The joke’s on liberals
Some readers who get news only from The News & Observer, the Daily Show, MSNBC or the New York Times might think North Carolina has fallen off the planet or been transported back seven centuries or some other nonsense. The news from Raleigh has been slanted so much that national journalists think the entire state of North Carolina has fallen into a Louisiana-style sinkhole.
North Carolina has experienced more positive reform in the past two and a half years than in the previous two decades.
• Taxes. On the state’s agenda for the past generation, now the first substantial reductions to marginal tax rates and first real success in closing tax loopholes. Income, sales and corporate tax rates have all been reduced, helping every North Carolina resident.
• Workers compensation. Bringing business and workers together to reform a system that hadn’t seen serious reform since the 1920s.
• Mental health. The first major statewide effort to control costs and ensure quality services for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled in a decade.
• Budget. Ending the structural deficits of the past, restoring the state’s reserve funds and holding the line on new debt. Balancing the state’s budget without reliance on federal bailouts or new taxes.
• Education. Providing more learning choices for children with disabilities. The Excellence in Public Schools Act focuses on student achievement with a special emphasis on reading and comprehension in the early grades.
• Justice Reinvestment Act. Reforms to strengthen community punishments and supervision and reduce the need for expensive prison space.
• Torts. Placing common-sense limitations on frivolous and costly litigation.
• Unemployment Insurance. Our state was burdened with a record $2.5 billion debt in its unemployment insurance funds. The plan adopted will restore our program in record time, saving businesses tens of millions of dollars and ensuring workers have a solvent fund.
• State Health Plan. Politics were removed and the plan was placed under professional management, which has already shown significant results in controlling costs.
• Transportation. The first modernization of the state’s transportation funding system in more than a generation. Projects will focus on the needs of the traveling public, not on the whim of politicians.
• Regulations. Touching on all facets of North Carolina commerce, these efforts are streamlining the process, cutting red tape, removing out-of-date rules and applying common-sense to business regulations.
Republicans achieved these major reforms while leading our state out of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and we did it without major layoffs of teachers or state employees. We kept our commitment to all our universities and community colleges. We fully funded Medicaid and kept our mental health hospitals and treatment facilities open. We have lessened the burdens on all North Carolina taxpayers while keeping our levels of public service high. Most importantly, we have laid the ground work for a more diverse, competitive and prosperous economy in North Carolina.
Rep. Nelson Dollar
Senior Chair of the Appropriations Committee
The writer represents N.C. House District 36. The length limit was waived for a fuller response to numerous editorials.