Vote No on the Bond Boondogle

Against_the_Bond

There will be a $2 billion bond issue on the March 15 ballot called Connect NC. This is another bipartisan boondoggle with a deceptive name. The loan request is not for transportation funding or K-12 education projects.

The $2 billion will go into the “Connect NC” fund, a committee chaired by a whole host of politicians, who will divvy up 66 percent of the money to the NC college systems, and hundreds of millions of dollars to parks, zoos, agricultural “research,” and other political pet projects across the state.

The only thing this bond will connect is your wallet to the special interest groups that support it. As with most programs touted as bipartisan, the more bipartisan support a bill has, the worse it is for your liberty and your well-being.

Bonds are just deferred taxes. They are taxes on our children and grandchildren. It is simply a lie that this bond issue will not result in a raise in taxes. Someone will have to pay for the the interest when the bonds are repaid, and you can bet it won’t be the Democrats and Republican legislators, or the lobbyists and special interest groups who support this bill.

Since tyranny is usually better organized – and funded – than liberty, the effort to promote this bipartisan boondoggle program to increase the debt is well funded by special interest groups.

But a grassroots referendum committee, NC Against the Bond, is organizing a petition drive to oppose this debt increase. Go to AgainstTheBond.com and sign the petition to oppose this debt increase. Follow them on Facebook.

Vote no on the bond issue in March.

NC can save $383 million in its budget

The state can save up to $383 million in its budget if it uses a spending technique proposed by the John Locke Foundation in their latest Spotlight report. The technique is called “reverse logrolling.”

“Lawmakers can achieve these additional savings by using a technique called ‘reverse logrolling,'”  “It flips traditional budget logrolling on its head,” said Sarah Curry, JLF Director of Fiscal Policy Studies, the report author. Logrolling is a budget practice in which negotiators for both legislative chambers agree to accept higher spending levels for each chamber’s budget priorities.

“This practice often results in a poor outcome for average citizens, as lower-priority or so-called ‘pork-barrel’ items are funded and mediocre legislation enacted,” Curry said.

Budget negotiators should take the opposite approach, Curry said in a press release. “Rather than one set of budget negotiators accepting particular programs or higher levels of spending from their counterparts, with the expectation that those counterparts will do the same, legislators should agree to accept the lower spending numbers for each departmental budget,” she said. “After all, a majority in at least one chamber already has decided that the lower spending figure will satisfy citizens’ needs under current budgetary constraints.”

She outlines how these savings can be achieved in the report, included a spreadsheet of potential department-by-department savings.

This is a commendable effort, which Libertarians support. The greatest obstacle we see is to get Republican and Democratic legislators to kick their spending habit.

JLF Press Release

JLF Spotlight Report

Republicans ignore state constitution and the law

It took me two tries, but I finally got Rep. Nelson Dollar, through his legislative assistance, to admit that the General Assembly has not complied with the law requiring them to pass a budget by June 30. Or at least I think I have.

In my first e-mail to Mr. Dollar I asked: The General Assembly has not yet passed the state budget. Am I correct in believing that state law requires you to pass a budget by June 30? Or is that a self-imposed deadline? Has the GA failed to pass a budget by June 30 before?

The answer from Candace Slate, Legislative Assistant was:

“Thank you for your e-mail. A Continuing Resolution was passed HB336 allowing for the budget passage to July 31, 2013. This type of Resolution has occurred many times over the years. This Resolution allows for the State Budget Director to continue the expenditures for the operation of government until the new budget is passed.

To which I replied: Thanks for your prompt reply. I know that is what the General Assembly has done. But my question is, is there a state statute or GA policy that requires the budget to be passed by June 30, since the state’s fiscal year starts July 1. Funding state government operation with a continuing resolution, no matter how temporary, does not seem to me to be the most efficient way to run things.

And the final answer was: “This is required under the State Budget Act and was sent to me by our Fiscal Research staff: § 143C-5-4. Enactment deadline. The General Assembly shall enact the Current Operations Appropriations Act by June 15 of odd-numbered years and by June 30 of even-numbered years in which a Current Operations Appropriations Act is enacted. (2006-203, s. 3.)

So, I think he’s admitting that the GA did not comply with the statute. Unless they consider a continuing resolution a “current operations appropriations act.”

However, I must give Representative Dollar credit for promptly responding to my constituent queries. As this took less than three hours, and he’s responded to previous queries just as promptly.

Politicians distort the plain meaning of words

So N.C. Republicans have finally agreed on which Ponzi scheme they’re going to use to con North Carolinians into thinking they’re cutting taxes.

Yippie.

Democrats, predictably, are screaming about how this plan will hurt “the poor” and reward “the rich.” Even some conservatives, to their credit, see the sham.

But everyone is taking about the issue in Newspeak.

Republican and Democrat politicians don’t speak the same language as everyday folk. Listen to how they talk about tax “cuts.” They maintain government “loses” money through “loopholes” and tax exemptions. The implication is clear. You don’t own the money you earn. How else could government lose something it doesn’t own?

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GOP tax fairness plan is unfair

by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

The tax reform plan announced by state Sen. Phil Berger is just another charade designed to make citizens think Republicans are actually reducing taxes. Calling it the Tax Fairness Act and claiming it’s the largest tax cut in state history is misleading at best.

In fact, it isn’t fair and it isn’t a tax cut. Senator Berger and the other Republican leaders at their press conference last week probably used the word “fair” hundreds of times.

No tax is fair. Taxes are inherently unfair. Every tax hurts someone. The only difference between taxes proposed by Republicans and Democrats is which special interest group is going to benefit and which is going to pay.

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Help pay the debt

Memo to Warren Buffet, and all those other people who think “the rich” don’t pair their “fair share” of taxes. If you are so concerned, you can contribute to paying off the federal debt here.

Make your check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt and please note that it’s “a gift to reduce the debt held by the public.”

Yes, I know the national debt is $16 trillion dollars and increasing every day. But ever bit helps, right?

Thanks to the News & Observer for the tip.

The Fair Tax Isn’t Fair, It’s a Farce

“There cannot be a good tax nor a just one; every tax rests its case on compulsion.” – Frank Chodorov

BURNET, Texas (Jan. 7) – The so-called Fair Tax is not fair; on the contrary, it is a farce based on fallacies and falsehoods. Sadly, some libertarians have fallen for the bogus arguments uttered by proponents of this national sales tax and bought into the idea that this is the “best we can hope to get.” This is a justification very similar to the flawed reasoning that induces some people to vote for the “lesser of two evils.”

One of the core values of libertarianism is the right of people to keep all the fruits of their labor. No taxes are fair. All taxes are, at their root, immoral because they involve the use of force to take money from people, money that rightfully belongs to them, and give it to others. That is why libertarians would fund most government services with voluntary user fees.

The most dangerous claim used by advocates of the Fair Tax is that it’s “revenue neutral,” that it will allow the federal government to collect just as much money as the income tax. Fair Tax supporters say this as if it were a good thing. It is not. The greatest danger facing our nation isn’t terrorism, global warming or the energy crisis. It is out-of-control, unbridled government spending. It is our $15 trillion federal debt, which grows every day.

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Saving Century post office won’t be savings for taxpayers

Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman explained the principle of government spending this way. “When a man spends his own money to buy something for himself, he is very careful about how much he spends and how he spends it,” he said. He’s still careful about what he spends when he buys something for someone else, but “somewhat less what he spends it on.”

When a man uses someone’s else money to buy something for himself, he’s careful about what he buys but not so careful on how much he spends. “And when a man spends someone else’s money on someone else, he doesn’t care how much he spends or what he spends it on. And that’s government for you,” Friedman concluded.

That axiom applies to any government at any level, and to all amounts of money. The problem is that the more money is involved, the more difficult it is to recognize the problem. It is somewhat easier to see this principle at work on the local level, as two recent news items illustrate.

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Libertarians ask taxpayers to choose where their money goes

Even though libertarians oppose taxes, the state Libertarian Party is encouraging supporters to take advantage of the check box on the state income tax form and designate $3 of the tax money to the Libertarian Party.

“This is a chance for taxpayers to direct a small portion of the money taken from them to something that is their choice,” said Barbara Howe, state party chair. “ Of course, we would prefer North Carolinians pay no taxes, especially ones on income.”

Howe said they are also asking supporters to become regular contributors to the party, or to make a one-time donation.

She said that by contributing on the tax form people would be helping Libertarians send a message to the state that they’ve fought hard to get on the ballot and intend to stay. “These small contributions add up and they’ll help the LPNC run candidates across the state in the 2012 election,” Howe said. “In all likelihood, we will direct most of these funds in support of the 2012 gubernatorial candidate after he or she is nominated in primary.”

That race will be crucial because in order for the Libertarian Party to retain its ballot status its candidate for governor or president must get at least two percent of the vote.

To date, the Libertarians have received just under $46,000 from the N.C. Political Parties Financing Fund. The money is used for general campaign activities and support of candidates, according to state law.

The state Libertarian Party platform says “Taxation is by its very nature a coercive and destructive act against the people. The LPNC believes that all people have the basic right to keep the fruits of their labor and enterprise. We believe that the costs of government should be paid for by voluntary means only.”