Aug. 31, 2013 @ 01:24 AM

Editorial: Wrong impression on Starnes' spending

The NC Insider, a political news publication in Raleigh, reported this week that in the first four months of this year, the campaign of Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, the House majority leader, spent nearly $7,000 on furniture and decorations for his office.

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 01:12 AM

Editorial: Not in a month of Sundays can we compare

Liberals sometimes seem to suffer from protest envy.

They grow up learning of the vastly unequal society that existed at the time of the great civil rights protests of the 1960s, seeing clips of news coverage of the anti-war protests of the Vietnam War years, hearing boomers’ onanistic, fanciful recitations of the wonderful things that their generation accomplished while stoned and naked and also organizing impromptu outdoor music festivals. Who wouldn’t be envious?

They look around today, and the barriers and battles all seem smaller, the villains less sinister.

Yet the rhetoric they choose to employ is lifted virtually without change from the 1960s.

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 01:02 AM

Editorial: A perpetual campaign in N.C.?

You may not have realized it, but the 2016 race for governor is well underway.

Less than 10 months after the last election, and more than three years before the next chance to cast a vote, we already have two declared candidates for the Democratic nomination.

Aug. 29, 2013 @ 01:17 AM

Editorial: Half measures

If we dealt with serial killers the way the United States is dealing with the leadership of Syria, instead of arresting them we would have someone hide in the bushes outside their house and shoot them with a BB gun each time they went outside.

Aug. 29, 2013 @ 01:14 AM

Editorial: The difference between funny and mean

It is true that journalists, as a group, have a reputation for being bad at math.

That is a generalization, of course, but if you pick a journalist at random and demand a calculation, you’re apt to hit a dry well.

That said, Gov. Pat McCrory’s dig at journalists during a visit to Asheville this week, saying they didn’t understand his tax and budget priorities because those are “too complex” – “They don't have economics degrees, they've not been in business,” he said – was sophomoric and likely to come back to bite him in the end.

Aug. 26, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Editorial: N.C. can stand on principle, or it can be in movies

Providing tax incentives to lure business is like any other loophole in the tax code. Ideally, you wouldn’t do it – no one would. Everyone would play by the same rules and make their decisions based on every other factor, not on taxes.

But the playing field is not level. In any area of business, some cities and states are willing, even eager, to cut deals.

Aug. 24, 2013 @ 11:39 PM

N.C. can stand on principal, or it can be in movies

Providing tax incentives to lure business is like any other loophole in the tax code. Ideally, you wouldn’t do it – no one would. Everyone would play by the same rules and make their decisions based on every other factor, not on taxes.

But the playing field is not level. In any area of business, some cities and states are willing, even eager, to cut deals.

Aug. 24, 2013 @ 01:14 AM

Editorial: A good place to streamline N.C. government

Finally, an idea from Florida worth emulating. Of course, it was an accident, but an accidental worthy idea is still a worthy idea.

Florida has been without a lieutenant governor for five months (he resigned amid a scandal), and all that has happened is the state has been saving money from not paying a lieutenant governor and his staff and not paying for his travel.

Which raises an old question: Does anyone really need a lieutenant governor?

Aug. 23, 2013 @ 01:27 AM

Editorial: Statistics alone don't support the Moral Mondays arguments

A recent Charlotte Observer editorial, in connection to plans for a “Moral Monday” protest in Charlotte, cited some “eye-opening statistics” put out recently by the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity to make the case that poverty issues should be a priority even in “one of this state’s wealthiest regions.”

We don’t doubt the need.

But we maintain that sloppy thinking and bad statistics undermine any argument, and that’s the case here.

Aug. 23, 2013 @ 01:21 PM

Editorial: N.C. avoids a ride on the crazy train

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk said Tuesday she won’t run for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Kay Hagan.

North Carolina Republicans should sigh a giant sigh of relief, while Democrats should be sad to see her stand aside.

Aug. 19, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

Editorial: Bad bill richly deserved this veto

Gov. Pat McCrory deserves praise for vetoing a drug test requirement for people applying for welfare and food stamps — a bill that he correctly described as fiscally irresponsible and potentially intrusive.

Aug. 17, 2013 @ 01:37 AM

Editorial: A bipartisan effort at exclusion

Tom Campbell, the executive producer and moderator of the “NC SPIN” show on North Carolina politics, points out one area of election law in which both Republicans and Democrats seem to be in agreement: making it nearly impossible for third parties and independent candidates to get on the ballot.

Aug. 16, 2013 @ 08:35 PM

Editorial: Nice work if you can get it

It’s hard to know which to be more envious of, being 24 years old and making enough money to support two average North Carolina families, or being 24 and receiving a pay raise of $23,000 after only about three months on the job.

Fortunately, we can be envious of both at the same time — and we can do it twice.

Aug. 08, 2013 @ 01:28 AM

Editorial: Snafu in food benefits just keeps rolling

If it’s any consolation to those Caldwell County residents who have been struggling to get by on trips to local food banks because of weeks-long delays in the processing of government food benefits, the same problems are being felt everywhere in North Carolina – including the state capital.

Aug. 01, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

Don't be so quick to condemn UNC's Hairston

A little perspective, please.

UNC basketball player P.J. Hairston has proven he has poor judgment and impulse control. He has not proven he is beyond redemption or that he is a university-destroying, one-man cloud of disrepute.

Jul. 25, 2013 @ 06:07 AM

Editorial: Caldwell County unemployment not helped by N.C. budget

One effect of the budget approved Wednesday by the General Assembly will be a higher unemployment rate in Caldwell County, at least in the short term.

Jul. 24, 2013 @ 05:45 PM

Editorial: Gov. McCrory off the mark on teachers' tax cuts

Gov. Pat McCrory seems to realize his and his party’s reputation among the state’s public school teachers is subterranean, but he’s not helping by making things up.

Jul. 21, 2013 @ 06:25 AM

Editorial: Don't spend it all in one place

What are you going to do with your $84 a year?

That’s how much you might get from the tax cuts passed by the General Assembly this week.

Sorry, that’s presumptuous, and probably inaccurate. We don’t know how much you are paid, but statistically it’s likely that you won’t get that much.

Jul. 20, 2013 @ 06:26 AM

Editorial: The 21st-century answer to the tinfoil hat

If you're really worried about the federal government using drones and heat-sensing technology to track you from the air, there are new outfits for you: Stealth Wear.

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 06:23 AM

Editorial: N.C. immigration measures need further study

On immigration, the state House took a sensible step back from hasty action and amended the so-called “RECLAIM NC” Act to have the state Department of Public Safety study many of its proposals and bring the results back to the General Assembly for further action later.

However, one non-study provision is still moving forward — an item prohibiting companies from receiving state and local contracts unless they comply with E-Verify requirements for employees. This one needs more study as well.

Jul. 16, 2013 @ 06:31 AM

Editorial: Incompetence

Four years ago at this time, North Carolina’s General Assembly had not passed a budget. Democrats led both chambers. On July 14 that year, Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said the failure to pass a budget two weeks past the start of the fiscal year was an example of Democrats’ incompetence.

Jul. 14, 2013 @ 06:27 AM

Editorial: Importance of taxes overstated

You can find a statistic to say anything you want.

For instance, according to the recent study “Vital Statistics on Congress” by the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institution, the most effective president since Lyndon Johnson, as measured by the ability to win votes in Congress, is – put down your coffee so you don’t spit on anyone – Jimmy Carter, by a wide margin over George W. Bush, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Jimmy Carter fans, take this statistic and run with it.

John Hood of the conservative John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, in a column that ran in the News-Topic on Friday, similarly has run with a statistic that he contends illustrates that the tidal wave of budget cuts and social legislation coming out of the General Assembly has not had, will not have, cannot have any serious effect on North Carolina’s ability to recruit businesses, as left-leaning critics contend.

Jul. 13, 2013 @ 07:56 AM

Editorial: Legislators keep at 'pressing' issues

Thank goodness the General Assembly passed its budget and tax reform measures or we don’t know where the legislators would have found the time for all the bills they have been discussing the past week or so.

Oh, wait. That’s right, there is still no budget or tax plan.

Jul. 13, 2013 @ 06:43 AM

Editorial: Would would he say it?

Gov. Pat McCrory has stepped into something.

In an interview Wednesday in Wilson with a reporter from The Wilson Times, McCrory said in answer to a question about whether he would ever talk with the Moral Monday protesters: “I go out in the crowd all of the time. Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them, and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves ‘moral’ by cussing me out, but that’s the way things go sometimes.”

The only problem with that answer is that no one has ever seen the governor mingling with protesters, let alone in the day or two before that interview.

Jul. 10, 2013 @ 04:24 PM

Editorial: Redistricting ruling was predictable

That a three-judge panel ruled unanimously on Monday to uphold the legislative and congressional districts drawn by Republicans after the 2010 census should have been a foregone conclusion.