Governor Pat McCrory’s budget proposal for the 2015-2017 biennium chooses fiscal austerity over reinvestment in public education, health, safety, and the other building blocks of a strong economy. This lack of investment—as North Carolina nears the sixth year of the economic recovery—impedes the state’s ability to create broadly shared prosperity for all North Carolinians. Pursuing another two years of severe fiscal constraint is also in sharp contrast to past recoveries when state investments were far quicker to return to and exceed pre-recession levels.
Lawmakers chose an irresponsible path for North Carolina in 2013 when they enacted tax cuts that are draining revenues by upward of $1 billion each year. Fixing this ill-advised tax plan should be a priority, but with his budget proposal, the governor has endorsed a stay-the-course policy that will lead to the further erosion of the infrastructure and programs that support the state’s economy.