Putting Lipstick on an Ugly Budget

>>lipstickpigNorth Carolina’s ruling majority came to Raleigh in January promising they would dedicate their time to creating jobs. They took numerous steps during the session to make this happen. For example, they took away federally funded unemployment benefits from 70,000 people facing long-term joblessness – we’re sure that created lots of jobs for people who repossess cars or process home foreclosures. And the new restrictions on women’s health and removal of restrictions on guns will make surely increase business activity at funeral homes.

But the most impactful job-creation document in state government right now is the budget. So let’s see what they did there.

First, they cut taxes dramatically for rich people and corporations, >>costing the state half a billion dollars. Supporters of these cuts say lower taxes will spur business growth and job creation – >>even though facts tell us that’s not true. States considered “high-tax” — like California, Ohio and Maryland – >>have seen greater economic growth than low-tax states like Texas, Tennessee and Florida. Why? Because if you have a business built on knowledge, innovation and technology, growing it in a state that has underfunded schools and infrastructure would be a stupid investment.

Second, >>they passed an education budget that cuts almost 10,000 teacher and teacher assistant jobs.

And third, >>they eliminated state funding for community economic development agencies, which help women-owned and minority-owned businesses get established. This includes the >>NC Institute of Minority Economic Development, which houses the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina.

But hey, the legislature did budget $2.3 million over two years so the state Commerce Department can develop a comprehensive branding strategy. >>Given the recent flurry of bad press about North Carolina, we’re going to need it.

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