Columnist: John Hood

Aug. 01, 2015 @ 11:15 PM

Court made the right choice

There was absolutely nothing surprising about the North Carolina Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision to uphold the constitutionality of the state’s new Opportunity Scholarship program. The outcome was welcome. The lack of surprise was disappointing.


Jul. 22, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

North Carolina’s primary could be pivotal

After months of debate, North Carolina seems finally to have set a date for its 2016 presidential primaries. It won’t be in February, right after the South Carolina primary, as originally scheduled. It won’t even be during the first week of March, when more than a dozen states will hold primaries or caucuses.


Jun. 25, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

Moral claims proliferate but don’t persuade

In nearly three decades of writing a syndicated column on North Carolina politics and government, I’ve always received reader response. Back in the day, I’d get an occasional phone call or personal letter, but most of the response came in the form of letters to the editor. The reader would typically praise a point I made, or criticize it. Only rarely would there be an emotional outburst or personal attack.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 09:42 PM

North Carolina’s Medicaid debate will continue

For years now, legislators, policy analysts, medical providers, and lobbyists for various interest groups have been arguing about North Carolina’s Medicaid program. Whether you find this argument interesting, confusing, or boring, I have some news for you: It’s far from over.


Jun. 13, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

North Carolina’s Medicaid debate will continue

For years now, legislators, policy analysts, medical providers, and lobbyists for various interest groups have been arguing about North Carolina’s Medicaid program. Whether you find this argument interesting, confusing, or boring, I have some news for you: It’s far from over.


May. 14, 2015 @ 09:50 AM

How McCrory gets judged

Pat McCrory will likely run for reelection next year as governor of North Carolina against longtime Attorney General Roy Cooper. Both men are capable candidates who will run skillful, well-funded campaigns. Given the larger political context, I see the contest as unpredictable at the moment. But there are a couple of things we can say with confidence about it.


Apr. 18, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

Freedom is a weighty issue

Have you been eating right? Getting enough exercise? How far away are you from your ideal weight?


Apr. 04, 2015 @ 11:35 PM

Georgia on my mind

According to most economic indicators, North Carolina’s economy is on the upswing. Job growth exceeds the regional and national averages. The state’s recent decline in unemployment -- even when you include discouraged workers who’ve dropped out of the labor force -- is one of the largest in the country.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 07:31 PM

Careful about rule changes for state’s elections

To the extent that Roy Cooper has a reasonable chance of defeating Gov. Pat McCrory for reelection, it’s because many of his fellow Democrats failed in their efforts to change the electoral process in 1980s and early 1990s.


Mar. 05, 2015 @ 01:39 PM

We need a balanced diet of news and information

Thank you for reading this column. It’s not just that I appreciate your interest in what I have to say. I appreciate the fact that you are reading this publication at all. According to a recent set of surveys by the Pew Research Center, a distressing number of our fellow citizens rely mostly on television to inform themselves about politics and government.


Feb. 14, 2015 @ 10:35 PM

School letter grades teach many lessons

Those who care about education reform learned a lot on Feb. 5 when North Carolina released its first letter grades for public schools. The grades reflect three sets of information: average performance on end-of-year tests, the amount of annual growth in those scores, and graduation rates.


Jan. 31, 2015 @ 10:14 AM

Free speech faces threats

Freedom of speech is one of the core values of a free society. It ought to be appreciated and protected by Americans across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, it is not. And while no party or faction is immune from the temptation to silence messages or messengers they don’t like, most of the threats to free speech today come from the modern Left.


Jan. 17, 2015 @ 10:36 AM

UNC-Chapel Hill policy draws lawsuit

Another wave of bad publicity and legal questions isn’t what the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill needs. But that’s exactly what the school is getting, thanks to its longstanding and troubling use of race as a major factor in admissions.


Jan. 10, 2015 @ 10:55 PM

School woes aren’t werewolves

Because of the tremendous benefits conferred by better education, it would be great if policymakers knew precisely what silver bullets to fire to eliminate obstacles to higher achievement.


Jan. 02, 2015 @ 11:22 AM

Ready or not, GOP candidates are coming

Is North Carolina ready to be an early stop on the road to the White House?