Thank you, Governor Pope

In 2011, my two-income family was very fortunate. We worked hard, got lucky, and earned a great deal of money. As a result, we paid $62,204 in state income taxes. Next year, thanks to Governor Pope, we'll pay no income taxes whatsoever! And even though the state sales tax rate will go up to 8%, including a new tax on food, the most we'll have to pay is about $6,500, or approximately ten times less.

How is that kind of deficit going to be closed? It's not. That's because Governor Pope's real motive is to execute the Grover Norquist Strategy of making government so small he can drown it in a bathtub.

What does that mean for North Carolina? It means a race to the bottom. If you are a public-sector employee and don't happen to be a Friend of Art, it's a safe bet you are going to either (1) lose your job, (2) get a pay cut, or (3) see your income frozen. If you are unemployed or poor, you will be paying more in taxes next year than you did last year, filling the gap resulting from "tax reform." And if you are a middle class family scrambling to get by in these tough times, you're in for a world of hurt. Your children will end up in more crowded classrooms. The roads your drive on will not be maintained. The parks you visit will fall into disrepair. The air you breathe will be more polluted. The water you drink will be more expensive and toxic. And the state you love will become another subsidiary in Art Pope's slum retailing empire, full of cheap crap from China.

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