Pat McCrory and the Republicans crowing about cutting taxes and a budget surplus remind me of a guy who moves his family from a nice bungalow in a middle class neighborhood to a broken down mobile home in a shady trailer park and brags about the money he’s saving. They care more about saving money than the quality of life of the people who live here. Spending money on education, health care, and infrastructure is an investment in people, not a drain on the budget.
The headline in the print edition of the News & Observer today is “Families bracing for impact of fewer buses.” Contrary to what Republicans claim, they’ve cut funding for public school while giving tax cuts to the rich. Anybody with kids in public schools sees the damage they’ve done. They may have raised teacher salaries in an election year, but per pupil spending has sunk to among the lowest in the nation, down almost 7% since 2010.
Nationally, the GOP has embarrassed us. Travel anywhere outside of the state and people ask, “What’s happened to North Carolina?” From the attempt to introduce a state religion to the current debate over HB2, the Republicans have made North Carolina a laughingstock.
The GOP’s blatant attempt at voter suppression of minorities was called out by the federal court when it disclosed that Republican legislators requested research on the voting patterns of African-Americans before writing the law. Prior to the Republican reign, North Carolina prided itself on handling civil rights issues better than our Southern neighbors. Now, we’re leading the pack toward in promoting racial animosity and discrimination.
While the rest of the country becomes more tolerant, North Carolina Republicans are doubling down on anti-LGBT attitudes. They put Amendment One on the ballot just to see it struck down a couple of years later. They passed a law that allows state employees to opt out of serving gay couples. They passed HB2 and loaded it up with discriminatory measures that reached far beyond bathrooms.
The list goes on. From shifting the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class to overriding the authority of local governments to dictating university policy, the Republican legislature has hurt the quality of life of the people of North Carolina and damaged our reputation nationally. They promised an economic miracle but are bragging about economic mediocrity that cost us our dignity. The only thing protecting them are gerrymandered districts. As one pundit says, they are the “tyranny of the minority.”