Unsustainable spending in North Carolina

State spending by North Carolina government officials is “troubling” and “unsustainable,” according to a new economic study on “the fiscal health of the Tar Heel State.”

A Civitas report about this by Brian Balfour can be seen at the Link below.

Despite these warnings of excessive spending and debt, State politicians and bureaucrats continue to promote more.

Governor McCrory and a cabal of university and community college advocates, and other State bureaucracies, push for a 2016 election bond ballot to offer barrels of cash to the self-serving and already bloated higher education system; as well as to other State agencies and interest groups anxious to lard up their pork barrels with unproductive projects.

If voters agree to put themselves further in bondage to the State for another $2 billion, the spending spree will begin. It’s easy money—some future hapless taxpayers will be stuck with the bill. Meanwhile, we’ll all be paying more annual interest embedded in the State budget.

Civitas polling shows that over 60 percent of Democrats and more than 40 percent of Republicans will gladly vote themselves and fellow citizens more debt.

The biggest existing unfunded liability is the “lavish” North Carolina public employee pension fund. This $34.5 billion gorilla in the room of a family of four sticks them with a bill for nearly $14,000.

Total spending has doubled to nearly 9 percent of the State’s gross domestic product since 1970 when it was less than 4.5 percent. In that period spending “ballooned” by 600 percent. Even when adjusted for inflation, per capital spending has grown dramatically: individual taxpayers now pay four times what they paid for government in 1970.

Based on this report and other evidence, it’s irresponsible for our elected officials to propose putting us deeper in debt.

An editorial in the January 2016 Carolina Journal (carolinajournal.com) reports that in the past five years the State has “built up some $1.5 billion in rainy day reserves, contingency funds, and other cash accounts.”

Maybe McCrory and cronies should give this “surplus” to Big Ed instead of coercing voters into more debt. Better yet that money should be returned to the taxpayers, and spending and taxes reduced to make North Carolina more economically viable.

New Study Provides Sour Diagnosis of NC’s Fiscal Health


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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