So I’ve been disappointingly quiet of late. I suppose I just haven’t been able to rouse up a blistering rage about anything to spew forth here for the enjoyment or frustration of the three readers we have (it might be more, but they’re probably just bots in disguise). This morning driving into work, however, I heard something on WPTF that made me want to throw things at my radio (as opposed to my fellow commuters, which is the norm).
The State of North Carolina currently has a $2,000,000,000 (yes, that’s two billion) surplus. Now, common sense to me says that if you’ve taken money from people to fund something and end up not needing it all, you give back the money to the people from whom you took it. Unfortunately, the legislature of the Old North State doesn’t exactly follow that same logic. The report on the radio this morning noted that one of the main goals of the short summer session was to decide what to do with that surplus.
The simple fact that they even feel the need to consider what to do with the money flabbergasts me. At the absolute worst, they should sock the money away in an interest bearing account and save it for a rainy day to cover a future shortfall. In a perfect world, they’d give that money back to the citizens of North Carolina in proportion with the amount of money they shelled out to reach that two billion dollar figure. After all, they could do something gracious like, just maybe, reducing the gas tax in the state. Right now North Carolina has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the United States, to the point that trucking companies tell their drivers to avoid filling up in the state if at all possible.
But doing something of that nature (or otherwise lowering taxes) is completely anathema to the Democratic majority in the North Carolina legislature. Instead they opt to try and find other ways to spend the money for programs that will keep them elected and spending money that doesn’t belong to them. Of course, many of the voters aren’t much help on this as they’re too busy standing there with their hands out going ‘hey, I want my cut!’ Unfortunately their viewpoint of ‘my cut’ tends to involve their ’share’ along with the shares of about a dozen of their neighbors.
I’d say the voters this Fall need to send a message to these idiots in the NC Legislature that behavior of this nature is unconscionable and will not be tolerated. My cynicism knows no bounds, however, when it comes to the ability (or even desire) of my fellow voters to do this. Instead many of them will simply vote for the person promising them the biggest cut of their neighbors’ money and the legislature will continue on as it has in many years. I suppose there is always hope that the Speaker of the House will get indicted like rumor keeps saying may be happening, but I have a hard time believing it.
Instead I’ll sit here and fume because the first thought of the legislature is how to spend a surplus rather than how to save it or return it to the people from whom they took it. Fiscal responsibility is dead in 99% of the politicians in this country and it is simply a matter of how they can use the money from tax revenues to keep themselves in office.