This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Do Nothing Democrats in Charge
Below is a synopsis of the NC Legislature for the 2007 session. If anyone knows any Aerosmith music, the synopsis below reminds one of a few words to one of their songs:
"Same old story, same old song and dance, my friend". The dems in Raleigh are taking really good notes from their dem big brothers and sisters in DC. DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS. Their promises from the election last November are no more than a bunch of hot air, and complete broken promises. The good thing, they can talk the talk, but they sure CANNOT walk the walk. I see their revival as very short lived, thank goodness. These dems in charge do not represent a good portion of us and our values, I do not consider them "my representatives". They also, are to a point, "puppets" of the behind the scenes mean spirited and unclassy dems running the parties, and those are the really scary folks. The voting public sees through their smoke and mirrors, big political talk, and quite frankly, their DO NOTHING agenda. Next year will be a tough year for both parties. I certainly look to hearing plenty of the hateful left spewing all their incredible negativity, ridiculous attacks, vile comments and senseless rhetoric. I look to our glorious Republican Party to take the high road - any of you want to lower yourself to such standards as the "callous democrats"? Its already heating up folks - and its only going to get worse! Read on.
LEGISLATIVE SESSION WRAPS-UP
Should It Take So Long To Do So Little?
After 111 legislative days, (190 calendar days) the General Assembly concluded its 2007 session Thursday night. Against the backdrop of ethical scandals and corruption stories revolving around Jim Black, the Democrat former Speaker of the North Carolina House, Democrat majorities in the Senate and House accomplished very little. Numerous news accounts have referred to this as the “do-nothing” legislature because the session was short on significant legislative action.
A closer examination of the just concluded session shows:
House Bill 265 - High Risk Insurance Pool (funded by existing revenues)
Senate Bill 3 - Renewable Energy (created framework for future energy needs)
Senate Bill 659 – Officials Forfeit Pensions for Felonies
Gas tax cap
Sunset “temporary” personal income tax increase
Medicaid relief for counties
Pay increase for teachers and state employees
Regulate legal defense funds; open ethics hearings
Significant tax hikes despite a state budget surplus of $1.5 billion (on top of a $2.4 billion surplus last year)
House Bill 1473 – State General Fund Budget (Budget four weeks after fiscal year deadline)
Spending growth of 9.5 percent, an almost 20 percent increase over the last two years
With a $1.5 billion surplus, Democrats still increased taxes and made “temporary” sales taxes permanent (an annual tax increase of more than $250 million)
Real estate transfer tax (the home tax) authorized
Earned Income Tax Credit; provides an income tax refund to people who pay no income tax (a new welfare program illegal immigrants are eligible to receive)
Nothing done to strengthen laws to protect children from sexual predators (Democrats failed to pass Jessica’s Law)
Nothing to make fetal murder a crime in North Carolina (Democrats failed to pass legislation to protect unborn victims of crime)
No action by the Senate to protect private property from being condemned for economic development
No Education Reform / Nothing to improve the 32 percent high school drop-out rate
Nothing done to expand career, technical and vocational education opportunities
No change in discredited state school testing program; refusal to use nationally recognized tests
No merit or incentive pay programs implemented (such programs would improve teacher quality and recruitment)
Failure to consider expansion of Charter Public Schools which provide reasonable cost, quality education alternatives to traditional public schools
Trash tax passed
Little done to address growing problem of illegal immigration
Hundreds of millions of dollars in new long-term borrowing /debt financing without voter approval
Failure to enact legislation to stop the de facto moratorium on the death penalty
· Ethics Issues Unresolved
o Lobbyists soliciting campaign contributions
o Term limits for legislative leadership
o Solicitations by legislators from lobbyists or lobbyist principals for non-profit entities in which legislators have an interest
o Appropriations to non-profits controlled by legislators
· Transportation: Nothing to address North Carolina’s crumbling transportation system. The Highway Trust Fund again loses $172 million while road construction projects are at a standstill and roads and bridges continue to deteriorate.
· Length of session: No consideration of bill to limit legislative sessions
· Ostrich-like refusal by Democrats to consider popular initiatives including:
o Traditional marriage protection
o Taxpayer Protection Act
o Photo identification for voters
Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) made the following statement:
“As this session comes to an end, ‘do-nothing’ is a fitting description for this legislature. After a lengthy stint in Raleigh, numerous issues were left undone. In the months since the beginning of session, former Speaker Jim Black has been transformed from one of the most powerful men in North Carolina to a felon serving his time. We’ve all watched Black’s admissions of multiple transgressions unfold. That spectacle alone should push the Democrat majority to press needed ethics reforms aggressively. Ethics reforms should have been the number one priority for this session and ethics reform measures should have been passed early in the session. Restoration of trust and the credibility of state government should have been the goal and accomplishment for this session. Instead, a number of needed measures remain undone.
“This session has seen the continuation of runaway tax and spend policies by state Democrats. Even with a $1.5 billion surplus, Democrats were determined to raise taxes and go on a spending spree. They also passed legislation authorizing a land transfer tax, local government tax increases, more money for advertising the state lottery, a new welfare program giving income tax refunds to people who pay no income taxes, over $4 million as a new ‘welfare for politicians’ program and failed to take any action to address the rapidly deteriorating state of our roads and bridges. Democrats apparently believe that North Carolina government can spend its way to prosperity.
“This session, Republicans offered sound alternatives to the Democrats’ tax and spend philosophy. Republican proposals would have kept promises to reduce taxes, address Medicaid relief for counties and provide needed funding for transportation and other infrastructure. Rather than the ongoing rhetoric, empty promises, and profligate spending by Democrats, Republicans provided proven proposals to address the ongoing problems facing our state.”