The Great North Carolina GOP "Tax Cut" of 2013 was an amazing thing to behold. Slashing income taxes on millionaires while raising sales taxes on everyone else, the move was heralded as unprecedented. Except that it wasn't unprecedented. It was a move drawn from the ALEC playbook being used by Republicans in Kansas.
How is that working out? Not so well.
Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, one of the Democrats on the joint budget committee, said the Legislature created the crisis when it passed what she considered to be radical tax cuts. Kelly showed an analysis by the nonpartisan Kansas Legislative Research Department that projects the state would have to cut $143 million from its budget in 2016 to come to a zero balance. And additional cuts would be needed each year thereafter through 2019.
“You add all of those together and you come up with $1.48 billion in cuts to come to zero. Just to come to zero, because we have to have a balanced budget,” Kelly said.
Naturally, Republicans in Kansas place the blame on President Obama and, you know, Obamacare, ignoring the fact that plenty of other states are doing just fine. Unfortunately, those plenty of other states don't include North Carolina. We're going nowhere fast, suffering from the same ALEC infliction that is destroying Kansas. When a state is unable to fund basic services like education and infrastructure maintenance, something is terribly wrong.