Is there any more potent political issue in North Carolina than education? Probably not. As allies of the teachers union, Democrats hope to ride the issue back into power in Raleigh, at least by 2016. As advocates of performance pay and parental choice, Republicans hope to compete effectively with Democrats for the support of voters who value greater education opportunities for North Carolina children.
Admitted ignorance is a sign of maturity, of a willingness to learn. It can be remedied with facts. What really does grave damage is when politicians think they know something and act on it — even when what they “know” is false, misleading or incomplete. That’s how tax money is squandered, government power is abused and problems are allowed to fester.
Generally speaking, things are better than they seem -- and getting better all the time. I say this not only as a naturally optimistic person but also as one who prefers hard facts to easy sentimentality.
“I am hurt,” says the dying Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet after trying to stand up for his friend Romeo and getting stabbed for it. “A plague o' both your houses!” In popular remembrance, we actually invest the Bard’s line with even more poetic force by substituting a different word when wishing ill on both sides of a dispute: “A pox on both your houses!”
Did Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina legislature raise taxes on poor and middle-income families to give tax breaks to the wealthy?
That’s the claim that a motley crew of liberal politicians, journalists and activists have been trying desperately to peddle since July of last year, when the General Assembly enacted a package of changes to North Carolina’s tax code that included a new flat-rate income tax, higher standard deductions and child tax credits, broader tax bases and lower business taxes.
If state leaders want to improve North Carolina’s education system in the future, they will have to begin with a better understanding of the history of school reform in our state.
For 20 years, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington-based Heritage Foundation have produced international indexes of economic freedom. Countries that adopt fiscal restraint and free trade, protect the rights of contract and property ownership and avoid excessive taxes or regulations earn high scores on the index. Countries where governments abuse their power earn low scores.
Ideas that look desirable or at least workable on paper can prove to be unworkable or even disastrous when applied to the real world. Just ask the millions of Americans who, under Obamacare, have lost health plans they liked, been forced to buy more-expensive plans they don’t much like or began 2014 without knowing whether they were insured or uninsured.
According to official government estimates, paying people not to work for extended periods of time is good for the economy. This is an excellent reason why you should not take official government estimates all that seriously.
Different families have different traditions. Some go caroling. Some go on trips. Hoods would rather buy Park Place, conquer Middle Earth, or wipe out zombie infestations. Hey, now — don’t judge our New Year’s Eve gaming marathon unless you’ve tried it
As the costly implementation of the perversely named Affordable Care Act continues to baffle, disappoint and enrage the public, a collection of government vendors and left-wing groups has settled on a brilliant political strategy: castigate North Carolina for failing to do enough to implement the Affordable Care Act.
North Carolina’s economy isn’t behaving the way it was supposed to.
According to liberal critics of Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly, the state should be losing its attraction as a place to do business.
Jokes about “Polacks” have always been tasteless and silly. Based on the latest international test scores, trying to get a laugh today by portraying Polish people as ignorant or dumb is a good way to identify yourself as, well, ignorant or dumb.
For North Carolina liberals intent on recovering some political power in Raleigh, a funny thing happened on the way to a quorum: Reality intruded on their most-cherished claims about the two biggest issues in North Carolina politics.
Over the past three years, the North Carolina legislature has enacted Ronald Reagan’s favorite tax reform, Barry Goldwater’s favorite regulatory reform and Milton Friedman’s favorite education reform.