The NC General Assembly (GA) just concluded its long legislative session, and the NY Times is terribly aggrieved. In the eyes of that bastion of Conservative Hopes and Ideals (not!), they pointed out to their open-minded fan base, that this GA is doing “grotesque damage… to a tradition of caring for the least fortunate.” Among the heinous crimes to humanity the Republican majority is imposing upon the huddled masses yearning to breathe free: “state government has become a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.”
Wow. One gets the sense that the NY Times is not going to plan any company picnics in NC any time soon!
The cruelest stroke, according to the NYT, was ending federal unemployment benefits for the selfish reason of “not wanting to pay back the $2.5 billion it owed” to the Feds. The Times points out that NC has the 5th highest unemployment in the country. (They do not connect this with the past hundred years or so of Democrat control of the GA, and of course, this may just be a coincidence…). The Times does not suggest that having such a low employment rate might contribute to the Republican desire to cut taxes and spending in an effort to repay their debts and increase the attraction to new business and growth, but to a mean spiritedness that wants to deny education to our children, rip food from the mouth of the unemployed, and cut federal benefits because we are loathe to repay what we owe them. And all this vituperation by the Times was before NC passed its latest law which they bemoaned would potentially close most if not all abortion clinics in the state!
In contrast, I have never been so proud of NC! The latest session, led by Speaker Thom Tillis, did indeed pass a striking number of markedly new policies for our state. However, the reasons for doing so are a tad different than what the diatribe in the Times might lead one to believe. Speaker Tillis summarized the legislative session as enacting reforms that “we lived within our means to provide a fiscally responsible and economically sustainable budget, enacted a comprehensive tax reform plan to bring financial relief to all North Carolinians, and eliminated burdensome regulations to promote economic development in our state.”
After decades of Democrat control which resulted in the highest taxes in the Southeast, the GA passed tax reform which Tillis cited moved NC immediately from among the lowest to the 17th highest ranked business climate in the U.S.
Contrary to the Times’ contention, the GA adopted a balanced budget which cut taxes to all North Carolinians while it increased spending on education by 2.1%. Pay raises for teachers would be linked to their effectiveness. I have never grasped the antipathy of the opposition to rewarding excellence.
Second amendment rights were protected by laws that expanded the places where conceal and carry guns were allowed. Despite opponents’ dismay, the research shows there is NO increase in gun violence where such laws are already enacted, and in fact, murder rates and violence involving guns go down in conceal and carry states.
Voter ID laws were strengthened, which would have the immediate effect of reducing voter fraud. Opponents claimed the intent was racially motivated. It boggles the mind to think that requiring the same ID necessary to open a bank account or rent a car suddenly becomes racist when proving the identity of a voter.
Changes to the unsupportable, and mismanaged unemployment laws will result in the $2.5 billion owed to the Feds to be repaid by 2016. Crushing debt and high taxes are the biggest impediment to economic growth. In stark contrast to the NY Times allegations, this legislation was passed not to evade financial obligations but to meet them!
And finally, my personal favorite as an individual who once believed the horrific lies of the abortion industry, NC ratified S353. The newly signed Health and Safety Law allows health professionals morally opposed to abortion to be allowed to refuse to assist in them, increases the safety standards of clinics to be equal to any out-patient facility, requires a doctor’s presence throughout the procedure, and opts out of taxpayer funding of abortion through insurance exchanges. And what is the overwhelming cry of the opposition? Surprisingly, it is not to applaud the same minimal standards required of any surgical setting be applied to abortion facilities. It is to bemoan that most if not all abortion clinics in our state might close. Perhaps their new slogan should read, “Safety Second!”
NC overwhelmingly elected a Republican majority for the first time in a century for a reason. Maybe we know something the NY Times does not.
Written By: Vicky Kaseorg
Vicky is the homeschool mother of three who first became interested in politics when her right to homeschool was threatened. She is the author of 7 books and writes a daily, inspirational blog. Please read, like, and share this post!
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