John Hood

John Hood

Because Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly have remained deadlocked for weeks over passage of a new state budget, you might think nothing much of consequence is happening in Raleigh.

Monday, 12 August 2019 12:21

COLUMN: Duke Energy is right on gas

Duke Energy can’t win.

Monday, 05 August 2019 13:13

COLUMN: School funds should follow child

North Carolina Democrats and Republicans have sparred for years about the level of state funding for public schools. Democrats argue the GOP-led legislature has the wrong priorities, that it ought to have cut taxes less and boosted school funding more. Republicans argue that the big drop in inflation-adjusted funding occurred during the recessionary years of 2009 to 2011 when Democrats were charge, that recent years have brought substantial increases, and that fostering economic growth will produce higher and more stable funding for education and other services in the long run.

 To the extent Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and other online companies engage in viewpoint discrimination against conservatives and Republicans, they deserve condemnation and ridicule. But do they also merit oversight by lawmakers or regulators?

When it comes to public affairs, bad news is good and good news is bad. That is, political speeches and media pieces that describe a problem as big and getting worse tend to attract more attention, so more are produced. That, in turns, fuels more public disaffection. It’s a vicious cycle.

Gov. Roy Cooper says he won’t sign a new state budget unless the North Carolina General Assembly says yes to Medicaid expansion. The Republican-majority legislature has said no to Medicaid expansion. So far, now weeks into the new fiscal year, neither side has budged.

North Carolina Democrats held the General Assembly after the 2000 elections, as they had for nearly all of the state’s history. During the ensuing 2001 session, top lawmakers, Democratic consultants, and progressive activists devised a set of gerrymanders that would have guaranteed Democratic control of both legislative chambers for years to come, even if most North Carolinians voted for GOP candidates.

Many political and education leaders in North Carolina say that our economy would be better off if our level of educational attainment was higher. They’re probably right about that, as long as their definition of “educational attainment” is sufficiently broad.

What do North Carolina voters think of the job Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has done over his first two and a half years in the office? The signals are mixed at the moment.

RALEIGH — To the ears of politically engaged North Carolinians, it may sound strange to hear claims that changes in partisan control don’t yield significant changes in state policy. But among scholars, this has been a widespread view for many decades.

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