Tim Phillips on Politico: 3 reforms to top N.C. agenda
In Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 11, a new free-market Republican governor celebrated his gubernatorial win at the inaugural balls. The occasion was historic for North Carolina: the first time since Reconstruction that a conservative GOP governor will be joined by free-market GOP state legislative majorities in both state legislative chambers.
This in a state that over the past three decades has been held up by the left as a paragon of “progressive” policies: high tax rates, out-of-control spending, top-heavy education bureaucracy and overall Big Government approaches on every front. It was in North Carolina that a string of liberal governors aggressively moved the state left. In the recent past, Barack Obama carried the state in 2008 and brought into office both a liberal governor and Democratic U.S. senator.
The results of the state’s economic policies during this period showed anything but progress. North Carolinians strained under the 44th-worst tax climate in the country in 2011, according to the Tax Foundation. This comes as no surprise — over the past three decades, the state had tripled its state spending. The billion-dollar tax hike in 2009 was only a Band-Aid on the larger spending problem. In addition, more than 15,000 confusing and often duplicative regulations discouraged entrepreneurs from starting new businesses. In recognition of North Carolina’s unstated “tax and regulate” policy, the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked the state 27th in overall economic competitiveness.
The result was less prosperity and opportunity for the average North Carolinian. During the past decade, the state was ranked an unimpressive 30th in private-sector job growth. Compare that to next-door Virginia, which eagerly welcomed job creators and was rewarded with the 15th-highest job growth rate.
CLICK HERE to read more on Politico.