N&R endorses Davis in 13th; Walker in 6th

The Greensboro News & Record issued its endorsements for local Congressional office today. In the realigned 13th, the N&R endorsed Democrat Bruce Davis over Republican Ted Budd:

Davis is a well-known personality in Guilford County politics. He was a county commissioner for 12 years. He also was the board’s chairman in 2005.

Davis, who operates a day care center in High Point, won the Democratic primary in the district by 112 votes over a Greensboro developer, Bob Isner.

Davis, a former Marine, says he owns several guns and fully supports the Second Amendment. He would tweak but not repeal the Affordable Care Act. He also disputes that Clinton would do anything to infringe on the right to bear arms. Generally speaking, he hews about as closely to most standard Democratic policies as Budd does to Republican ones.

Meanwhile— somewhat of a surprise here—the N&R goes with incumbent Republican Mark Walker over Democrat challenger Pete Gildewell. A somewhat left-handed endorsement, however, especially considering Walker’s support for HB2 and Donald Trump:

Walker gave a warm-up speech for Donald Trump in Greensboro Oct. 14 — despite the accusations by women about Trump’s inappropriate conduct. A month earlier, when the NCAA moved championship events from Greensboro in response to House Bill 2, Walker attacked: “We will not be intimidated by elitists who are attempting to extort and embarrass North Carolina for defending its citizens,” he said in a statement.

HB 2 only defends citizens who want to discriminate against LGBT people. And extortion is a crime. Walker should hope the NCAA returns events to Greensboro after HB 2 is repealed, but casting insults won’t help.

Here’s where the N&R gets it wrong, however–many citizens who support HB2 don’t want to discriminate against LGBT people. They simply believe government shouldn’t dictate bathroom policy on people’s private property that they maintain with their money and their sweat.

Corruption is king

Mark Steyn ponders the role of corruption in American politics.

As I’ve said for years – on radio, TV and in print – for me the overriding issue in American politics is the corruption. In the Obama era, we have seen the remorseless merging of the party and the state – in the IRS, in the Justice Department and elsewhere. Whatever one feels about, say, Scandinavia, they at least come to their statism and socialism more or less honestly. Not so the United States.

It’s bad enough that Democrats aren’t agitated about this corruption – but then it works to their advantage. Slightly more mysterious is why so many of my friends on the right aren’t incensed by it. For months, conservative commentators assured us that, when it comes to straight arrows, no arrow is straighter than FBI honcho James Comey – non-partisan, career public servant, will follow the evidence whereso’er it leads; why, “no one in law enforcement” is “more capable of navigating through a political maelstrom” and any attempts to politicize the outcome will ensure that “Comey will resign in protest, and other high-level FBI officials could follow him out the door”.

All bollocks. Bollocks on stilts. Like everything else the Clintons touch, Comey’s FBI is hopelessly corrupted – and certainly more corrupt than J Edgar Hoover’s FBI, at least in the sense that Hoover was independent enough not to get rolled. The revelations of what happened reveal Comey to be a hack and a squish: he offered immunity to Hillary’s aides not to facilitate his investigation but to obstruct any further investigation; he allowed witnesses to Hillary’s crimes to serve as her “lawyers”; and he physically destroyed the evidence – that is, the laptops. A 6′ 8″ gummi worm would be more of a straight arrow. …

… So, to add to the corrupt revenue agency and the corrupt justice department, we now have a corrupt national law enforcement agency and a corrupt foreign ministry – willing, indeed, to subordinate national security and its own diplomatic policy to the personal needs of Hillary Clinton. Needless to say, if you get your news from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, etc, etc, you will be entirely unaware of all this. Which is the way they plan on operating for the next eight years.

A small but telling point: Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over four years. But not until he leaked against Hillary was his Internet cut off. Hillary, out of office, has a swifter and more ruthless global reach than Hillary in office on the night of Benghazi. And, should she win, her view of her subjects is that we should have the same information access as Ecuadorian Embassy refugees.

Prepare for a sexism ‘tsunami’

Heather Wilhelm warns at National Review Online that we’ll soon be hearing a lot more complaints about sexism, thanks to the Hillary Clinton campaign for president.

Say what you will about Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, but it’s done a heck of a job of feeding various ideological hobgoblins across the United States. Some will fade away after November 8; others, alas, will quickly shoot up some proverbial post-election steroids and haunt us with madcap vigor for years to come. When it comes to pure staying power, however, I’d cast my chips on one hobgoblin in particular, no matter who wins the election. That would be the “sexism is everywhere” trope, long beloved by the Left.

Let’s not kid ourselves: Any of this year’s GOP hopefuls would have faced a barrage of accusations of sexism, misogyny, and general monstrous behavior when running against Hillary Clinton. Even if Donald Trump had not decided to take the GOP on his own tawdry, NC-17 version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride — numerous women have lined up to accuse him of sexual assault, and his Access Hollywood comments bragging about doing just that still light up the press — there would still have been talk of “the sexism inherent in all that interrupting” (that’s from the Washington Post) and the woes of “debating while female” (that’s NPR).

The only Republican presidential hopeful who might have dodged this, in fact, was Carly Fiorina, since she is, after all, a woman — but even then, I’m not so sure. Who knows? Maybe her stance against Planned Parenthood would be rendered “sexist.” Maybe she would have made the fatal mistake of referencing something bone-chilling and horrifying, like, say, “binders full of women.”

But enough with the alternate histories: The GOP nominated Donald Trump, he of “grab them by the you-know-what” infamy, and here we are, and it’s almost over except for the crying — and, of course, the rise of a new, improved, never-say-die “sexism is everywhere” narrative.

Voter fraud? Don’t tell the News & Observer

Betsy Rothstein of the Daily Caller highlights an amusing remark from longtime Clinton adviser and Democratic operative James Carville.

The man known as the Ragin’ Cajun has spoken.

Democratic strategist and avid Clinton supporter James Carville weighed in on the final presidential debate from New Orleans Wednesday night between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Appearing on MSNBC, Carville acknowledged to anchor Brian Williams, “Well, of course there will be some fraud.” [Emphasis added.]

Huh? …

… And then….will this thing be rigged like Trump says it will be?

“To the question of will there be fraud?” he asked. “Well, of course there will be some fraud. You couldn’t have 130, 140 million people do something perfectly.”

Mr. Carville apparently avoids reading the Raleigh News & Observer, which routinely downplays voter fraud in stories about North Carolina’s voter ID requirement. Of course, Carville is not alone when he makes his more well-informed assessment.

Heck, even a liberal lion of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens, once wrote, Unfortunately, the United States has a long history of voter fraud that has been documented by historians and journalists.”

The need for ‘Reaganesque’ tax reforms

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas writes at National Review Online about the need for significant federal tax reform.

Thirty years ago this week President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986, landmark legislation recognized as the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code in our nation’s history. Upon signing the bill into law, President Reagan described the new tax code as one “designed to take us into a future of technological invention and economic achievement, one that will keep America competitive and growing into the 21st century.”

True to these words, the American economy saw remarkable improvements as our nation led the way in developing breakthrough products and technologies. But our tax code also has changed significantly since 1986 — and not for the better. Unlike the American inventions and achievements that have expanded horizons of possibility, our nation’s tax code has become an excessive burden that strangles individual opportunity and economic freedom.

Over the past decade alone, more than 4,400 changes have been made to the U.S. tax code. That equals more than one change per day. Meanwhile, our nation’s tax laws have come to fill more than 70,000 pages, forcing taxpayers to spend an incredible amount of time and money preparing their tax returns each year. A recent study by the Tax Foundation projects that Americans will devote over 8.9 billion hours to complying with IRS tax-filing requirements in 2016.

House Republicans believe that now is the time to move forward with bold, pro-growth tax reform. That’s why, earlier this year, we put forward a detailed blueprint for comprehensive tax reform that will lift the burdens on families and job creators and propel our nation into a new era of economic prosperity and leadership.

This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

Conservative government reformers have made great strides in North Carolina in recent years. The John Locke Foundation’s 20th-anniversary Agenda document outlines dozens of ways reformers can make other positive changes in taxation, education, health care, and other core areas of state government. Roy Cordato discusses the JLF Agenda during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

Barry Smith offers updates on two of his recent Carolina Journal stories. One involves the aftermath of a court ruling against the state Map Act, while the other highlights a local government decision limiting the Durham Rescue Mission’s ability to develop its property. The University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors responds to a report from Matthew Pellish of the Education Advisory Board about performance-based budgeting in higher education.

Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute discusses the potential impact of the 2016 election on the future of the U.S. Supreme Court. Plus State Auditor Beth Wood details common problems from audits conducted for programs and agencies across N.C. state government.

New Carolina Journal Online features

Barry Smith reports for Carolina Journal Online on a free-speech advocate’s response to recent protests involving college band members and the national anthem.

Michael Lowrey’s Daily Journal explores the links between a recent decline in retail sales and local government policies.

Does North Carolina have a sales tax or a cascade tax

North Carolina has a sales tax, right? A sales tax is supposed to tax the final sale of goods and services and only the final sales. But the fact is that our sales tax applies not only to final sales but also to business to business sales–that is to sales from one stage of production to another, which causes what is known as a cascading effect, leading to a tax rate on final sales that is actually higher than the statutory sales tax rate. From Investopedia.com here’s how it works.

DEFINITION of ‘Cascade Tax’

A tax that is levied on a good at each stage of the production process up to the point of being sold to the final consumer. A cascade tax is a type of turnover tax with each successive transfer being taxed inclusive of any previous cascade taxes being levied. Because each successive turnovers includes the taxes of all previous turnovers, the end tax amount will be greater than the cascade tax rate.


Cascade tax can create higher tax revenues compared to a single stage tax, because tax is imposed on top of tax.
For example, a government levies a 2% cascade tax on all goods produced and distributed. A company sells $1,000 worth of stone for a tax-inclusive price of $1,020 ($1000 + 2% cascade tax) to an artist. The artist makes a sculpture out of the stone and wants to make $2,000 when he sells it to an art dealer, so he adds this figure to what he paid for the stone to get $3,020, and then adds on the cascade tax to bring the total to get $3,080 ($3020 + 2%). The art dealer wants to make $5,000 for the sculpture, adding this to $3,080 for a pre-tax $8,080. She then adds the 2% cascade tax for a total price of $8,242. The government collected taxes of $242, which is actually a rate of 3.025% ($242/$8,000).

Maybe instead of trying to find ways of extending the sales tax to services the more important fix that the tax needs is to get rid of this cascading effect by abolishing the tax for business-to-business sales.