To the Editor:
How can you tell if a politician is lying .... his lips are moving. It’s an old joke; but, as with most humor, there is some truth. When the Republicans took over governing North Carolina in 2010, they made a many promises. So how did it work out?
The conservative battle cry was, “We will cut your taxes.” So, in the next few years the largest tax cuts in modern history of North Carolina were enacted. All these cuts were based on the theory that big tax breaks for wealthy individuals and big corporations would generate greater tax revenue.
So far, just this year, state tax revenue is down more than $630 million, and most experts expect that deficit to get even worse by the end of this fiscal year. And when the second set of tax breaks take effect next year, the state will be even deeper in the hole. There will be less money for schools, roads, public safety, the court system, health care and everything else. And, by the way, unless your income was over $87,000, your overall taxes went up.
Jobs, jobs, jobs. Only Republicans know how to create jobs, they say. It has been almost four years now and, so far, the unemployment rate in North Carolina has not even kept up with the national average. According to the official state labor statistics, 60 percent of the drop in unemployment is due to 105,600 workers dropping out of the labor market. Only 45,000 North Carolina unemployed workers found work in the last fiscal year; many earning less than previously.
Why are companies, large and small, taking their new jobs to other states? Our deteriorating education and health care systems, our failure to improve our aging infrastructure and our hostile political environment, are red flags to most companies. Our Tea Party controlled, penny-wise and pound-foolish state legislature is chasing the good jobs away to the more progressive states.
“We promise to fix the broken Medicaid system.” So how did that promise work out? First, let’s remember that under the Democrats, the system was one of the best in the country. Then the Republican legislature repeatedly underfunded it, creating the crisis they promised to fix. Mismanagement, software program bugs, and an incompetent leadership, have, in the last two years, made matters worse. It has created a real crisis for those who depend on Medicaid.
All this could be remedied if the legislature had accepted the expanded Medicaid offered by the federal government. We still will be paying for this benefit with our federal taxes even if we don’t accept the money. The total loss to the state over the next 9 years is estimated to be $51 billion. If you are one of the almost half a million of this state’s citizens who don’t have health care because of this political move, then you truly know that this is another promise not kept.
So if you don’t mind being continually lied to, then keep these politicians in office.