North Carolina’s ‘Moral Mondays’ Crowd has a Wish List that Taxpayers Can’t Afford

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(talkingpointsmemo.com)

North Carolina lawmakers are beginning to understand exactly what the state’s progressives are looking to accomplish with their weekly “Moral Monday” protests at the Capitol, and it’s insanely expensive.

Forbes contributor Patrick Gleason reports that North Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger sent a letter to progressive leaders this spring to get a better idea of the associated costs of the actual policy changes sought by the state’s far left leaders.

What soon became apparent is the Moral Monday crowd’s list of demands – which includes permitting collective bargaining for all government employees, expanding Medicaid, state subsidized child care for all, state provided health insurance for all and other measures – would entail an astronomical tax increase the state definitely cannot afford, according to Gleason.

“The non-partisan fiscal staff found that the Moral Monday agenda, if implemented, would require state lawmakers to raise taxes by $7 billion. For some context, such a tax hike would increase the North Carolina general fund by a whopping 35 percent,” Gleason wrote.

Most of the money would have to come from a massive increase in taxes on corporations, which have been driving the state’s economic recovery in recent years, making the plan promoted by North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber and other progressives not only unrealistic, but financially reckless.

“The Moral Monday plan would also necessitate a nearly ten-fold increase in the state corporate income tax, taking the rate from 6 to over 50 percent. Combined with the federal income tax, the highest in the world, if Rev. Barber and crew had their druthers, companies would face a combined tax rate of over 80 percent on profits earned in North Carolina,” Gleason reports.

“The likely result of such an onerous tax would be a mass evacuation of companies from Research Triangle Park, Charlotte, and elsewhere in the state.”

Other estimates for implementing the progressive political agenda put the total cost at closer to $10 billion.

Thankfully, even the state’s most liberal Democratic lawmakers realize that the absurdly expensive demands are impractical, and stand zero chance of passing the Republican-controlled state legislature.

“Just as President Obama’s budgets have garnered a grand total of zero votes in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, legislative Democrats in North Carolina are showing a similar aversion to putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to funding a progressive budget,” Gleason wrote.

That’s likely because voters would blow a gasket, especially considering how well conservative policies have worked for turning around the state’s economy since Republicans took over the legislature in 2010.

“Thanks in large part to reforms enacted since then – such a regulatory reform, unemployment insurance reform, and the historic 2013 tax reform act that will allow North Carolinians to keep more of their hard-earned income – North Carolina has witnessed a tremendous economic comeback,” Gleason wrote. “With the addition of 200,000 jobs since 2011, North Carolina’s unemployment rate is below the national average for the first time since 2006.

“In fact, since the Moral Monday protests began in April of 2013, there has been a 39 percent reduction in North Carolina’s unemployment rate, dropping from 8.9 to 6.3 percent.”

The conclusion is simple:

“ … (I)t’s now clear that the progressive North Carolina protesters’ agenda, once the actual costs are advertised, won’t find much support even from Democratic legislators, let alone the public,” Gleason wrote.

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