Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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." ...