• The Tax and Spend Trap

    On top of $16 million tax hike enacted last year, county officials now ponder closing a $35 million budget gap with yet another tax hike. Time for a new approach.

  • Plan Renews Sales, Income Tax Hike

    RALEIGH — Gov. Mike Easley, in his proposed budget for the 2005-07 biennium, recommended yesterday that lawmakers retain a now four-year-old "temporary" sales tax increase and also tack an additional 45-cent per pack tax on cigarettes. At the same time the governor called for the extension of another "temporary" income tax – a fourth tax bracket implemented four years ago on the state's highest earners – which would ultimately be phased out in 2007. Easley wants to spend $1.125 billion more than the state is currently projected to receive in revenues next year. Two-thirds of this deficit would be closed with higher taxes.

  • State Health Care Called Bad Option

    RALEIGH — Health care costs are out of control due to several factors, but a panel of speakers said yesterday that government subsidized and imposed universal health care in the U.S would make a troubled system worse. Representatives of N.C. physicians and hospitals, and executives from pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and health insurer Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, agreed costs would spiral further out of control and limit access to medical services for many in need. The discussion was part of a conference held in Raleigh by the nonprofit Center for Citizenship, Enterprise, and Government.

  • How Solid Is The University’s Core?

    RALEIGH — The study of Western civilization used to be a rite of passage for the university-educated. Now it is an afterthought at best, consigned to the shadows of the curriculum as universities pursue trendy multiculturalism. And the reaction to a proposal to bring Western civilization back shows how feared the liberating study is by campus radicals. In North Carolina, 36 percent of the 11 UNC schools surveyed still require a course in Western history or Western civilization. But about 64 percent require a multicultural or cultural diversity course. A recent study declared this finding “at best a sign of interest in non-Western cultures, but all too often an exercise in politically correct ‘education.’”

  • Weekly Report 2004-04-09

    For the week of April 09, 2004 – carolinajournal.com Reaction of the Week As the North Carolina General Assembly provided for last year in the biennial budget, the Council of State this week approved the borrowing of $300 million for…

  • Weekly Report 2004-03-05

    For the week of March 05, 2004 – carolinajournal.com Reaction of the Week National attention paid to the Democratic presidential nomination process diminished this week, as Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry brushed aside his final serious opponent, North Carolina Sen. John…

  • State Promotes Mentorship Programs

    RALEIGH — Have you ever had a mentor? Most of us associate this idea with something we experienced as children. Gov. Mike Easley proclaimed January “National Mentoring Month,” and is encouraging support of state-sponsored screening, training, and assignment programs for mentors. Through the NC Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service and the North Carolina Mentoring Partnership, the governor’s office recruits prospective mentors. PSAs remind listeners of the benefits — volunteer opportunities for them — that will also benefit children.

  • The Local Tax Man Cometh — Again

    North Carolina cities and counties are facing another round of tough budget choices this year. Some are already talking about raising current taxes -- or getting new ones, again.