If it ain’t broke…

by | Jul 8, 2015 | Editor's Blog, NCGA | 13 comments

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We would all be better off if the Republicans who control the General Assembly took that advice. Instead, they’ve killed programs that work well with little reason other than they don’t fit into their free-market ideology.

Their so-called environmental reform bill reduced the number of air quality monitors because they worked so well our air is cleaner and we certainly can’t have that! The monitors were put into place because of the landmark Clean Smokestacks Act of 2002, a bill hammered out by the environmental community and industry. It’s been remarkably successful and a model for other states. In the world of free-marketeers, though, it’s just more government interference and regulation.

Then there’s the historic preservation tax credit. The credit is so successful that South Carolina and Texas are implementing them. Not here. We may have pioneered it, but the GOP scrapped it last summer. Pat McCrory and the House would like to bring it back because it not only saves historic architecture, but it creates good paying jobs, too. The Senate, though, will keep it dead because…well…you know…FREE MARKET! It’s a shame all those heritage people are worrying about a flag instead of their towns and cities. We could use their energy around something that really preserves history and heritage. 

As Republican consultant Carter Wrenn points out, Community Care of North Carolina has saved the state millions of dollars by reducing Medicaid costs. So what’s the GOP going to do? Scrap it, of course. It’s a non-profit and doesn’t fit into their free-market ideology so they are going to a managed care model that lets big corporations take over our Medicaid system because…COMPETITION!

And of course there’s the renewable energy standard that’s widely supported by business and industry. It’s also responsible for thousands of jobs and made North Carolina a leader in green energy. It’s worked too well for the free marketeers. By their reckoning, it gives clean energy an unfair advantage over, say, coal fired plants that cause all kinds of the health and environmental damage. Again, it’s just an anathema to Republicans that a government program could actually work so they have to kill it.

And there are numerous other examples. For instance, Trudy Wade’s bill would allow residents to call for a referendum to remove certain municipal taxes. We’re not a referendum state but Wade’s bill would start moving us in that direction. It’s worked so well in California.

House Speaker Tim Moore came to power promising to show that the GOP could govern. Unfortunately, it’s not to be. The ideologues in the Senate are too busy micromanaging local governments and sticking square pegs into round, free-market holes to pay attention to what’s working and what’s not. They don’t seem to care whether policies are good for the people or the state. They only care that they fit into their narrow ideological box.


  1. Vonna B Viglione

    That’s supposed to be free booters, auto correct, you aggravating thing….

  2. Vonna B Viglione

    They aren’t free marketeers …they’re free boosters…..

  3. Ed Ellis

    Maybe Trump could come down and join with these miscreants.

  4. bmcguire2

    By this time we all know what the GOP legislators have done against all good sense. We need to stop whining and get geared up to fight them at the ballot box. I read that the NC House needs to turn over just 4 GOP seats in 2016 to Democrats. That would get rid of the GOP super majority that now easily over rides McCrory’s few vetoes. And we need to work our tails off to elect Roy Cooper. Stop whining and work for change in 2016.

  5. Fran Syptak

    There is one potential silver lining and that is a public-private partnership to provide green energy power to all through third party sales. Today’s Charlotte Observer headlines NC WARN’s action to install solar panels on the roof of a Church as a test case. Fortunately, South Carolina has already legally implemented this partnership with Duke Energy and is willing to do the same in North Carolina. That will certainly give Gov. McCrory some clout over the NC General Assembly and we’ll at least be competitive with SC for the next big contract!

  6. Frank McGuirt

    I’m still reeling from teachers who told me at the polls last year they were voting Republican. I cannot understand for the life of me why they would or how they can justify it but they said they were….then they went right into criticizing Obama. Talk about voting aganist your own self interest! These are educated/enlightened people, just bigots too, I guess.

    • Morris

      I have 6 educators in my close family – 5 current, 1 retired. 5 voted straight Republican, 1 split ticket. None are bigots. All strongly favored the gay marriage ruling for example. Most have masters degrees so certainly educated people. In fact one son and I are the only non-Republicans left in my family.
      The Democrats had a long history of screwing up this state that turned off many of their strongest constituents. Perdue and Hagan – not to mention Obama – didn’t help things. Certainly teaching and seeing the disaster that the welfare state has wrought on families and the children produced from it has been a factor in their “conversion” in our many conversations.
      I don’ think any could be considered “strong” Republicans and could flip back in the future, but they do not see their self-interest aligned with the current Democrat Party.

      • Mary Jones

        At least they vote. I spent years trying to get my colleagues to the polls…posted reminders of dates, hours, how to find your polling place, etc.(non-partisan info.). I was depressed by the number who were “just too busy”, “forgot”, “didn’t really know the candidates well enough”, were “just not that political”. It’s difficult to imagine what they see in this current group of Republicans that would appeal to them…

      • verlainsko

        I hope you will watch UNC TVs A Generation of Change. The major advances in NC since the Great Depression and WWII were led by Democrats, from the expansion of hospitals across the state, to the decisions by Democratic led state and local governments and universities to create the Research Triangle Park, transform the state’s economy and raise the per capita income, to Governor Hunt’s bi-partisan focus on early childhood education, the Bio-Tech center, expanding internet to rural areas, and much more. That’s not the mention our state-wide road system, established after WWI by Democrat Harriet Morehead Berry. Democrats have certainly made mistakes; but they also provided the enlightened, visionary leadership that accounts for the spectacular growth NC has enjoyed over the past 60 years. The current leadership is moving resources from moderate and low income North Carolinians to the already wealthy in the State. That’s not the kind of economy that will stimulate across the board
        growth for the long term.

  7. Vicki Boyer

    My observations agree with your comments. The people of North Carolina are no longer their constituents. Whether it’s ALEC and the Koch brothers, or a so-called free market ideology, the actions they have taken simply do not benefit the people of our state. And they don’t care. Benefiting our people is not their goal.

  8. bill bush

    How has Aldona Vos gone so totally under the radar? I never see her name anymore. Is there someone else running things so she can just coast?
    I spoke with a 22-year veteran teacher with superb scores on college-credit chemistry and physics AP exams. He is getting $10,000 more than a first-year teacher. The “raises” have bypassed him.
    Cutting retirement insurance benefit is purely a reduction in earnings for the career teacher starting with new hires this fall. Those chickens won’t come home to roost for a long time, but they will.
    And adding a new profit-making layer of bureaucracy just guarantees less money for the ones who need help and more for the donors to “earn”.

  9. Norma

    Impressive list of “what not to do” as a elected officials. Gerrymandering has to go. It is a plague on this state.

  10. Cosmic janitor

    Typical authoritarian, right-wing corporatism and without voting ‘paper trails’ it ain’t gonna change cause right-wing affiliates own and control the electronic voting machines which, though easily programmed to produce a specific outcome, are legally shielded from internal inspection by trade secret protections, thereby making actual vote count verifications null and void. The Board of Elections must institute voting paper trails now before the corporatist right-wing seizes control of the entire state – because that is their objective.

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