Misplaced priorities in NC GOP's education spending

Cutting their way to systemic failure:

The benefit of last year’s economic recovery to our public schoolchildren was nowhere near what it could have been. Changes to the state’s tax code “shrunk the pie” and left significantly less money available. How much less? Reductions in corporate income taxes alone reduced available resources by $450 million this year and $700 million next year. Even modest changes would have made it possible to fund many of the worthy education priorities that were instead left on the cutting-room floor.

Had a prolonged discussion yesterday with a young, professional Wake County father, and when NC's amazing population growth came up (we added a million residents in less than ten years), that led to a discussion about education spending, investments in infrastructure, etc. This guy was pretty sharp, yet when I brought up the possibility of a Taxpayer Bill Of Rights being passed (or put on a ballot), he had no idea what I was talking about:

Reject calls for rigid and damaging limits on education spending such as those that would be mandated under a “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.” A proposal last year to enshrine a Taxpayer Bill of Rights in the state constitution would have reduced annual state revenues by billions of dollars, further hampering the ability of the state to support public priorities including education.

Even if our population growth was stagnant, putting such a draconian spending limitation in place would be unwise. But *with* our crazy population growth, it would be devastating. Public education wouldn't be the only failure in that scenario, but it would be the worst, creating a legacy that would cost us dearly for decades.



What average folks don't know

is going to end up killing us. I talk to all sorts of people, many of them who consider themselves "well-informed" because they read the paper and watch television news and such. But when you peel one layer down and bring up issues that aren't repeatedly mentioned in the mainstream media, you're lucky to get a "That sounds familiar."

And yes, I realize that many of us pundits(?) steep ourselves in these issues, and just because somebody else isn't aware enough to converse on the issue, it doesn't mean they're ignorant, or shallow, or whatever. But it sure feels like that sometimes, especially when the issue has far-reaching implications.

Things are too complex

It's impossible for anyone to really understand much of public policy at the granular level. The best we can do is vote for people we think have integrity and intelligence. The worst we can do is choose ideologues who can't see further than their own greed. We've been doing a lot of the latter lately. Too much, I'm afraid.

well said

well said

I'm a moderate Democrat.