John Hood

John Hood

Monday, 07 October 2019 12:12

COLUMN: Freedom has many meanings

What does it mean to be free? Many seemingly intractable disputes about specific issues — ranging from welfare spending and school choice to abortion and alcohol policy — originate from the fact that people don’t answer this question in the same way. It’s hard to have a useful political conversation without a truly common political language.

Monday, 30 September 2019 13:43

COLUMN: Change how we pay teachers

About this time last year, progressive activists and Democratic politicians were trumpeting the news that North Carolina was 49th in the country in friendliness to teachers, according to a study by the website WalletHub. The state’s low ranking proved that Republicans disliked public education, they alleged.

Monday, 23 September 2019 14:21

COLUMN: Uncertain policy has economic cost

Progressives and conservatives argue about economic policy all the time. At government’s current size and scope, would it better promote long-term growth to raise taxes and spend more or to lower taxes and spend less? During a recession, should government try to bolster demand by running large budget deficits or should it economize to keep debt from exploding?

Monday, 16 September 2019 13:54

COLUMN: Tragedy of errors damages politics

 It began with flubs. It ended in fury. And it made North Carolina politics even more rancorous and destructive. I’m referring, of course, to a 55-9 vote in the House last week to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto.

Monday, 09 September 2019 13:56

COLUMN: Reform should accompany new districts

I remember when the inherent boredom of redistricting was a laugh line.

Monday, 02 September 2019 16:14

COLUMN: Progress needed on N.C. road safety

The latest ratings of highway systems are out — and for North Carolina, the news is mixed. In general cost-effectiveness, our state’s roads and bridges rank a bit better than average. We fare well on some measures. But when it comes to the safety of rural roads, North Carolina comes in next-to-last.

Gov. Roy Cooper insists that Medicaid expansion be part of North Carolina’s budget deal for 2019-20. Republican leaders of the legislature disagree. That’s the main reason why state government has been operating at last year’s spending levels since July 1. It’s the main reason the General Assembly is still in session as we approach the month of September.

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.

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