Columnist: John Hood

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 01:24 AM

What comes after Obamacare?

Obamacare is going to collapse. North Carolina officials and citizens need to start thinking about what comes next.


Oct. 04, 2013 @ 12:27 AM

Justice filed political lawsuit

What’s the Obama administration trying to do?

No, I’m not speculating about the president’s strategies for implementing his health care law or besting Congressional Republicans in budget battles. Today’s topic is closer to home: the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to file a lawsuit alleging that North Carolina’s new election law violates the federal constitution and Voting Rights Act.

Sep. 27, 2013 @ 01:14 PM

Show the real report card

Have you ever seen a bad grade on your child’s report card and then gotten angry at the school for sending you the report card? Of course not. Like it or not, you need to know how your child is really doing so you can do something about it.

Sep. 20, 2013 @ 12:34 PM

The right way to cut taxes

If your goal is to foster economic growth and job creation, there’s a right way and a wrong way to cut taxes on business. Fortunately, Pat McCrory and the General Assembly made the right choice.

Sep. 13, 2013 @ 12:07 PM

N.C. Roads Are Getting Better

Don’t look now, but North Carolina’s long-maligned highway system is showing signs of significant improvement.

Sep. 05, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

The crystal ball stays hidden

If you are absolutely sure what is going to happen in next year’s midterm elections, my advice is to keep it confidential, tell just a few key folks, let them be awestruck by your prescience on Election Day 2014, and then start a political-intelligence firm. You’ll make a killing.

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 11:38 AM

What McCrory is counting on

When the July jobs report for North Carolina came out last week, showing an uptick in the unemployment rate, all the usual suspects said all the usual things.

Aug. 23, 2013 @ 08:46 AM

Legislature gets A- on growth

When it comes to addressing North Carolina’s most pressing challenge, our lackluster economy, the state legislature deserves a grade of A- for its 2013 session.

Aug. 15, 2013 @ 05:50 PM

When education and politics collide

When educational statistics and state politics collide, the results can be cringe-inducing.

Aug. 09, 2013 @ 04:25 PM

New budget repairs balance sheet

As Democrats and Republicans debated North Carolina’s recently approved state budget, they devoted much of their attention to the income statement of state government. They argued about next year’s revenues and expenditures. What didn’t get nearly as much attention was how the budget affected state government’s balance sheet of assets and liabilities.

Aug. 02, 2013 @ 11:16 AM

Making education a better investment

Is state spending on education an investment or a political payoff? Critics of the North Carolina state budget just approved by Gov. Pat McCrory and the legislature use the term “investment” a lot. But their arguments sound more like cheap politics.

Jul. 26, 2013 @ 12:46 AM

Growth strategy backed by research

When you hear politicians utter the phrase “economists say,” be skeptical. There may well be economists who agree with their particular policy idea. But economists and other social scientists don’t speak with one voice. There are many differences of opinion, reflecting differences in assumptions and methodology.

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 11:52 AM

Tax reform part of broader plan

A few weeks ago, I was interviewing one of North Carolina’s senior Democratic statesmen for my upcoming biography of former Gov. Jim Martin. Not surprisingly, the interview occasionally veered from the events of 20 years ago to the events of 2013.

Jul. 11, 2013 @ 10:31 PM

State needs better business brand

Liberal politicians, activists and commentators have spent months prodding, baiting and criticizing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led state legislature. While occasionally goading their targets into making unwise comments, the obstructionists have failed to keep North Carolina’s new conservative leaders from pursuing fundamental reforms of the state’s failed public policies.

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Conservatives push for NC progress

In Raleigh, the conservatives are confidently progressive and the progressives are desperately conservative.