OPINION: Lay Welcome Mat for New Houses

by John Hood RALEIGH — When demand exceeds supply, prices rise. While the problem of housing affordability has many facets and effects, that inescapable fact explains a lot about why so many North Carolinians struggle to afford the homes they’d like to buy or rent. It’s not as if there are many idle homebuilders in…

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OPINION: To Do Good or Do Better

by John Hood RALEIGH — There are at least as many different ways to explain the origins of political disagreement as there are political commentators. I, for one, think such factors as cultural traditions, religious views, family background, educational experiences, and interpersonal relationships all help to shape how we choose our preferred political candidates or…

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Costs and control in focus as major energy legislation discussed in House

by Jeff Moore, Carolina Journal An energy bill under consideration by state lawmakers prescribes retirement for certain coal-fired plants, increases sourcing from renewables, and significantly alters the oversight authority of the N.C. Utilities Commission. Though developed over the last 18 months with a select group of stakeholders, changes to major energy legislation were discussed in…

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Hooks retires after four years of storms, riots, and a pandemic

by Donna King, Carolina Journal Erik Hooks has announced his retirement from Gov. Roy Cooper’s Cabinet, ending a long career in state public safety. Hooks, secretary of the state Department of Public Safety, has served in the role since the beginning of Cooper’s first term. He helped oversee North Carolina’s response to hurricanes, violence in…

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OPINION: Got to Pick a Pocket?

June 28, 2021 by John Hood RALEIGH — Did Fagin’s pickpockets stimulate the economy of London? If you’ve read Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist or seen the musical derived from it, you’ll immediately recognize the name. Fagin is the rogue who takes in orphans and runaways, trains them to pick pockets and swindle marks, and then distributes the…

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OPINION: Stop Kicking Social Security Can

By JOHN HOOD RALEIGH — Although the politicians in Washington almost never talk about the issue anymore, our entitlement programs are on a collision course with fiscal reality. Let’s zero in on Social Security. Its “trust fund,” which consists entirely of debt the federal government has issued to itself, will be exhausted in a decade…

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State tax collections spike, opening door for tax-relief measure

by Dallas Woodhouse, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — North Carolina has collected more than $6 billion in state taxes than was originally forecast in May 2020 by state economists. That’s the finding of a report presented to members of the Joint Full Chairs Appropriations Finance Committee by the nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division at the General Assembly…

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Senate passes sweeping tax cut package with 8 Democrats on board

by John Trump, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — The North Carolina Senate passed a Republican-led tax reform package Wednesday evening in a quick, 36-14 vote that drew eight Democrats to cross the aisle and vote in favor of the bill. House Bill 334 would raise the standard deduction from $21,500 to $25,500 for joint filers, which…

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OPINION: Cutting Corporate Tax Helps Consumers

by John Hood RALEIGH — With negotiators for the North Carolina House and Senate confirming that they’ve agreed on the broad outlines of a state budget for next year, the prospect of ending the state’s 2.5% corporate income tax is one step closer to becoming reality. A phase-out is already in the Senate’s budget plan,…

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