Lee P Butler

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Calvin's Snowmen

6-26-2003

Ah, those contemptible tax hike fighting state House and Senate Republicans are at it again. Dont they realize everyone knows that when they try to balance the budget by creating an efficient fiscal government through controlled spending, cuts in wasteful legislative expenditures and doing so without a modicum of thought to raising taxes on hard working North Carolinians its based on nothing more than cupidity?

Forget the fact that Senate Democrats budgeted $499.3 million in tax increases for fiscal year 2004 and $639.6 million in fiscal year 2005, that included increased taxes on income, sales, food, candy, and soft drinks.

"This budget, over the biennium, increases taxes over a billion dollars. It increases spending by $700 million a year. And thats not the way we need to go if we want to take advantage of the economic recovery thats on the horizon." Prospective gubernatorial hopeful Senator Patrick Ballantine (R-New Hanover) was quoted recently.

Senator Ballantine along with other prominent Republicans offered various cost effective budget amendment alternatives that included saving $200 million by eliminating thousands of vacant state government jobs and $42 million through the consolidation of 39 different worker-training programs. These alternatives would have more than compensated for the Democrats redundant craving for raising taxes, with an added stipend of using the additional funds for teacher assistants, school custodians and prescription drugs for North Carolinian senior citizens.

Yet this Senate Republican alternative budget was defeated as all 28 Democrats voted against it and have consistently denied passage of Republican submissions since. But its the dastardly GOP who keeps the blame for holding up progress in passing a budget because of their inane adherence to basic Conservative Republican ideology of protecting everyone, but in this case North Carolinians, from excessive taxation despite mendacious claims of being controlled by campaign contributions.

North Carolina Democrats continue to lament their disdain for the Tobacco industry through their constant attacks in the media and support for million dollar lawsuits, then they turn to suffering tobacco farmers and offer words of consolation that ring hollow in light of their actions as they strive tirelessly to tax those farmers livelihood into oblivion.

Democrats dont seem to understand that when big tobacco companies are sued, that money doesnt actually come from the companies themselves, but from the increased prices those companies then charge the consumer. These politicians then want to raise taxes on that same product which ultimately costs the little man they claim to champion even more. Many states already have a high tax on tobacco yet those states still have worse budget problems than we do!

Republicans have to fight politicians whose only answer for budgetary problems is always to raise taxes, because tax increases never lead to tax decreases, they only produce an escalation of the burden placed on working middle class families. Both sides need to compromise on a budget, but not at the expense of the state's citizens.

Lee P. Butler


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