Hey, Democrats, here’s an idea.

by | Apr 30, 2013 | Democrats, Editor's Blog, NC Politics, Politics | 6 comments

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog calling for the North Carolina Democratic Party to look for new ideas that are relevant to our current situation instead of looking for solutions from the past. Since then, I’ve called on leaders to look for solutions to the problems facing our declining rural counties and focus on structural unemployment in those are areas. Last week, I saw an idea that starts to address those issues.

Tom Campbell of NC Spin fame suggested that leaders should propose a $5 billion infrastructure program to address the pressing needs of our state. Tom correctly points out that we can borrow money almost for free. We won’t likely get a better deal in the future. By his reckoning, the program will create over 140,000 jobs, enough to put a serious dent in our unemployment problem.

Democrats should jump on the idea and shout it from the mountain tops. If the Republicans reject it, make them explain why they are willing to let our roads and bridges crumble and continue to turn a blind eye to our citizens who are still suffering from the economic crisis. It’s big, it’s bold and, most of all, it makes sense.

Democrats desperately need a message besides, ”We’re not the crazy ones.” (Especially in light of what happened to the Democratic Party last year.) They need to offer a vision for the future that  sounds something like, “We want to prepare North Carolina to compete in this changing economy in order to offer our families hope for the future and an opportunity for a better life.” And they could add the caveat, “Just offering lower taxes and less regulation won’t get us there.”

Tom Campbell’s got a great idea. Democrats need to use it before Republicans do.



  1. Charles Yeganian

    Obviously, this is a fantastic idea. Technically, we can borrow money for less than free. The way interest rates are now is the equivalent of getting a discount on everything we finance (Kohls uses this business model every day – use our card instead of cash, pay less). It’s the perfect time to borrow, it’s the perfect time to spend (invest, whatever), and it’s the exact type of thing that actually makes an impact on unemployment.

    Unfortunately, none of that makes this anything more than a dream until at least the next election, and more likely not until another batch of redistricting following the 2020 census. I don’t see a way this works with the current political landscape. You can’t shame the shameless.

    • Thomas Mills

      Yes, Charles, but you can sure make a political issue of it. Make the Republican say “no” and explain why they haven’t released a jobs program in a state with 9.2% unemployment.

      • Charles Yeganian

        Oh, I definitely think they should do it, I just question whether it will matter. I’m just painfully aware of how much easier the GOP’s job is than the Democrats’. Democrats have to propose programs, fund them, prove they work, and defend them constantly. All Republicans have to do is convince people that doing something isn’t worth it. Inertia is a powerful thing.

  2. Russell Scott Day

    Winners not Whiners, Democrats. Learners instead of losers. Thinkers not thieves. Democrats not Rats at bat.

  3. Perry Woods

    Combine with, ‘we did not become the best place to live in work in America by accident. It took vision and prudent investments in infrastructure and our people while protecting AAA bond rating. This proposal is in that tradition instead of tearing down what has made us great.

    • Thomas Mills

      Exactly, Perry. Thanks for reading.

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