Remembering 9/11 :: September 11, 2001

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion

Despite their protests, Democrats in the state legislature can’t get around a simple fact: It's now been 11 years since legislators asked for North Carolinians’ permission to borrow money.

Nonetheless, legislatures controlled by Democrats have authorized more than $3 billion in borrowing during those 11 years.

Legislative Republicans want to end the practice of taking on debt by “special indebtedness,” bureaucratese for state borrowing that doesn’t require voter approval.

That inconvenient fact, the total lack of traditional borrowing since 2000, is surely their biggest stick to beat back critics of a proposal to end non-voter approved state debt.

 

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The longer the budget debate lasts in the General Assembly, the more puzzling it must be to the vast majority of people in North Carolina.

House and Senate leaders keep saying that it makes more sense to fire teachers, slash mental health services, and abolish more than 20,000 jobs than keep the sales tax at its current level.

The difference for the average family is a few dollars a month. No wonder most people don’t understand it.

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RALEIGH -- One of the stranger aspects of the messy state budget-making process is that state leaders, as much as they might like to, can’t really cut to the chase.

At some point in that process, the general shape of the end-product becomes fairly apparent to astute observers.

This year, that end-product will likely include $400 million to $600 million more than the $19 billion budget plan crafted by House Republicans. Most of the additional money will go to public schools and universities.

The money probably won’t come from extending a penny sales tax hike scheduled to expire on July 1. It probably will come from holding off on state building repairs, tapping the state's reserve savings account, and grabbing money that House Republicans had designated for the state's pension fund.

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A couple of months ago, a burning of a Quran in a Florida Christian Fundamentalist Church sparked a violent reaction with scores of deaths in demonstrations by Fundamentalist Muslims in Afghanistan. The United States attemped a conciliatory tone with statements such as those from General David Petraeus. “We further hope the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the Holy Quran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.”

 

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