Columnist: John Hood

Mar. 14, 2014 @ 01:13 AM

Will N.C. make par in 2014?

If North Carolina Democrats were to gain some legislative seats this year, state and national pundits would probably spill gobs of ink -- or at least fill gobs of pixels -- with elaborate explanations of how the party began to recover its footing in a state it once dominated.

Based on North Carolina’s modern political history, however, what would really be surprising is if Republicans didn’t lose seats in 2014.

Mar. 07, 2014 @ 12:49 PM

North Carolina boringly average

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.

Feb. 28, 2014 @ 01:02 AM

North Carolina doesn’t pay more for less

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.

Feb. 21, 2014 @ 02:21 AM

Institute tracks human progress

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.

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 02:40 PM

A bard’s-eye look at N.C. politics today

“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!”

Jan. 31, 2014 @ 12:20 AM

North Carolina got broad tax cut

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.

Jan. 23, 2014 @ 11:38 PM

Hunt Got It Wrong

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.

Jan. 17, 2014 @ 10:58 AM

Freedom leads to growth

Are you ready for some good news?

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.

Jan. 09, 2014 @ 06:22 PM

Smaller can be better

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.

Jan. 03, 2014 @ 11:38 AM

Time to employ common sense

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.

Dec. 27, 2013 @ 10:48 AM

You can’t win at monopoly

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

Dec. 20, 2013 @ 12:47 PM

We won’t buy this lemon

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.

Dec. 12, 2013 @ 03:47 PM

Labor market on the mend

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.

Dec. 07, 2013 @ 11:23 PM

Poles vault far above us

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.

Nov. 27, 2013 @ 05:10 PM

Liberal claims get reality check

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.