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Governor McCrory desperately wants to look moderate. He wants to distance himself from the right-wing red-hots in the legislature. If he doesn’t, he’s on the road to one term.
 
So he went to great lengths to soften his budget proposal.  The News & Observer editorialized:
 
“State employees, teachers, Democrats and others unnerved by the idea of Art Pope’s drawing up the state’s next spending plan for Gov. Pat McCrory…must have felt sheepish about dreading its contents. Rather than terrifying those who rely on or support state government spending and programs, the $20.6 billion budget maintains the status quo and makes changes around the edges.”
 
Hold the mayo.
 
Yes, he called for hiring 1,800 more full-time teachers. But he would slash 3,000 teacher assistants.
 
Some history here: Those teacher assistants were part of Governor Jim Hunt’s 1977 Primary Reading Program. Because too many kids weren’t learning to read, Hunt and the legislature put “reading aides” in every classroom in the first, second and third grades. They have been there since. Reading performance has gone up, up, up. Now McCrory wants to get rid of the aides. How does that help kids learn to read?
 
Plus, the UNC system would get another 5.4 percent cut. And maybe a campus gets closed. And the community colleges get whacked.
 
And that’s all before the Senate does its budget.
 
Jim Jenkins’ column in the N&O hit the nail on the head about Republicans in the legislature: “They’re more interested in destruction than in building.”
 
Maybe McCrory wants to leave the destruction to the Jones Street wrecking crew. But he can’t duck accountability. That’s what the veto is for.
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dap916
# dap916
Friday, March 29, 2013 8:46 PM
Okay, so if I get this right, your gloom and doom presentation here is saying: 1) we're gonna take away the teacher's aides and are going to have to actually rely on teachers to teach kids how to read. 2) we're going to close down community colleges and even close down some UNC system campuses.

Who didn't know that the changes that need to be made in our state would have to be done while hearing more crying and whining and bitching and moaning than in an episode of Dallas? All of what is being said here is being said for effect, a scare tactic...nothing more. Pearce doesn't know if any of that is going to happen. And, um, since when do teachers have to have aides to teach kids to read???? What the heck are the teachers doing? And, spend a little time around our recent high school grads and you tell me just how great these aides are teaching our kids to read. How many times is Gary going to build his arguments and statements on his stint with Jim Hunt 35 years ago? That doesn't give we parents and grandparents that are involved in our family's youth education and any less insight than you today Gary. Get over yourself.

Give McCrory a chance to get our state squared away. It took many decades of democratic rule in North Carolina to get in the shape it's in. Gonna take some severe measures and some time.
clarence swinney
# clarence swinney
Saturday, March 30, 2013 9:52 AM
1) As the President promised, income tax rates for middle-class families will stay low permanently. That's good news for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses. 
2) As the President promised, for the first time in 20 years, a bipartisan agreement will increase tax rates on the wealthy. That rate increase will be immediate and permanent. Individuals making more than $250,000 will be asked to pay a little more to help reduce the deficit through a combination of increased tax rates and reduced tax benefits.
3) This agreement cuts the deficit. It builds on the $1 trillion of spending cuts the President signed into law in 2011 through the Budget Control Act. This new agreement cuts the deficit by $737 billion by asking the wealthiest to begin to pay their fair share. Moving forward, the President is committed to reducing the deficit even more, splitting savings in a balanced way between spending cuts and even more revenue from the wealthiest
4) As part of this deal, a group of tax cuts that help middle-class families keep more money in their pockets and afford to pay for higher education was also extended. The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and the new American Opportunity Tax Credit will stay in effect for at least the next five years. 
5) We'll continue making investments that create jobs in domestic clean energy and innovation because the agreement extends the Production Tax Credit and the Research & Experimentation Tax Credit. 
6) Lawmakers agreed to extend emergency unemployment insurance for 2 million people looking for work. 
7) This agreement doesn't cut Social Security benefits, Medicare, or Medicaid. That's because the President stood strong against reducing our deficit on the backs of seniors, students, the poor, and working families. 

clarence swinney
# clarence swinney
Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:39 AM
Good News for a change
1) As the President promised, income tax rates for middle-class families will stay low permanently. That's good news for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses. 
2) As the President promised, for the first time in 20 years, a bipartisan agreement will increase tax rates on the wealthy. That rate increase will be immediate and permanent. Individuals making more than $250,000 will be asked to pay a little more to help reduce the deficit through a combination of increased tax rates and reduced tax benefits.
3) This agreement cuts the deficit. It builds on the $1 trillion of spending cuts the President signed into law in 2011 through the Budget Control Act. This new agreement cuts the deficit by $737 billion by asking the wealthiest to begin to pay their fair share. Moving forward, the President is committed to reducing the deficit even more, splitting savings in a balanced way between spending cuts and even more revenue from the wealthiest
4) As part of this deal, a group of tax cuts that help middle-class families keep more money in their pockets and afford to pay for higher education was also extended. The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and the new American Opportunity Tax Credit will stay in effect for at least the next five years. 
5) We'll continue making investments that create jobs in domestic clean energy and innovation because the agreement extends the Production Tax Credit and the Research & Experimentation Tax Credit. 
6) Lawmakers agreed to extend emergency unemployment insurance for 2 million people looking for work. 
7) This agreement doesn't cut Social Security benefits, Medicare, or Medicaid. That's because the President stood strong against reducing our deficit on the backs of seniors, students, the poor, and working families. 

Choo
# Choo
Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:00 PM
Where is moderate, what is the middle. Love to see a debate on that. I would like to think I could tell in advance where Democrats see the middle. Pat, not a moderate, who's opinion. The person who can define middle or moderate wins. I once saw William F. Buckley debate a Democrat about the use of the term, "right wing" when refering to Republicans. He asked the Democrat to give him a few "left wing" Democrats. Needless to say there were none given. When Buckley asked if Ted Kennedy were a left wing, the Democrat said, " why no he is a moderate". There is no left wing, only right wings.
clarence swinney
# clarence swinney
Sunday, March 31, 2013 10:37 AM
CLASS WARFARE
Ryan House Budget passed the House
Promoted as Pro-Growth yet increases inequality.
Top 1% get almost 25% of Income and Own 40% of the wealth while the bottom 80% own only 7% of wealth. Sixty six of the program Cuts come from those with meager incomes. The past decade of trickle down gave us more inequality and weak economic growth yet Republicans want more of the same, The budget proposes an average tax cut of $200,000 for those exceeding one million in income.
We rank 4th on inequality in OECD nations and are shooting for number one.

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