1,000—amount in dollars of the increase in state taxes that a married couple with two children would pay under the tax plan proposed by Senate leaders (“Senate GOP debuts far-reaching tax overhaul, “Raleigh News & Observer, May 7, 2013)
6,000—amount in dollars of the decrease in state taxes that a single person earning $200,000 would pay under the tax plan proposed by Senate leaders (Ibid)
80—percentage of state taxpayers that will pay more taxes under the House tax reform plan than under the current tax system (“Preliminary Analysis of House Tax Plan, The Progressive Pulse, May 17, 2013)
35—percentage of income tax cuts that will go to people who earn an average of $940,000 under the House tax reform plan (Ibid)
13—rank of North Carolina among states in highest percentage of population living in poverty (“North Carolina’s Earned Income Tax Credit: A Modest but Vital Boost to Low-Paid Workers across the State, N.C Budget & Tax Center, February 2013) READ Much More
Are you angry that right-wing lawmakers in North Carolina turned down $20 billion in federal dollars that would have provided coverage to over 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians while boosting our state's economy and creating jobs? READ More and Act Now.
EARLY last month, a triple suicide was reported in the seaside town of Civitanova Marche, Italy. A married couple, Anna Maria Sopranzi, 68, and Romeo Dionisi, 62, had been struggling to live on her monthly pension of around 500 euros (about $650), and had fallen behind on rent.
Because the Italian government’s austerity budget had raised the retirement age, Mr. Dionisi, a former construction worker, became one of Italy’s esodati (exiled ones) — older workers plunged into poverty without a safety net. On April 5, he and his wife left a note on a neighbor’s car asking for forgiveness, then hanged themselves in a storage closet at home. When Ms. Sopranzi’s brother, Giuseppe Sopranzi, 73, heard the news, he drowned himself in the Adriatic.
The correlation between unemployment and suicide has been observed since the 19th century. People looking for work are about twice as likely to end their lives as those who have jobs. READ More
North Carolina Historians Jailed for Protesting Voting Rights Abuses, Regressive Policies
This Thursday (May 16, 2013), Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann are holding a vote to repeal health care reform in its entirety. It's the Republicans' latest scare tactic to drive Tea Party hysteria and demagogue Obamacare just as reform is taking shape across the country. If Bachmann and Cantor think we'll back down now, they're in for a big surprise. Help us have our biggest showing of support yet for Obamacare:
Here's what repeal would mean for our healthcare system: denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, increasing prescription drug costs, and eliminating the cap on exorbitant health care costs. That would be a devastating blow to middle class families across the country.
Republicans need to know that healthcare reform isn't just another ideological battle, and your signature will help send them that message.
It is time for President Obama to abandon his hopes of reaching a grand budget bargain with Republicans.
At every opportunity since they took over the House in 2011, Republicans have made it clear that they have no interest in reaching a compromise with the White House. For two years, they held sham negotiations with Democrats that only dragged down the economy with cuts; this year, they are refusing even to sit down at the table.
Mr. Obama hasn’t given up inviting the Republicans to join him in making the hard choices of governing, but he has been rebuffed each time. This year, in hopes of getting some support for modest tax increases on the rich, he even proposed a reduction in the cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients. The events of the last few weeks should make it clear to him why that offer should be pulled from the table immediately. Consider: READ More
The naming of proposed legislation can be a depressingly Orwellian practice in which the title is the opposite of the effect. The latest example is a state Senate proposal to change the state tax code. It’s called the Tax Fairness Act.
Oh, Big Brother, no, it’s not. This is the Let Working Families Pay More And The Rich Pay Less Act.
That title isn’t as catchy, but it has the virtue of being true. If the General Assembly is going to pass some semblance of this proposal, the public ought to know what it is.
Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Eden, joined by Sens. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and Bill Rabon, R-Columbus, described the tax plan in broad terms at a news conference Tuesday. (A bill has yet to be seen.) In a supporting video released online at NCtaxcut.com, Berger stands alone in a factory and describes how the plan will make taxes fairer and cost most taxpayers less, thanks to a $1 billion tax cut over three years. If he were selling TVs with such a pitch, his inventory would be gone in 24 hours.
But what’s being sold is North Carolina’s future. READ More
I am writing to express my extreme displeasure with your votes on April 17 against gun background checks and gun trafficking.
There are no excuses for such stances which are clearly based upon political calculation. So rather than trying to persuade or shame you with moral or logical reasoning, I will appeal to your obvious desire for political self-preservation.
Despite outward appearances, North Carolina is a purple state. Continued growth and changing demographics will accelerate its change from a reliably red state to a swing state. In three years, your campaign for reelection will face a state electorate unfriendly to an official who is both unwilling to compromise and unresponsive to its will.
As part of that previously silent majority, I have no intention of waiting three years to begin working against your continued representation of my beloved state. Lest you be tempted to disregard negative feedback based upon my address in one of the state?s more left-leaning areas, please consider that friends and family, young and old, are scattered throughout our state. All of them are reliable voters, and all of them have an extensive network of friends and contacts of their own.
Additionally, I intend to contact newspapers throughout North Carolina asking them to include your vote against sensible gun regulations within or beside each story of gun violence in our state. Every report of murder, suicide, drive-by or accidental shooting, act of domestic violence, rape or assault committed with a gun should include a reminder of your recent votes on the issue. Sen. Hagan?s courageous votes should be included for contrast.
In addition to gun violence within our own state, guns from North Carolina flow up the I-95 corridor to major cities in the northeast. While states and cities with tighter regulations may not yet be able to stem the tide of guns from states with weaker laws, they should be able to hold lawmakers accountable. As such, I will be contacting news outlets suggesting that reports of crimes or tragedies occurring in the north with guns traced to North Carolina should also include the voting record of our senators.
I hope in the future you will work for the best interests of the entire population of North Carolina rather than for a narrow constituency. Your votes have real-world consequences that extend beyond your own reelection.
North Carolina: A Banana Republic for Dirty Energy Interests?
Clean energy opponents turned to dirty tactics this week at the North Carolina legislature to advance a bill repealing the state's groundbreaking renewable power program.
In a contested vote that led to an outcry from Democrats, the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday advanced a measure to roll back the 2007 state law requiring electric utilities to generate a modest amount of energy from renewable sources including solar, wind, and livestock methane -- 12.5 percent of total retail sales by 2021 and thereafter.
The vote brought back to life a bill that appeared near death in the House last week, when the Public Utilities Committee rejected companion legislation sponsored by its own chair, Republican Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherford County, in a bipartisan vote of 18-13.
Though Hager said he would keep bringing up his bill for re-votes in his committee, he didn't this week, leading observers to assume he still doesn't have support for passage. But the Senate version of the legislation, SB 365, was taken up later that day in the Finance Committee, whose members include Republican Sen. Andrew Brock of a Mocksville, a political consultant who is the bill's sole sponsor.
The measure advanced -- but there are questions about whether the repeal's supporters actually won the vote. Senate Finance Committee co-chair Bill Rabon (R-Southport) refused requests to count a show of hands. In protest of the voice vote, the bill's opponents shouted "No!" Many observers thought the vote was too close to call. READ More
Not long ago, the congressman from northeast Texas, Louie Gohmert, was talking about how the trans-Alaska oil pipeline improved the sex lives of certain wild animals — in his mind, the big tube was an industrial-strength aphrodisiac. “When the caribou want to go on a date,” he told a House hearing, “they invite each other to head over to the pipeline.”
Gohmert, consistently on the short list for the most off-plumb member of Congress, has said so many crazy things that this assertion passed with little comment. Last year, he blamed a breakdown of Judeo-Christian values for the gun slaughter at a cinema in Colorado. Last week, he claimed the Muslim Brotherhood had deep influence in the Obama administration, and that the attorney general — the nation’s highest law enforcer — sympathized with terrorists.
You may wonder how he gets away with this. You may also wonder how Gohmert can run virtually unopposed in recent elections. The answer explains why we have an insular, aggressively ignorant House of Representatives that is not at all representative of the public will, let alone the makeup of the country. READ More
Our own CCDP editorial comment: If this were not serious it would be funny. The Senate Finance Committee chair refused to count the votes on a controversial bill that would get rid of NC's national model renewal energy program, ruled the voice vote was in favor, of ending the program and left. Problem is that the vote was not in his favor at all. The bill lost by 5 votes. This is called responsible leadership and good governance?? Run that by us again. That bill failed.
The bottom line: North Carolina’s GOP legislature is seeking to use its constitutional authority to strip power from elected officials.
It’s not often that 250 people pack in to see the city council in Asheville, N.C., in the middle of a workday. Yet there they were on the afternoon of April 3, when the city’s elected officials met with citizens to discuss a plan by the Republican-led General Assembly in Raleigh to take control of the city’s water systems. The lawmakers want to hand it over to a new multi-county board that would be appointed largely by the state legislature. Asheville wouldn’t be compensated for lost revenue from water bills, leaving the city of 84,000 with a $3 million shortfall that would force cuts to city services. READ More. There's LOTS MORE
ALEC - The American Legislative Exchange Council - Explained in 5 Minutes
ALEC is a 501 c3 non-profit organization. According to the group: "It is the nation's largest nonpartisan (sic) individual membership association of state legislators (sic), with nearly 2,000 members across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress."
Approaches to production cost-sharing for “hold-outs”; establishing the drilling unit; indemnification when things go wrong; adverse financial impacts from a royalty check; who owns the water if y [ ... ]
By Lynn Stuart Parramore
The party has long relied on a single study to justify austerity measures. Then Thomas Herndon crunched the numbers.
The world of economics has just changed, and some [ ... ]
More feasibility studies for highway improvements in Chatham; financial disclosure required to serve on committees; why property revaluation for taxes is a good thing; who does NOT own their mineral r [ ... ]
A Message from CHATHAM CITIZENS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNITIES
The Chatham County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will soon send "something" to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) regarding the appare [ ... ]