Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:21 AM
octoberlib (6,030 posts)
The GOP Plan to Flush Your State’s Economy Down the Toilet
Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:56 AM - Edit history (1)
The GOP has plans for a comeback. But it may cost you a lot. The idea is to capitalize on recent Republican state takeovers to conduct an austerity experiment known as the new “red-state model” and prove that faulty policies can be turned into gold.We already have a red-state model, and it’s called Mississippi. Or Texas. Or any number of states characterized by low public investment, worker abuse, environmental degradation, educational backwardness, high rates of unwanted pregnancy, poor health, and so on.Now the GOP is determined to bring that horrible model to the rest of America.
Republicans have been eyeing the Tar Heel state with interest due to its recent swing status in presidential elections. The state was also the target of a gerrymandering strategy that worked out wonderfully for the Republicans, but not so well for democracy. Sam Wang, the founder of the Princeton Election Consortium, wrote recently in the New York Times about how Republican redistricting thwarted Democratic voters:
"Although gerrymandering is usually thought of as a bipartisan offense, the rather asymmetrical results may surprise you....I have developed approaches to detect such shenanigans by looking only at election returns. To see how the sleuthing works, start with the naďve standard that the party that wins more than half the votes should get at least half the seats. In November, five states failed to clear even this low bar: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. ... In North Carolina, where the two-party House vote was 51 percent Democratic, 49 percent Republican, the average simulated delegation was seven Democrats and six Republicans. The actual outcome? Four Democrats, nine Republicans — a split that occurred in less than 1 percent of simulations. If districts were drawn fairly, this lopsided discrepancy would hardly ever occur."
The lesson of North Carolina tells you that the GOP red-state model is based, first and foremost, on efforts to flagrantly disregard the will of the people. NC’s discount-store mogul Art Pope, a longtime GOP donor and champion of free-market fundamentalism, has been appointed state budget director by the new Republican governor, Pat McCrory. In an incredible display of money buying political influence, Pope has gone well beyond his donor-counterparts in other states. Instead of just funding the politicians he wants, he has gone for direct rule by occupying government himself. Tax repeal is the centerpiece of his announced plans, but his hatred of public investment means he has much more than that in store for one of the most progressive states in the South. Pope is said to be more powerful than the governor, giving rise to the term “Pope administration” to describe the new political reality.
GOP pols are vying to out-do each other in extreme red-state programming. NC state senator Bob Rucho is pushing a plan to eliminate the state's income taxes altogether. Such plans go hand-in-hand with calls for increasing the sales tax. Because low-income people pay a higher proportion of their income in sales taxes, abolishing income taxes and raising sales taxes shoves tax burdens onto them. Obviously, the Republicans will not give up on their passionate desire to cut taxes on the wealthy and stick it to the poor and the middle class. Unable to win support at the national level for their foolhardy economic programs, Republicans have turned their attention to state-level action because that’s where gerrymandering really works wonders.
Pope’s ideological opposition to public investment is ringing alarm bells. North Carolina, a state where progressives have fought conservative forces tooth and nail to achieve an enviable university system and a reputation for high-tech and research, is now in danger of being thrown into a period of regressive darkness. University of North Carolina sociologist Andrew Perrin put it this way: “Public investment is part of what has set North Carolina apart from our neighbors in the South.”
But Pope is hell-bent on turning North Carolina into Mississippi.
As nc4bo said in another post, they're going to turn this state into a crapfest craptopia. Something's got to be done about gerrymandering. This is ridiculous.
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The GOP Plan to Flush Your State’s Economy Down the Toilet (Original post)
Response to octoberlib (Original post)
Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:15 AM
ProfessionalLeftist (4,982 posts)
4. People better get off their dead asses in 2014 and if it's even possible anymore...
...vote the State Leg back to majority Dem. That would stop or thwart some of it. Then in 2016, get rid of the Teabilly/ALEC/Corprat ass-kisser contingent.