Monday, September 10, 2018
Sept. 7, 2018
To the Editor,
I read with great interest the Civitas column analyzing Our Carolina Promise – a unified legislative agenda that is a forward-looking, positive promise to the citizens of North Carolina.
This is about better jobs, better schools, safer and healthier communities, and ending the partisan games.
Some of these ideas are not new. North Carolina had a world-class public education system before the Great Recession. We know that we can achieve that again.
What the folks at Civitas fail to see is the people behind these numbers and the policies Democrats are proposing that are focused on people. Our Carolina Promise is 50 percent policy – no price tag attached.
Democrats want to encourage people to vote with tools like automatic voter registration when you turn 18, and online registration options.
We want to put policies in place that make polluters pay for Gen X spills and threats to our public health.
We want common sense gun safety reform, like red flag laws that allow courts to hold a violent offender’s gun if they pose a threat to their family or themselves.
We want to expand discrimination protections for age, sexual orientation and military status.
The candidates running for office are bringing in good ideas and forward-thinking solutions that don’t include tax breaks and higher fees.
There is a clear difference between the priorities the GOP has set over the past seven years and the priorities Governor Cooper and North Carolina Democrats are proposing.
Some of those ideological differences are fiscal: Democrats don’t believe that the wealthiest need another tax break. Starting in 2019, they will get one thanks to the GOP’s new tax plan.
Democrats in the legislature fought hard to limit the GOP’s latest round of tax cuts to only those making $200,000 a year or less. The Republican leadership blocked it.
Governor Cooper joined Democrats in asking the GOP to rethink the corporate tax breaks. The Republican majority wouldn’t listen.
Tax breaks for the wealthy don’t educate our children; they don’t expand broadband to our rural areas; they don’t move North Carolina forward.
Part of the purpose of government is to promote the general welfare. That is where our priorities are as Democrats; that is what Our Carolina Promise is about.
Senator Dan Blue (D – Wake)
Senate Democratic Leader