North Carolina: Go rich or go anywhere else

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s campaign to drive out the poor seems to be continuing full speed ahead. In addition to cutting and phasing out the Earned Income Tax Credit, Think Progress observes that,

…low-income North Carolinians will be paying higher taxes in order to pay for a tax cut for the richest people in the state. Republicans moved from a two-tiered, progressive income tax system to a flat tax rate of 5.8 percent. A person who earns a million dollars per year will get a roughly $10,000 tax cut thanks to that move, but the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution will see their taxes rise. That means that four out of five taxpayers in the state were going to pay more next year even before the EITC repeal.

The combined effects of those tax changes give poor North Carolinians some incentive to move out of the state, a population shift Gov. Pat McCrory (R) hopes to encourage.

It’s a flat-tax miracle, y’all!

Just last June, the state became the first in the nation to provide zero unemployment benefits. When the Federal government shut down in October, North Carolina immediately suspended WIC vouchers — literally taking food from the mouths of babes — as every other state used emergency/contingency funds.

This is all in line with Gov. McCrory’s views that North Carolina is too generous to low-income and unemployed people and that those undesirables must be just absolutely flocking to the state’s inner cities from the Dickensian hellscape that he apparently believes is the rest of America right now. That view in turn is just the tip of the McCrory/NC Republican iceberg of destruction, which has included trying to vaporize abortion rights and making it very difficult for some people to vote.

His deeply regressive policy agenda, shared by Republican state legislators in the majority there, has been called by The New York Times, “The Decline of North Carolina” and by me “North Carolina: Not Checking Itself, Before Wrecking Itself, Since 2010.”

Oddly, the former seemingly-moderate Charlotte mayor, seems to be extremely (and oddly publicly) thin-skinned for a high-profile politician and has not been taking the criticism well at all, as explored in a prominent column in the Charlotte Observer this past December:

…my interview with him last week and a breakfast with him a couple weeks earlier make clear he hasn’t changed a bit in one respect: This is a man obsessed with his image and how he’s portrayed. It’s clear he doesn’t go a day without being deeply frustrated by what he sees as unfair attacks on his good name.

My hour-and-40-minute one-on-one with the governor began with him complaining about an editorial cartoon and ended with a complaint about how Art Pope, one of his chief advisers, is depicted. In between, McCrory repeatedly sprinkled asides and bromides about how the media are out to get him and his administration. When I sat next to him at a recent breakfast, he tugged on my sleeve every couple of minutes, leaned over and murmured his displeasure with this cartoon or that editorial or a news story from six months ago.

Most of McCrory’s troubles stem, in his mind, not from his support of policies that a majority of North Carolinians disagree with but from a media that, through bias or incompetency, just can’t understand his greatness.


Huzzah. That’s leadership you can depend on.

AFD 66 – Mandela

Latest Episode:
“AFD 66 – Mandela”

I reflect on Nelson Mandela’s legacy. Guest Neal Carter talks about Millennials of Color. Then, I defend the minimum wage and unemployment insurance, and I pitch “Pelosi for President.”

Related links:

– AFD: Republican confusion on Mandela
– AFD: In defense of the minimum wage
– The Atlantic: Rand Paul Couldn’t Be More Wrong About Unemployment Insurance