Budgetary Bumbling, Stumbling
By Scott Mooneyham
Southern Pines Pilot
By now, a few Republicans in the state House and Senate have probably slipped into the offices of Senate leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney to begin measuring the drapes.
It certainly seems that Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is contemplating another go at the Democrat in the governor’s mansion, Beverly Perdue.
And why not?
Democrats have solid majorities in the state House and Senate. One of their own, a former legislator who rose up through the ranks, holds the governorship.But in these dog days of summer, the troop is bumbling around like Larry, Curly and Moe. All that’s missing is a fat, cream-filled pie.
It’s bad enough when you come to the conclusion that you need to raise $1 billion worth of taxes in this economy. It’s worse when, nearly a month into the new fiscal year without a state budget, you can’t agree on which taxes to raise or how much. It appeared for a while that Democrats in the House and Senate had finally reached a deal on a $980 million tax plan that would allow them to smash through their budgetary logjam and quickly get out of Dodge.
Then the Gang of One down the street decided to flex her muscle.
Perdue yelled, “Stop!” Her old Senate colleagues grudgingly complied, even as they pointed fingers at her. Over in the House, some of the honchos wanted to push on and dare Perdue to veto their masterpiece. Publicly, though, they tried to put a good face on things.
“This is part of a process and we’ll just keep moving forward,” said Rep. Jennifer Weiss, a Wake County Democrat and co-chair of the House Finance Committee.
That process included Perdue standing on the steps of the old Capitol Building saying that she was “stunned” to see that the legislature’s plan included a 2-percent income tax surcharge. She was stunned because “what it did was propose raising income taxes on the working families and the middle class.”
Perdue added that legislators can’t “cut the heart out of public education.”
Then she turned and strolled back inside, taking no questions from reporters. Those never-asked questions might have included queries like: “Governor, isn’t the proposed penny sales tax hike — which you wanted and which makes up the bulk of the revenue raised by the scuttled plan — isn’t that raising taxes on working families and the middle class too?” …Tweet