Maps of the day

Via Slate.  Love this.


Photo of the day

Via Slate.  Look closely and you’ll see a frog in the photo.  It’s real.  Awesome.


More myths

A short while back, Rob Christensen provided 10 myths of NC politics, NC Policy Watch’s Chris Fitzsimon was clearly inspired to do a little myth-busting of his own (clearly in a much more partisan way, admittedly).  My favorites:

1. They increased spending on public schools.

No they didn’t.  They spent over $100 million less than the Office of Management and Budget, headed by none other than Art Pope himself, told lawmakers it would take to keep schools funded at the same level as last year.

They spent over $500 million less on public education than lawmakers spent in 2007-2008 when you adjust for inflation.  That’s why thousands of teacher assistants are being laid off, hundreds if not thousands of teacher positions are being lost, classes are getting bigger and funds for supplies and school buses and textbooks are being cut…

2. They cut taxes for everybody and that will turn the economy around.

No they didn’t and no it won’t.

They cut taxes for out of state corporations and the wealthy. When you factor in the end to the state Earned Income Tax Credit, the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers will pay more under the tax shift plan, including many small businesses.

The legislature’s own Fiscal Research Division says that a couple with two children that earns $60,000 with most of the income from their small business will pay $2,700 more in state taxes.

Millionaires, on the other hand, will get almost $10,000 a year break.

As for the jobs claim, most economists don’t believe it—and not just liberal scholars. Dr. Mike Walden, an adjunct scholar with the John Locke Foundation, says the evidence shows that cutting state taxes on the wealthy and corporations does not create jobs.

McCrory promised many times that any tax reform plan would be revenue neutral but the great tax shift he signed will cost $600 million over the next two years, $2.4 billion over the next four years. That means less money for teachers and schools and health care for folks who need it…

7.  The dramatic changes in voting laws are only about restoring integrity and public confidence in our elections.

No, they are not.  They are about making it more likely that Republicans will win elections by making it harder for people who support Democrats to vote. That is the strategy behind not only the unnecessary and disenfranchising voter ID law, but also the more than 20 other voting changes snuck into the elections bill at the last minute.

Reducing the number of early voting days, ending same day registration, and ending pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds have nothing to do with integrity of the process. They are designed for one reason, to make it harder for certain people to vote.

Plus four more!

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