Everything that's wrong with NC Republicans in one picture

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ALEC is a blight on democracy.

There's two reasons why NC's Republicans like pushing their cookie-cutter bills, and the first is obvious: It opens the floodgates for corporate campaign donations. But the second reason should be embarrassing as hell for these folks, they simply aren't competent enough to write their own bills. So they use a "paint by numbers" approach and then sign their name to it. A few more observations:

ALEC takes credit for eliminating the state and local income tax deduction on everyone's federal income tax returns. For those of us in poor states, the state income tax deduction was a way to not pay a tax on a tax. ALEC framed this as an undue reward to taxpayers in states with high tax rates; they got to take a bigger deduction because they lived in states exacting a higher tax burden. ALEC wanted to punish taxpayers in states allowing more taxation, by taxing the tax paid to states. See the irony?

Oh yeah. And at the same time they're punishing middle-class taxpayers, they also push for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. For a state Legislator to become a member of ALEC, it should result in total rejection by voters at the next election. But they aren't paying attention.

Back in the day when I was a University of Oklahoma student intern for State Sen. Herbert Rozell, all Oklahoma bills were actually written by the lawmakers with the aid of a state legislative council, and carefully crafted to fill a specific niche in the statutory framework. Today, these ALEC model bills are plopped in, leaving a disconnect between existing laws and the newly added model legislation often requiring wide-scale repeal of evolved and interpreted laws already on the books. Sometimes it gives rise to tinkering with other aspects of the state laws.

For ALEC, that's not a flaw but a feature. They would literally rewrite *all* state laws if they could, but the ripple effect provides cover for them.