Whither NC

Thanks to DJC for sharing this excellent post on FB about the contrasting Democratic and Republican visions and what it means for North Carolina.  Loved this conclusion:

It was the public investment in education that drove growth in our state.
It was our dedication to environmental protections, not “regulation”, which preserved our natural beauty and led to our status as one of the top states for tourism.
It was the view of our state as a beacon of progress to the rest of the South that led to people moving here and great companies not only being founded but sticking around.
We need ideas, yes, but we also must tell the story of what made this state great. It was the people of North Carolina who did so, as [Governor Pat] McCrory would note, but it was the people working together to build progress. It was people believing in something bigger than themselves. It was people who understood that investing in education, good roads, environmental protections and fighting inequality did not mean a burden.
If McCrory’s vision was correct then Mississippi and South Carolina would be beacons of economic success. [emphasis mine] The truth is that his narrative is wrong, but it is up to all of us to respond with a narrative that reminds people of where we have been while inspiring them to move forward towards a brighter future if we hope to emerge victorious in the years ahead.
I love that point and it’s not made often enough.  South Carolina (and much of the deep South) is pretty much the Republican ideal of small government, low regulation, and regressive taxes.  But you sure don’t hear a lot about what a great success story these places are and people wanting to move there.  And North Carolina used to be like these states decades ago, but made a conscious (and progressive) choice to invest in education and infrastructure.  It’s paid huge dividends.  I would hate to have our state fall back to the level of that other Carolina.

Too good not to share

Photo of the day

In honor of the .1 inch of so of ice that is paralyzing Raleigh today, a very cool set of photos (In Focus) from the aftermath of a Chicago fire in freezing temperatures:

A truck is covered in ice as firefighters work to extinguish a massive blaze at a vacant warehouse in Chicago, Illinois, on January 23, 2013. More than 200 firefighters battled the five-alarm fire as temperatures were in the single digits. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Why Republicans really hate deficits

Love Drum’s analysis here:

Yep. Republicans haven’t cared about the deficit for decades. They got a bit worried about it when Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut didn’t pay for itself the way he promised, and this prompted them to reluctantly pass Reagan’s 1982 tax increase. But they very quickly sent that 1982 bill down the memory hole, pretending to this day that Saint Ronnie never increased taxes. Since then, they’ve cared about deficits only when Democrats were in office.

As it happens, I don’t think there’s anything nefarious about this. Republicans don’t like Democratic spending priorities, and yelling about the deficit is a very effective way of objecting to all of them without having to waste time arguing about each one separately. It’s an effective strategy with the press corps, which for some reason is deficit-phobic, and it’s effective with the public, which generally retains its belief that government finances are similar to household finances. If I were a Republican, I’d latch onto deficits as an anti-spending tactic too. It works pretty well.

That said, it’s still worth keeping the truth in mind. What frustrates me isn’t so much that Republicans do this—that’s just politics—but that the press so routinely lets them get away with it. I understand the constraints they work under, but still. The difference between actual Republican priorities and claimed Republican priorities is so obvious that it hardly counts as editorializing to point it out.

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