Pat's pretend budget

Pat has issued his "budget adjustment recommendations". It should be no surprise to anyone that he:

  • trumpets sorely needed increases, such as teacher and state employee pay;
  • tries to divert attention from the cuts necessary to fund the increases;
  • makes up numbers in an unsuccessful attempt to pretend his budget balances; and
  • keeps the tax cut for his boss, Art Pope.

Let's have a look at each, below the fold.

Pay raises!

McCrory called for raising salaries for teachers in their first seven years by 7.1 percent, to $33,000. It also gives a raise to other teachers by funding a step increase. Teachers moving to steps eight through 12 on the salary scale would receive a raise that amounts to 2.8 percent to 4.3 percent. Teachers moving to steps 13 through 26 would receive a 2 percent raise on average.

Most rank-and-file state workers would receive a raise and increase to benefits worth $1,000. It is not clear from language in the budget book that this would amount to a full $1,000 raise. The budget also funds a partial step increase for the State Highway Patrol and a pay raise for magistrates and court clerks.

We find it hard to parse that and presume it's intentional. Prevaricating Pat wants to obfuscate how much little teachers and other state workers are getting, and he doesn't say when (his "preview" of his teacher pay proposal had virtually nothing this year, just empty promises for future years).

Pay no attention to the Pope behind the curtain!

Other areas of the budget would also be trimmed. The University of North Carolina system, for example, would have to trim its budget by 2 percent under the governor’s plan. It also requires students from outside North Carolina who have full-ride scholarships to pay out-of-state tuition. Currently, out-of-state students who have full-ride academic scholarships are given in-state tuition.

Even Pathetic Pat ought to realize how colossally stupid (not to mention bitterly ironic) it is to rob the university budget to pay for teacher raises.

Making up numbers:

McCrory’s budget projects a Medicaid shortfall of about $70 million, smaller than the $130 million projected by lawmakers last month.

So Queen Aldona lied, either to legislators or to McCrony, and Pat's budget is $60 million in the hole.

And of course Pat wouldn't dare suggest restoring at least some of the lost revenue from the gift of a tax cut to Art Pope, his wealthy friends and their corporate masters.

The good news is that it seems likely that some teachers will get some raise in the relatively near term. The bad news is that it's much too little, much too late, and McClueless and the Tillisberger continue to deny that they're in a hole and they intend to keep digging vigorously.


Governor McCoalash

also "Provides [in his budget] 19 new positions in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to oversee coal ash ponds."

Job qualifications include being able to clearly say "Sounds good to me" and "Looks good to me" to the folks at Duke Energy & Pollution.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014