting to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state. Hence it supposedly can have a Democratic member of the House and, down the descending road, two Democratic senators. Congress rationalizes this anti-constitutional willfulness by citing the Constitution's language that each house shall be the judge of the "qualifications" of its members and Congress can "exercise exclusive legislation" over the District. What, then, prevents Congress from giving House and Senate seats to Yellowstone National Park, over which Congress exercises exclusive legislation? Only Congress' capacity for embarrassment. So, not much.

The Federal Reserve, by long practice rather than law, has been insulated from politics in performing its fundamental function of preserving the currency as a store of value -- preventing inflation. Now, however, by undertaking hitherto uncontemplated functions, it has become an appendage of the executive branch. The coming costs, in political manipulation of the money supply, of this forfeiture of independence could be steep.

Jefferson warned that "great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities." But Democrats, who trace their party's pedigree to Jefferson, are contemplating using "reconciliation" -- a legislative maneuver abused by both parties to severely truncate debate and limit the minority's right to resist -- to impose vast and controversial changes on the 17 percent of the economy that is health care. ...

This is but a partial list of recent lawlessness, situational constitutionalism and institutional derangement. Such political malfeasance is pertinent to the financial meltdown as the administration, desperately seeking confidence, tries to stabilize the economy by vastly enlarging government's role in it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tea Party Draws Attention at State Capitol

Pork fried at Capitol protest
Stimulus wrong, protesters say

By Jonathan B. Cox
News & Observer
March 22, 2009

Pork got a lot of attention at the State Capitol on Saturday.

People dined on it. They held signs about it and greeted a pig-suited mascot who wandered the crowd to draw attention to it.

The pork of interest, though, had nothing to do with the tangy treat of North Carolina.

This pork had the unsavory flavor of government waste.

More than 200 people gathered in Raleigh to protest taxes, corporate bailouts and all manner of federal and state spending.

"Don't tread on me," the assemblage chanted above a cacophony of bagpipes, marching bands and the toot-toot of antique car horns as Raleigh's delayed St. Patrick's Day parade passed nearby. ...

"Pork is for BBQ. It is not a stimulant," another sign stated.

The event, billed as a modern-day tea party, captured a sentiment of frustration with the government's efforts to aid banks, automakers and homeowners.

Those in attendance said the government, by intervening in the markets, is rewarding the irresponsible behavior of executives and homebuyers who made bad bets. And, protesters said, government leaders are burdening taxpayers with their actions.

"I'm just concerned about the amount of spending our government is doing," said Donna Jenkins, 32, of Creedmoor, a stay-at-home mother of two.

"We're indebting our children and our grandchildren," she said.

Similar tea parties have taken place across the country in recent weeks, and more are planned into April when income taxes are due. ...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

County Spotlight: Union County GOP Makes History

Historic Vote

By Tamara Wilson
The Enquirer Journal
March 14, 2009

The Union County GOP made history Saturday when it elected the Rev. Jim Bention, the county's first black chairman. …

Bention served as vice-chairman of the Union County GOP for the past two years. As the majority party in Union County, Bention stated that the focus in the past was to "keep our finger in the dam, if you will." But as the newly elected chairman, Bention sees an opportunity to educate all voters and reintroduce black constituents to the Republican Party. Bention noted that most would assume the Union County Democratic Party would have elected a black chairman before its Republican counterpart. "So we have made history and hopefully we have made a statement to the black citizens of Union County that the Republican Party is your party and we welcome you. And in some cases we welcome you back."

Bention hopes that his election will offer others inspiration to get reacquainted with the local party and local politics. "There is a rich history, especially when it comes to the black community. Some have muddled our message." Bention conceded that he had opposition, but hopes that his election will serve as a positive example. "Hopefully they will see that a black person can come up through the party, work as a precinct chairman, work as a vice-chairman…and ultimately can become the chairman of the county party."

Bention will also concentrate on building a grass-roots "machine" in Union County. Bention believes Democrats during the last election "out-communicated" us. Bention says the party will focus on creating a message and distributing that message in a fluid, efficient way. ….

AFP and Grassroots Activists Holding Tea Party Protests Across NC


Governor Beverly Perdue recently proposed steep tax increases amounting to $680 million in her budget proposal intended to stimulate North Carolina’s bruised economy.

AFP- North Carolina is providing support to the many grassroots activists across the country to protest not only Governor Perdue's tax hikes, but all federal bailouts, spending sprees, so-called stimulus packages, earmarks and fiscal irresponsibility in national, state, and local governments.Please attend one or more of these events and help us spread the word.

Our economic freedom is under attack and we must fight back. All of the events below are free and open to the public. (If you are having an event and we don’t have it listed, please email info@afpnc.org)

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009
12:00-2:00 pm
NC State Capitol (east side) downtown Raleigh
Free Lunch for the first 150 people who attend. Rain or shine.

Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009
Marshall Park, Second and McDowell Streets, 28204
Need info? info@afphq.org

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2009
5:30 pm
Wilmington Tea Party on the Cape Fear River: “Taxation Without Representation”Protest at the waterfront by the Federal Building in Wilmington. Federal Building is located at N. Water Street between Market and Princess.

Then, the Tea Party will march to City Hall for a City Council meeting at 6:30 pm. One item on the agenda is a public hearing for the annexation of Monkey Junction area.City Hall is at 102 N. 3rd Street, Wilmington, NC 28402
Register online here.

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
5:00 pm
Edenton Courthouse Green ( Chowan County)
Note: The Edenton Tea Party was one of the earliest organized women’s political actions in United States history. On October 25, 1774, Mrs. Penelope Barker organized, at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth King, fifty-one women in Edenton, North Carolina. Together they formed an alliance wholeheartedly supporting the American cause against “taxation without representation.”

This event will include Revolutionary war re-enactors to celebrate the famous Edenton Tea Party. This is a once in a lifetime event to celebrate our past and protect us from a future of debt and high taxes.
Please register today here.
Read more about the history of the Edenton tea party here.

Date: April 15, 2009
Note: Two Raleigh Tea Parties on this date—different times and locations—attend both!
4:30-6:00 pm (tentative)Federal Courthouse. New Bern Avenue across from the Post Office
6:30pm - 8:30 pmNC State Capitol at One East Edenton Street (east side)

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
4:30 pm
Sidewalk in front of Asheville City Hall and Buncombe County Courthouse
Non-partisan Movement to Repeal the Pork!

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
12:00-1:00 pm
Center City Park, downtown Greensboro, between Elm and Davie streets

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
2:00pm - 4:00 pm
City Hall Lawn
600 E. Trade Street
Charlotte , NC

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did Kissell Knowingly Back AIG Bonus Package?

Question for Larry Kissell: Did He Ever Actually Read the Bill or Did He Knowingly Support a Bill That Would Hand out Millions in Taxpayer-Funded Bonuses to Wall Street Executives?

NRCC Press Release
March 18, 2009

Washington- American International Group (AIG) Chairman and CEO Edward Liddy is testifying before Congress today about the $165 million in bonuses paid to top AIG executives. Now, Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) – who helped pass the “AIG stimulus” bill that allowed AIG executives to receive these bonuses – needs to answer some very serious questions. Kissell needs to explain to his constituents what he knew, when he knew it and if he helped to keep AIG bonus information quiet. Larry Kissell either blindly followed his party leadership and voted for a trillion dollar bill he never read, or he knowingly backed a bill that would hand out millions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street executives in the form of bonuses.

The facts are crystal clear: Democrats, including Larry Kissell, voted for this “AIG stimulus” bill, which was negotiated behind closed doors in the middle of the night and allowed for taxpayer-funded bonuses to go to AIG executives:
“…The rules in the stimulus bill apply not only to companies that receive bailout funds in the future, but also to those that have received TARP money in the past – although executive bonuses doled out in contracts signed before February 11 would not be impacted.” (Carol E. Lee, “Dodd banker pay cap one-ups Obama,” Politico, 2/14/09)

“It seems that Larry Kissell and Wall Street executives will never learn that ‘business as usual’ is no longer tolerated by American taxpayers,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “The question is simple: Did Larry Kissell ever actually read the bill or did he knowingly support a bill that would hand out millions in taxpayer-funded bonuses to Wall Street executives?”

NCGOP in the News: N&O - Now the Real Fight Begins

By Benjamin Niolet and Mark Johnson
News & Observer
March 18, 2009

RALEIGH -- Gov. Beverly Perdue has warned that the recession would mean drastic spending cuts, but she announced a $21 billion budget proposal Tuesday that would keep intact much of what the state does.

Perdue, a Democrat, has been referring to Depression-era Gov. O. Max Gardner for weeks as a warning of the tough times ahead.

But while Perdue's budget proposed for the fiscal year that begins July 1 would cut about $1.3 billion in spending, it was hardly a draconian refashioning of government. ...

Perdue proposed to patch an estimated $3.4 billion deficit by using an infusion of federal recovery dollars and an accounting change that saves money, but leaves little room to cope with worsening economic conditions. She also proposed tax increases on alcohol and tobacco that upset some critics.

"Governor Perdue relies too heavily on federal stimulus money to cover over the shortfall and leaves our state with an uncertain future," state GOP Chairman Linda Daves said in a statement. "If this money is not available two years from now, we very well may find ourselves back in the same position having learned nothing from the past mistakes made by Democrats in the Governor's mansion and on Jones Street." ...

WRAL: Perdue's Budget Cuts Programs, Jobs - Not Spending

March 17, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Beverly Perdue's budget proposal, released Tuesday, eliminates more than 20 programs and cuts more than 1,000 state jobs, but includes a 3 percent spending increase over current, reduced levels. ...

The two-year budget plan relies on targeted tax increases to deal with the state's worst fiscal conditions in generations. The current budget is $2.2 billion in the hole for the 2008-09 year, which ends in June, and analysts expect revenue to fall by another $3.4 billion in the coming fiscal year.

A $1-per-pack increase in North Carolina's cigarette tax and an extra 5 percent surcharge on alcohol to raise an additional $508 million, along with quadrupling professional licensing fees to $200 each, would generate another $27 million, according to her projections. ...

"To increase taxes and create an entirely new tax, as she proposes, will further damage our economy and cost jobs," Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said. "Elected officials should be concerned about protecting the budgets of North Carolina’s families. This budget protects entrenched political and special interests."

"Gov. Perdue’s new budget breaks previous promises to abstain from raising taxes and does not protect core priorities of state government," said Linda Daves, chairwoman of the state Republican Party. "Not only does Gov. Perdue propose raising taxes, as well as creating new taxes, she is balancing the budget by placing the burden on some our state’s taxpayers least able to afford to pay more in difficult times."

"The reason we have a revenue problem is that people don't have money," House Minority Leader Paul Stam said. "This is the worst year to raise tax rates."

To read the full article, click here...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Live-Tweet of Unveiling of Gov. Perdue's Budget

@4please One of the most active state parties in U.S. on twitter. Currently live-tweeting the budget at #ncbudget. Follow us for more. from TweetDeck in reply to 4please

How many jobs is Gov. Perdue claiming to create with this budget? She said that was her priority. #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Replenishing rainy day fund is a good start. Spending less is the only way to stay dry when the rainy day inevitably comes. #ncbudget from TweetDeck

@ryanbeckwith How will we maintain education as a budget priority once the stimulus money runs out? #ncbudget from TweetDeck in reply to ryanbeckwith

Gov. Perdue deserves credit for her efforts to increase transparency in state gov. Taking steps in the right direction here. #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Was that $15 million out of the $21 billion total budget for cleaning up the mental health crisis? Is that enough to do the job? #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Less than 6% of new education spending goes to dropout prevention. Dropout rate remains over 30%. Higher than national average. #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Job cuts in state government hit crime and safety the hardest. http://bit.ly/bSRJd #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Why balance the budget on the backs of some taxpayers least able to afford to pay more in difficult economy? #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Cigarette, alcohol taxes to be raised? Why raise taxes when times are tough? http://bit.ly/1eUs6g #ncbudget from TweetDeck

N.C. Civitas study: State spending has outpaced inflation + population growth by $9 billion over past 5 years. http://bit.ly/VN6hy #ncbudget from TweetDeck

How will Gov. Perdue's budget address unemployment problem in NC and create jobs? http://bit.ly/674HY #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Spending has grown 51% in the past 7 years and #NCGA has blown $3.1 billion in surpluses in past four years http://bit.ly/EfoCU #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Budget Crisis: How did we get here? How can we prevent it from happening again? http://bit.ly/1aHo #ncbudget from TweetDeck

Monday, March 16, 2009

Price Tags Prove Priorities

Bailing Out Wall Street: $170 billion

AIG gets more than $170 billion in bailout funds. Now top executives want to use taxpayer funds to fund $165 million in bonuses paid to themselves.
The American International Group, which has received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses by Sunday to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.

Protecting Small Businesses: $15 billion

Small businesses have created roughly 70 percent of jobs in the last decade according to President Obama himself. Today, Obama announced a $15 billion plan to aid small businesses and their owners.
President Barack Obama is unveiling a $15 billion package to help small businesses.

Where do President Obama and Democrats' priorities lie? Just study the price tags.

Number of the Day

"Calculations show, in fact, that state spending has outpaced inflation plus population growth by $9 billion over just the past five years." ("A lid for N.C.'s budget," News & Observer, 3/14/09)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reader Mail: NCAE For Teachers or Democrats?

In a new segment on the blog, we are highlighting the real stories of North Carolinians facing problems with Democrats in the state or the powerful arms of their campaign apparatus. Edward from Halifax wrote into to tell us about an injustice his wife, a teacher, is facing from the North Carolina Association of Educators, the NC affiliate of the NEA. Thanks for sharing your story, Edward.
My wife and I have an issue with the NCAE. They disguish themselves as a "teacher's union," however they appear to us to be an election aid of the the Democratic Party. My wife wanted to cancel her membership and the process has been laborious and full of problems. She sent a message to Halifax County Payroll last August to stop taking out money for NCAE. Payroll starting taking her money in October anyway. We asked it to stop and they said send another letter, which we did in January. (My wife has autodeposit and doesn't watch her check stubs closely and didn't notice the dues until Jan.) They took Jan. anyway, saying the letter arrived too late. Then they took February saying that she couldn't cancel the payroll deduction, only NCAE could do that and we had to contact them. We have, but I am livid and I don't even think it legal that payroll won't stop an optional deduction without the NCAE permission. She doesn't work for the NCAE!

We became disgusted with them last year because of the constant bombardment of vote for me material they sent us and it was ALWAYS the Democrat. NEVER did they send anything positive or supportive of a Republican. She realized they don't represent her and we wanted out. We were suspicious when she joined 3-4 years ago, but didn't want to make waves for her as a new teacher. The last presidential campaign was so over the top, that we don't care anymore and want out. We wanted out in January of '08, but they made us wait, saying she could only stop the payroll deduction in August. We waited, and the situation above has ensued. This can't be legal, but we don't know who to go to. I realize it is a small amount of money, but it is the principal of the thing and if this happens often to many, then it is a large amount of money the NCAE steals from people who want to leave their organization.

We started doing more research last year when the mailing got so aggressive. When we discovered the list of organizations they send our money to, we were sickened. It seems to us they do nothing for teachers and only focus on supporting left wing ideals that we don't believe.

The N.C. (What?) Lottery

In light of Governor Beverly Perdue seizing lottery proceeds promised to education to try to cover a massive shortfall in this year's budget, several N.C. Republicans are looking to rename the N.C. "Education" Lottery to be the N.C. State Lottery. The folks over at Dome are soliciting recommendations for a new name for the state lottery.

My suggestion was the N.C. Misinformation Lottery. Head over to Dome and make your own suggestion.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cronyism Alive and Well in N.C. Government

Mark Johnson of the Charlotte Observer wrote in an article today that questions are being raised in local and state governments about who is getting hired and why. It seems that even while many agencies of local and state government are under hiring freezes, family members of influential Democrats keep getting jobs. In this section, even powerful Democrats, like Charlotte City Council member and candidate for mayor Anthony Foxx, Governor Beverly Perdue and former Governor Mike Easley don't escape mention for cronyism.
The issue of family connections in government flared last year when then-first lady Mary Easley got an $80,000 raise from her employers at N.C. State University.

Now questions about the influence of personal and family ties are being raised again in the state and in Mecklenburg County.

Commissioners on Wednesday dismissed suggestions of cronyism in the county's Department of Social Services. That came after the director hired the wife of Charlotte City Council member Anthony Foxx after posting the job for one day during a department hiring freeze.

In Raleigh, Gov. Bev Perdue's son Garrett was hired this year by the law firm of Womble, Carlyle Sandridge & Rice as a lobbyist a month after his mother took office. The firm says he'll lobby in Washington, not Raleigh.

Relationships matter in many lines of work, and private companies do their share of family hires. But when relatives of public officials get a government job or a job dependent on government such as lobbying, it prompts the question: Did qualifications or genes get them hired?

For a Rainy Day

In response to a post over at Dome detailing Governor Perdue seizing the $787 million from the "Rainy Day Fund" she had a hand in creating back in the 90s while a state legislator, I could not help making a comment about how we got here. (Can you quote yourself on your own blog or is that just an overload of self-promotion?) How is that we have to seize these funds set aside for budget emergencies?

$787 million in rainy day funds among a $21.4 billion budget is a pretty thin umbrella for the hailstorm we're facing now. As Democrats increased state spending by billions of dollars over the last decade they probably should have expanded the Rainy Day Fund at the same time. Democrats in this state can spend money with the best of them, but they don't save it very well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Charter School Cap Could Be Reconsidered

N.C. Senator Eddie Goodall (R-Union) has introduced a bill to raise the cap on charter schools currently set at 100.

Larry Kissell Sells out North Carolina Workers at the Price of $378,000

In Massive Payback to Union Bosses, North Carolina Democrat Co-Sponsors Worker Intimidation Bill that Denies Right to Secret Ballot

NRCC Press Release
March 11, 2009

Washington– Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) signed his name on the dotted line yesterday by co-sponsoring the so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – better known as “card-check.” In doing so, the North Carolina Democrat signaled his support to strip workers of the right to a secret union ballot, a practice that leads to corruption and worker intimidation, not to mention its potential to kill jobs generated by small businesses. Kissell's support of card-check is further proof that he has put the special interests of Big Labor that funded his campaign ahead of the needs of struggling working class families he regrettably misrepresents in Congress.

“By co-sponsoring card-check, Larry Kissell has demonstrated his willingness to pay back union bosses at the expense of North Carolina workers and their fundamental rights to a secret ballot,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Despite all of his rhetoric about wanting to create jobs for middle-class Americans, Kissell is supporting this job-killing bill that threatens to make the workplace a site for corruption and coercion. Now, with unemployment continuing to climb, it’s time for Kissell to explain why he has embraced the needs of the special interests that filled his campaign coffers at the expense of his own constituents.”

In an editorial in the Sun-Sentinel, they explain how the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” would have an adverse effect on the workplace:

“The deceptively-named "Employee Free Choice Act" would allow a union to claim certification if a simple majority of workers signs the card — thus dispensing with the secret vote.

“Doing so would open the door for a lot of coercion and intimidation, in the workplace, in homes. Theoretically, a union could gain certification without every employee, or management, knowing about it.” (Sun-Sentinel, 03/01/09)

Dr. Anne Layne‐Farrar, an economist with the non‐partisan Law and Economics Consulting Group (LECG), recently announced a new study that shows 600,000 jobs would be lost in 2010 if card-check is signed into law:

“EFCA is unlikely to achieve its main goal of improving social welfare, which should take into account possible consequences not only for union members but for all individuals. In particular, my quantitative analysis indicates that passing EFCA would likely increase the US unemployment rate and decrease US job creation substantially.” (Layne-Farrar, “An Empirical Assessment of the Employee Free Choice Act: The Economic Implications,” March 2009)

Even billionaire investor and known supporter of President Obama, Warren Buffett, called card-check a mistake:

“I think the secret ballot’s pretty important in the country. I’m against card check to make a perfectly flat statement.” (CNBC’s Squawk Box, 3/9/09)

North Carolina families don’t have to wait for Larry Kissell to vote on the card-check bill, as he’s already exposed his willingness to strip away union workers’ democratic right to a secret ballot in union elections and put 600,000 jobs at risk nationwide.

(source: CQMoneyline, accessed 3/10/09)

Obama's "New Era" Begins With Business as Usual

There is one area on which I will never question President Obama. The man certainly has audacity.
"The future demands that we operate in a different way than we have in the past," Obama said. "So let there be no doubt: This piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability."

President Obama is never short of grand rhetoric, just short on putting meaning to his words. The President pursues a hyper-partisan agenda and pats himself on the back for reaching across the aisle. He claims to oppose "extreme" government-run healthcare during the campaign and then makes it a centerpiece of his agenda. He promises to bring an end to the partisan bickering in Washington and has his staff attack Republican leaders and icons. He pledges to balance the budget while taking on more debt than the country ever has before.

This is a new one though. It takes a unique brand of audacity to proclaim a new era by doing more of the same. President Obama. Nothing changes but his words.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Is Obama Really Removing Politics from Science?

Is that even possible? Robert George and Eric Cohen write to answer that question in today's Wall Street Journal.
First, the Obama policy is itself blatantly political. It is red meat to his Bush-hating base, yet pays no more than lip service to recent scientific breakthroughs that make possible the production of cells that are biologically equivalent to embryonic stem cells without the need to create or kill human embryos. Inexplicably -- apart from political motivations -- Mr. Obama revoked not only the Bush restrictions on embryo destructive research funding, but also the 2007 executive order that encourages the National Institutes of Health to explore non-embryo-destructive sources of stem cells.

Second and more fundamentally, the claim about taking politics out of science is in the deepest sense antidemocratic. The question of whether to destroy human embryos for research purposes is not fundamentally a scientific question; it is a moral and civic question about the proper uses, ambitions and limits of science. It is a question about how we will treat members of the human family at the very dawn of life; about our willingness to seek alternative paths to medical progress that respect human dignity.

For those who believe in the highest ideals of deliberative democracy, and those who believe we mistreat the most vulnerable human lives at our own moral peril, Mr. Obama's claim of "taking politics out of science" should be lamented, not celebrated.

Not only is President Obama unable to remove politics from science, it is undesirable to do so. Scientific inquiry should be encouraged and developed at our universities, in research labs, and in private industry but it should not be at the price of avoiding the pressing moral questions of our day. Questions of morals and ethics ought to be grappled with in our communities and not covered over with disingenuous language that the day of debate has passed. This is America. The day of debate never passes. We engage in the discussion because issues of life and death matter to us all.

Most of us, unfortunately, have stood at a bedside or in a hospital as a family member or friend succumbed to a debilitating disease presently uncurable. Scientific breakthroughs in treating and preventing these diseases are exciting. Research targeting adult and amniotic stem cells, like that being done at Wake Forest University, are providing opportunities to expand scientific inquiry without calling into question the value of human life.

No matter the scientific advancements of a still new century, issues of life and death will not soon be obsolete. The way to honor our lost loved ones memories is not to devalue the significance of human life. The more compromises we make when it comes to what constitutes life, the less that is left worthy of protection.

Foxx Voices Opposition to Union ‘Card-Check’ Legislation

Co-sponsors Secret Ballot Protection Act to preserve workers’ rights

Press Release
March 10, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) today voiced strong opposition to union “card check” legislation that was introduced today. The legislation, the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, halts workers’ rights to vote by secret ballot in union organizing elections.

“Because I support workers’ rights to unionize without harassment, I must oppose this anti-worker legislation, Foxx said. “The secret ballot is a foundational element of a free and open society. Its demise would signal a serious decline in freedom in America, not to mention a harsh blow to struggling workers in today’s tough economy.”

Card check legislation strips workers of truly free choice in union organizing elections, opening the elections to coercion and intimidation. Instead of mandating a secret ballot vote, this legislation changes the rules to allow for unionization by a public signing of cards by workers.

In theory, those signing cards would support joining a union: hence the term, “card check.” However, rather than allowing workers to make their choice in secrecy, the act would end workers’ right to privacy in one of the most important decisions they make about the future of their workplace.

“This whole card check idea has a whiff of big-brotherism,” Foxx said. “With card check, someone’s always looking over your shoulder. This simply blows the unionization process wide open to fraud and intimidation.”

Rep. Foxx is also an original cosponsor of the Secret Ballot Protection Act—legislation that preserves workers’ right to a secret ballot in unionization elections.

Foxx voted against the Employee Free Choice Act in 2007 when it was brought up for a vote in the 110th Congress. Even Obama supporter and advisor, businessman Warren Buffet opposes card check legislation.

McHenry Backs Secret Ballot Protection Act

Press Release
March 10, 2009

WASHINGTON – Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) announced today that he is an original co-sponsor of the Secret Ballot Protection Act. The legislation codifies into federal law an American worker’s right to a secret ballot election when deciding whether to unionize in the workplace.

“The secret ballot is a fundamental right in our democracy. Members of Congress use a secret ballot to vote for their leadership. American workers deserve the exact same right,” stated Congressman McHenry.

The Secret Ballot Protection Act stands in direct contrast to “card check” legislation, which strips workers of their right to a secret ballot election. Union organizers would only have to get signatures on a card from a majority of a business’ employees to form a union.

Former Senator George McGovern, 1972 Democrat presidential nominee and self-described friend of labor unions, opposes card check because of “many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues.”

The Secret Ballot Protection Act would also protect American workers from being coerced or pressured into joining a union.

A recent economic study regarding the effects of card check legislation found that 600,000 American jobs would be lost the year following its enactment.

Republicans Offer Proposals for Saving


Joint Republican Caucus Press Release
March 10, 2009

Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Republican Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake) today held a press conference to discuss proposals for reducing state spending. With budget deficit estimated at more than $3 billion, spending reductions will be required to comply with North Carolina law mandating a balanced budget.

Republicans discussed the following options:

Consolidate More at Four and Smart Start to eliminate duplication and save administrative costs
Explore suspending state class size mandates with a goal of average class size at 23 students per classroom

Reduce Medicaid spending by employing enhanced software to identify and reject improper Medicaid claims before they are paid. House Bill 190, Medicaid Improper Claims Software/Funds, would save more than $100 million annually.

Suspend state funding of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund; explore use of federal stimulus money to fund projects.

Intercept Golden LEAF funding

“We must do everything within reason to balance the state budget and ensure that every dollar spent is being spent wisely,” said Senator Berger. “The proposals outlined above are a good start.”

“These ‘common sense’ budget reforms will go a long way in helping us match our expenses with our revenues,” said Representative Stam.

Berger Responds to State of the State

Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) gave the Republican response to Governor Bev Perdue’s State of the State address.

Monday, March 9, 2009

NCGOP Chairman Delivers "The State of State Government"

NCGOP Press Release
March 9, 2009

RALEIGH— North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Linda Daves delivered the following address tonight entitled, "The State of State Government."

The full text of her remarks is below.

"Good evening. Tonight, Governor Perdue finds herself in an unenviable position. Facing hard budget realities, rapidly decreasing revenue collection, and a massive budget shortfall, she is breaking bad news in her first major speech to North Carolinians. Her acceptance of serious budget cuts is welcome news if belated as Republicans have called for rollbacks in state spending for years. I also hope that Governor Perdue will keep her promise to avoid raising taxes. In this difficult time for North Carolina's workers and families, we simply cannot afford to pay higher taxes. In many ways, the Governor is on the right track.

We would be remiss, however, not to take note of how we made it to this point and now face serious cutbacks or catastrophic consequences. After all, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it and we certainly never want to find ourselves in this situation with state government again. Over the last decade, North Carolina governors and the General Assembly led by Democrats, have greatly increased state spending and expanded the reach of state government. In just the last ten years, state spending has increased by 40% overextending the reach of government and resulting in budgets bursting at the seams. Democrats bought into the idea that good economic times and healthy revenue collections would last forever. Our leaders should know better. The ebb and flow of the economy always proceeds in cycles. Neither periods of plenty nor periods of poverty last indefinitely. Politicians, whether in Raleigh or Washington, should not make promises that they can't keep.

To their credit, Democrats did create a rainy day fund to keep state government running in case of emergency. Unfortunately, now with a budget of $21.4 billion, our rainy day fund sits at only $800 million, just 4 percent of the total budget. This may cover an afternoon sprinkle but hardly provides for the hailstorm currently assaulting state government. We must be proactive, we must anticipate problems before they occur, and above all we must be responsible with taxpayer dollars. Under Republican leadership, our South Carolina neighbors have a budget of just $6.8 billion. Granted, South Carolina is a smaller state than North Carolina, but it's not that much smaller. Fiscal responsibility is the best defense against hard times.

If this crisis can be of any benefit, we must learn a lesson and take a more realistic approach to state spending in the future. After all, I have not once encountered a citizen of our state in awe of the service of state government. No one is raving about how much better state government is now than it was a decade ago. Yet, even accounting for inflation and population growth over the last ten years, we are paying more than ever before. It is fair for taxpayers to ask: Are we getting our money's worth?

Democrats contend that the problem really originates with the exploding spending being caused by previous commitments made to Medicare and Medicaid. But what is their answer to this problem of government programs running over budget and creating a crisis? Create an even bigger government program to nationalize healthcare because they believe that is the way to increase efficiency and drive down costs. Now in what other area of life do we ever praise the efficiency and innovation of government programs? A new big government-run health care program will not drive down costs. It will only result in the most expensive "free" health care that money can buy. Make no mistake. We are in a health care crisis with the brunt of its effects being felt by the middle class. The answer to our problems is not more government. It's less. We need less government mandates and obstacles to families being able to choose their own affordable healthcare plans. We must push government out of the way, decrease the influence of insurance companies, and increase of the influence of doctors and patients. We need new, proactive, and innovative solutions to this crisis and I don't hear those ideas coming from government. More government means more costs overruns, more red tape, and less freedom to make appropriate and responsible choices when selecting our own healthcare. I hope for a real and honest debate on this issue right here in Raleigh and in D.C. All ideas should be heard as we come to the table to seek solutions to this crisis facing our families.

Now is also not the time to forsake the commitments we have made to education in our state. Unfortunately, many of the cuts being made in the state budget will directly affect our children's future. Our children are not to blame for this crisis and they should not be made the scapegoats for our problems. Governor Perdue, unfortunately, has done just that by breaking the promise made to North Carolinians that lottery proceeds would be used to fund educational needs. Governor Perdue should know better as she cast the deciding vote to pass the lottery into law even as Democrats promised us that money would never be diverted for other purposes. That money belongs to our children and the Governor should give it back.

The question remains, however: Where do we cut the state budget? Well, I have a few ideas to start us off.

We must end the political games going on over at the Department of Transportation. It has been treated for too long as a political slush fund and wasted hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars over the last decade. Governor Perdue deserves commendation for her promise to reform the DOT, remove powerful political influences, and create a professional environment there. She must keep that promise.

We also must stop funding pirate ships, teapot museums, polar bear exhibits, and other pet projects of state legislators. Even the insider of all insiders in Raleigh, Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight has compared the spending habits of state legislators to drunken sailors. Drunken sailors are rightly offended by this comparison. Democrats in the General Assembly have acted far more irresponsibly and have done so not on their own dime but on ours.
Finally, we must stop funding the re-election campaigns of incumbents under the guise of public campaign financing. If politicians want public campaign finance, then gain the support of the public to finance your campaign. Incumbents should be forced to earn re-election, not steal it from taxpayers. There is nothing more damaging to democracy than a system which uses the money of voters to gain their votes and keep the same people in perpetual power.

There are many more areas that can be cut, but even so, that approach presupposes that some government programs are untouchable and unquestionable. Our problems are not new but they do demand a new approach. Zero-based budgeting is an idea whose time has come. This crisis presents us with the opportunity to start from scratch, decide what our true priorities are, commit to spending money on those items first, and to do so more efficiently than ever before. It is long past time for state government to get its house in order. Now we are forced to do so.
As a conservative, I believe that government should be smaller, smarter, and more efficient. As a conservative, I believe that government should attend to its core functions of protecting citizens, providing educational opportunity, and preserving strong infrastructure. I believe that taxpayer dollars should only be spent in the wisest way possible. As a conservative and as a taxpayer, I believe I have the right to demand that the government we have works and works efficiently. And I believe we have the right to hold our elected officials accountable for not providing that government.

Republicans stand ready to offer ideas to combat this current crisis. We must open up the process so more voices might be heard and heeded and the citizens of North Carolina can hold us accountable for what we do. Republican calls for responsibility have been unheeded in the past and our voices have been silenced. Today is a new day. We have been waiting and we will be waiting for a seat at the table. Now is the time for us all to work together, to work through our differences, and to do what is best for our state and its citizens. As Republicans, we hope for the opportunity to do just that.

Thank you for listening and God bless."

Twittering the State of the State

If you're familiar with Twitter, an official hastag for Governor Perdue's State of the State has been decided tonight. Please join the conversation by inserting #ncsos into your tweets. The NCGOP will be updating from our Twitter page www.twitter.com/NCGOP during the speech beginning at 7 PM tonight.

NCGOP in the News: Governor to Address Economy in Speech


Governor to address economy in speech

March 9, 2009

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Governor Bev Perdue will address the North Carolina General Assembly on Monday.

Perdue told Eyewitness News that the economy will be a big focus of what she has to say in her State of the State Address. She's trying to patch a $2 billion hole in the state budget that's only growing. She's not sure yet exactly how she's going to do it. ...

Republicans will be all ears on Monday and they say taxpayers will too.

"They want confidence about how we can create new jobs and transition our economy to really compete with the states around us," offered Brent Woodcox with the NC Republican Party.

Republicans they've watched Democrats overextend the state for years and wonder if the cuts implemented so far are the best remedy.

"Nine percent across the board is just not really thinking it out. It's not really examining the ins and outs of where money's being spent - how it could be done more efficiently," said Woodcox. ...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reader Mail: Perdue's Cuts Cost Families

At the NCGOP, we often hear from folks in communities across the state about how the decisions of our elected officials affect their daily lives. Glen Stephens of Charlotte wrote in to tell us how a cut poposed by Governor Beverly Perdue to the Community Alternatives Program would affect his son. His message is shared below with his permission.
Under the excuse of "Economic Crisis" or "Budget Crisis," Gov. Perdue continues to take actions that dramatically and hazardously affect the lives of the most fragile of our citizens. After several weeks of trying to get the Governor's office to explain how her budget cuts will affect programs to help the disabled, I finally got a chilling answer. Not only has the governor frozen the Community Alternatives Program for the Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled at last year's number of consumers served, but she has taken back the $6.7 million that had already been released to add new disabled children to the service. The effect of this is that no additional children will be served until the Governor's office determines that this "budget crisis" has abated. This is not the kind of change we asked for!

Learn more about the background of the Governor's proposed cut to the Community Alternatives Program here. Thank you, Glen, for sharing your story.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Larry Kissell Shows True Colors

Looks like Larry Kissell won't be campaigning as a blue dog, conservative Democrat anymore. Larry Kisell is not a conservative and he's not a moderate. He's a liberal Democrat in a conservative district which he owes 7,700 jobs. He won't be convinving his Eighth District constituents of anything else before 2010, either.
Larry Kissell Rejected from Blue Dog Coalition
So Much for Those “Fiscally Conservative” Credentials He Campaigned On

NRCC Press Release
March 5, 2009

Washington- The new membership list of the Blue Dog Coalition for the 111th Congress was released, but self-proclaimed “fiscal conservative” Rep. Larry Kissell’s name was noticeably absent. Despite Kissell’s rhetoric that he would be a good steward of the taxpayers’ dollars in Congress, did the Blue Dog Coalition see Kissell’s claims as nothing more than empty rhetoric?

In the two short months since he came to Congress, he’s repeatedly supported bills that hurt the middle-class families in his district. Could it be Kissell’s support for the pork-laden “stimulus” package and the omnibus spending bill - which were filled with wasteful Washington spending and tax hikes for small businesses – that excluded Kissell from admission to the Blue Dog Coalition? (House Roll Calls 46, 70, 86)

“Larry Kissell’s rejection from the conservative Blue Dog Coalition provides even more convincing evidence that Kissell’s calls for ‘fiscal responsibility’ were nothing more than empty rhetoric,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Since coming to Congress Kissell has repeatedly supported the liberal wing of his party’s unending spending spree and has failed to put the interests of middle-class families in his district first.”

The Blue Dog Coalition’s website describes itself as being “particularly active on fiscal issues, relentlessly pursuing a balanced budget and then protecting that achievement from politically popular ‘raids’ on the budget,” but it’s clear that despite all his rhetoric, Larry Kissell’s record does not hold up to these standards.
Update: From Dome

"Congressman Kissell pledged during the campaign that he would not join the Blue Dogs and therefore has not," Kissell spokeswoman Brianna Atkins.

Stock Market Like a Tracking Poll? Not Really

Facing criticism that his economic policies have been greeted with a steady decline on Wall Street as the stock market hits lows not seen in a decade, President Obama tried to deflect criticism yesterday.
"The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics,'' said the president...

The stock market is not like a tracking poll. In fact, it's not like politics at all. When families are having their savings and 401ks wiped out, it doesn't feel like a bad poll. It feels like their future is slipping away. President Obama is entirely too flippant about the economic realities we are facing. Half of all Americans have money in the market that they are counting on in planning their future. For them, this is not a joke. Leadership is about more than finding other people to blame. It's about finding solutions that actually work.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Food for Thought: Obama Rejecting Basis of Capitalism?

As offered up by Michael Gerson in today's column for the Washington Post.

While discussing the new Obama agenda of increading taxes only on the prosperous who are most likely to invest capital and create new jobs:
This is not merely the rejection of "trickle-down economics," it is a weakening of the theoretical basis for capitalism -- that free individuals are generally more rational and efficient in making investment decisions than are government planners.

As Obama Agenda Becomes Clear, Support Erodes

As the Obama administration rolls out massive new government spending bills by the week, support from those in the center of the political spectrum is quickly eroding. Already this week, numerous political commentators and newmakers are questioning the direction of the Obama administration.

David Brooks wrote for the New York Times this week that moderates are not pleased with many early actions of the new administration.
The U.S. has always been a decentralized nation, skeptical of top-down planning. Yet, the current administration concentrates enormous power in Washington, while plan after plan emanates from a small group of understaffed experts.

The U.S. has always had vibrant neighborhood associations. But in its very first budget, the Obama administration raises the cost of charitable giving. It punishes civic activism and expands state intervention.

The U.S. has traditionally had a relatively limited central government. But federal spending as a share of G.D.P. is zooming from its modern norm of 20 percent to an unacknowledged level somewhere far beyond.

Manu Raju observes for Politico that moderates in the Senate are already becoming disillusioned with the influx of spending coming from the President.
Moderate and conservative Democrats in the Senate are starting to choke over the massive spending and tax increases in President Barack Obama’s budget plans and
have begun plotting to increase their influence over the agenda of a president
who is turning out to be much more liberal than they are.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) announced he is breaking ranks with his party and voting against the $410 billion spending bill currently before Congress. He wrote for the Wall Street Journal urging his colleagues to do the same.
The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither. ...

But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. ... this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate. ...

Congress should vote "no" on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

NCGOP in the News: People in Politics

NCGOP Communications Director Brent Woodcox was a guest on "People in Politics" with Scott Carr for State Government Radio this week. Among the issues discussed include the unfairness to some of the proposed revival of the U.S. Fairness Doctrine; concerns over the even-deeper state budget cuts now ordered by Governor Beverly Perdue, and places where North Carolina budget writers might come up with the cash to cover a burgeoning state budget deficit; more heated debate over possible changes in state law regarding sex education, same-sex marriage; and smoking in public places.