By JOHN HOOD
I’ve changed my mind about the 2012 campaigns for North Carolina governor. I now think they may actually matter.
Well, perhaps that’s not the best choice of words. The outcome of the governor’s race was always going to matter. If Pat McCrory wins, the likely result will be a unified Republican government in Raleigh for the first time since Reconstruction – and major initiatives in 2013 to rewrite the state’s tax code, restructure the state’s education system, and continue to reform the state’s regulatory process.
By JOHN HOOD
RALEIGH — While hardball politics is not the place one should ever go looking for intellectual rigor, North Carolina’s political culture seems especially prone to hyperbole and silliness.
These characteristics were in full display when the news broke that the graduation rate in North Carolina schools had exceeded 80 percent for the first time. As recently as 2006, only two-thirds of freshmen completed high school in four years. For the 2011-12, the rate was 80.2 percent.
By JOHN HOOD
I have no problem offering electoral predictions. Until 2008, I had a fairly good record pegging races, and my 2010 predictions proved to be within a couple of seats of the actual congressional and legislative results. But President Obama’s autumn surge in North Carolina confounded my model in 2008, tossing many of my statewide predictions into the trash heap — no, make that the dung heap — of history.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s effort last week in four key states, today the Chamber will target four additional Senate battleground races across the country. Five new ads running in Florida, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin will highlight Senate candidates’ positions on issues critical to the nation’s economic recovery like health care, regulation, energy production and taxes. The Chamber’s unprecedented voter education efforts will continue over the next several months.
By JOHN HOOD
RALEIGH – When North Carolina’s first Republican legislature in more than a century adjourned just before the July 4th holiday, assessments of its handiwork couldn’t have been more varied.
January 6, 2012
By JOHN HOOD
RALEIGH – The president was personally liked. But his policies were failing. After initial signs of improvement, the economy again began to sputter. Job creation was virtually nonexistent. Programs meant to stimulate “aggregate demand” had in reality funded wasteful and politically connected projects. Millions of Americans feared for the future.
by John Hood
If you are a current or prospective Democratic politician in North Carolina, I would expect that right about now you are either congratulating yourself for staying away from the Occupy This or That movement – or nervously trying to figure out how to distance yourself from the movement after the fact.
The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is becoming increasingly unpopular among voters across the nation according to a poll released today by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh-based Democratic polling firm.
Voters were split when PPP first asked about the movement nationally last month, with 35% supporting the movement’s goals and 36% opposing them. 33% of voters now support the movement’s goals, while 45% oppose them – an 11 point shift. 52% of Democrats continue to support Occupy Wall Street’s goals, but opposition among Democrats has risen from 16% to 24%. Meanwhile, both Republicans (from 13%-59% to 11%-71%) and independents (from 39%-34% to 34%-42%) have moved 13% or 14% points against OWS.
by John Hood
In the liberal imagination, conservatives oppose excessive government taxes and regulations because of their unwarranted faith in the competence, nobility, and perfect knowledge of business executives.
As with so many other figments of the liberal imagination, this image may tell you something about liberals but not much about how conservatives think. In reality, conservatives oppose excessive government taxes and regulations because we know full well that many business executives are incompetent, ignoble, and ignorant – and that politicians and regulators, being fellow human beings, are equally likely to be incompetent, ignoble, and ignorant.
WASHINGTON, N.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative recently launched a new television ad highlighting the economic damage caused by the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) regulatory overreach. The television ad, entitled “Step Forward,” is airing in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The ad highlights an NLRB lawsuit filed in April seeking to end production of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft at Boeing’s new manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina, threatening nearly 4,000 new jobs.
by Daren Bakst
The “Occupy” movement has brought about some recent discussion regarding the merits of capitalism, but its anti-capitalist arguments are nothing new. The protesters aren’t the first to characterize capitalism as a greedy and immoral economic system that benefits only the wealthy.
It’s an unfortunate reality that some Americans forget why capitalism isn’t just important to our economic well-being, but also to our freedom. Capitalism embodies and is an extension of the morals and values that exist in the Constitution and that still exist in our society today. There are many reasons why capitalism is moral. I’ll discuss three.
RALEIGH, N.C. — A nonprofit organization asked by state environmental officials to review the state’s oil and gas regulatory programs as part of a legislatively mandated study of oil and gas exploration in North Carolina will begin its public review of these programs this week in Raleigh.
by John Hood
When during a recent speech House Speaker Thom Tillis endorsed the idea of drug testing for North Carolina welfare recipients, he set off a raging controversy.
The Mecklenburg Republican’s most-controversial suggestion wasn’t really about welfare families, actually, but about state employees. In response to an audience question, Tillis opened the door to random drug testing for state employees. He should immediately close that door – the idea is likely to be neither cost-effective nor consistent with privacy concerns.
by Gregg Thompson
Small business owners in North Carolina – and throughout the United States – face thousands of federal regulations that have unintended economic consequences. Compliance costs continue to rise for small business owners who must keep up with regulations trickling down from Washington.
by John Hood
Before Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, he wrote his own epitaph. Did he mention any of his political offices? No. Jefferson wanted only three accomplishments listed on his gravestone: author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, and author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
by John Hood
If you want to understand why the fiscal politics of Raleigh and Washington got so heated this summer, you have two choices.
One is to delve deeply into the details of each Democratic and Republican proposal to balance government budgets. I’m certainly not going to dissuade you from doing that. For North Carolina’s budget, the John Locke Foundation (johnlocke.org) can offer you some handy shovels to dig through state government’s major programs and revenue sources.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten issued the following statement on today’s vote in the House of Representatives to increase the debt ceiling:
“The Chamber applauds the House of Representatives for passing legislation to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avoid a default. Now, it is up to the Senate to pass legislation that preserves the full faith and credit of the United States. We urge all members of the Senate to set politics and electioneering aside and quickly pass a bill that avoids default.”
Voters think less government red tape and more competition are the best ways to bring down health care costs.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of likely U.S. Voters believe greater free market competition between insurance companies would do more to reduce health care costs than more government regulation. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% feel the more effective course would be more government regulation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act:
“One year after Dodd-Frank was signed into law the problems that led to the financial crisis have yet to be fixed. Much of what we warned about a year ago has come true – instead of creating jobs, the law has created uncertainty for job creators. Long before the financial crisis, we advocated for changes to modernize our financial system. But Dodd-Frank is the house being built on a crumbling foundation. The economic statistics bear that out.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—To coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC) today hosted the forum The Dodd-Frank Act One Year Later: Keeping our Markets Competitive Post Regulatory Reform and released a report examining five critical areas left unaddressed by the law and their impact on U.S. competitiveness.
by John Hood
While there are many unanswered questions about the 2012 election cycle – about the economy, the Republican presidential nomination, and the contours of North Carolina’s electoral map, for example – no mystery remains about the state’s gubernatorial election. It will be a rematch between Democrat Beverly Perdue and Republican Pat McCrory.
Their 2008 contest was one of the closest in state history. Perdue, then lieutenant governor, narrowly defeated the outgoing Charlotte mayor, in part because of an Obama surge that benefitted Democratic candidates all the way down the ballot.
by John Hood
Have you ever been to a state park in South Carolina?
I have. As a history buff, I’ve visited several of the Palmetto State’s excellent historic sites, such as Andrew Jackson State Park and Kings Mountain State Park. I’ve also relaxed or recreated at several South Carolina parks during trips to Myrtle Beach, where I have family, and Charleston, one of my favorite towns.
While a majority of U.S. voters still feel discovering new sources of energy is more important than reducing energy consumption, the number who feel this way has fallen to a new low. Voters also continue to believe there’s a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds that 52% say finding new sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans now consume. Thirty-eight percent (38%) feel the opposite is true, while 10% are not sure.
A majority of American voters continue to favor repeal of the health care law passed by Congress last year and the number who expect repeal has reached a new high.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of likely voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, while 39% at least somewhat oppose it. This includes 40% who strongly favor repeal and 29% who are Strongly Opposed.
by Wayne King
In early May, Republican majorities in the North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives passed House Bill 129, legislation to level the playing field between publicly- and privately-owned communications networks. HB 129 will have two long-lasting positive effects on our state: it will make it a more attractive place for businesses to move and invest, resulting in new jobs and higher economic growth, and it will force local governments to prioritize funding for public networks, which will eventually save taxpayers millions of dollars.
by John Hood
If someone asked me to describe the single-biggest result of conservative electoral gains in North Carolina over the past two years, my answer would consist of two words: school choice.
Now, I admit that that the most significant legislative achievement of the new General Assembly was the passage of a 2011-13 budget without imposing or extending any tax hikes. It was a bipartisan vote, large enough to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto. It will save North Carolina taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year and create thousands of new jobs.
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina has moved up one spot to third overall in CNBC’s annual survey “America’s Top States for Business”, according to a press release from Gov. Bev Perdue’s office.
According to CNBC’s report North Carolina dramatically improved in two key categories — Cost of Doing Business and Infrastructure & Transportation. In addition, the Tar Heel State placed third in the Workforce category for the second straight year.
Voters strongly agree that failing to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling is bad for the economy. But most see a failure to make big cuts in government spending as a bigger long- and short-term threat than the government defaulting on the federal debt.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% of Likely U.S. Voters think it would be bad for the economy if the debt ceiling is not raised and the federal government defaults on some of its loan obligations. Just 7% disagree and think it would be good for the economy. Eleven percent (11%) feel a government default will have no impact, and another 11% are not sure.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the Project on Regulatory Reform, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today hosted former Governor and Senator Evan Bayh and former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card to preview the launch of their bipartisan, nationwide tour to educate Americans on the need to restore balance, restraint, and common sense to the regulatory process.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amidst growing budget deficits and a slow economic recovery, governors are finding success in attracting businesses and growing their economies through redesigning government, curbing spending, modernizing the tax system, and eliminating onerous regulations, according to a study released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The second Enterprising States study highlights specific strategies that all 50 states are employing to remain competitive, restore the jobs, and drive economic growth.