Under the Dome

Wall Street Journal is battleground for state tax-cut debate

A debate about the state’s tax cuts was waged on the pages of the Wall Street Journal last month.

Former Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore, now a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, extolled the state’s economic strategies on the paper’s opinion page on June 4.

Moore praised the 2013 tax rate cuts, the “novel tough-love unemployment-insurance reforms,” and the drop in the state’s unemployment rate.

“In North Carolina, policies to reduce taxes and stop paying people for not working have created jobs and surpluses,” Moore wrote.

Alexandra Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center in the left-leaning N.C. Justice Center, responded with a letter published June 18. She said the tax cuts have hurt the state.

“Additionally, recent job growth has primarily been in occupations that pay low wages and concentrated in few communities of the state leaving many areas behind. So it’s no wonder that the tax cut hasn’t improved the lives of average North Carolinians,” she wrote.

Senate leader Phil Berger jumped into the debate with a Journal letter published Tuesday that said Sirota was wrong.

“Our 2013 tax-reform efforts have finally made our state’s tax climate more competitive, resulting in job and economic growth,” Berger wrote.