Taxes (page 215)

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    Stand firm Grover: Tax pledges still apply

    Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, is under fire. More than half of U.S. representatives—238—have signed his ATR pledge to not raise taxes under any circumstances. (That includes six of North Carolina's 13 representatives, all Republicans.) So when the super-committee issues its recommendations next month, either there will be no tax increases or implementation will require pledge violations from 21 representatives. The notion that higher taxes could be off the table, however, is unfathomable to many. For example, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-W.Va.), one of six House Republicans that have not signed the pledge, has accused Norquist of “paralyzing congress” with ideological purity and working with “unsavory characters.” Evidently, hyperbolic metaphors, exaggerations, and personal attacks remain in vogue, perhaps because the relevant evidence leads us to an altogether different conclusion. (Norquist explains the ATR pledge to Stephen Colbert below.)   The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Of those who have attempted to address the ATR pledge directly, they express two leading concerns. (1) We cannot maintain the generosity of the federal spending and balance the budget (not that they’ve passed one) without higher revenues. (2) A hard line against any tax increases impedes the closing of many loopholes for special interest groups.
    Fergus Hodgson, October 21, 2011
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    New at CJO: Citizens Against Government Waste rates the N.C. congressional delegation

    David Bass reports for Carolina Journal Online about the latest congressional rankings from Citizens Against Government Waste, which has named four N.C. lawmakers “taxpayer heroes.”…
    Mitch Kokai, October 20, 2011
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    JLF experts critique a pair of tax increases proposed for Durham County

    Durham County wants taxpayers to hand over another $26.5 million a year in sales taxes for school and transit projects. John Locke Foundation researchers question Durham’s plan in a new report. “Despite county commissioners’ claims about how much Durham County government needs this money, the facts…
    Mitch Kokai, October 19, 2011
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    Laffer likes the 9-9-9 plan

    Famed supply-side economist Art Laffer — of Laffer Curve fame — tells Human Events that he supports Herman Cain’s tax proposal. “Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a vast improvement over the current tax system and a boon to the U.S. economy,” Laffer told…
    Mitch Kokai, October 13, 2011
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    JLF critiques Orange County’s $2.5 million sales tax proposal

    Orange County voters have another chance next month to decide whether they want to raise the local sales tax rate by a quarter-cent. A new John Locke Foundation report offers a number of reasons why voters might want to think twice before giving county commissioners additional power to…
    Mitch Kokai, October 12, 2011
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    Education budget changes in national context

    The left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities recently updated their report on changes to education budgets in 46 states. The report focused on changes between FY2008 and FY2012.  However, the CBPP comparisons of FY2011 and FY2012 budgets are more relevant to the political debate in North Carolina. According…
    Terry Stoops, October 11, 2011
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    Kudlow spreads the good cheer

    If you’re in a funk about the current state of the economy and the government’s approach to it, you might want to skip the closing paragraphs of Lawrence Kudlow‘s latest column: According to Rasmussen, fewer than half believe their homes are worth more than…
    Mitch Kokai, October 7, 2011
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    This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

    Several North Carolina counties are asking voters in November for permission to raise the local sales tax. Michael Sanera critiques the sales pitch offered for those tax hikes during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio. Roy Cordato discusses a new legislative study of North Carolina’s certificate of…
    Mitch Kokai, October 7, 2011