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Chris Fitzsimon: Moving N.C. backward

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House Majority Leader Paul Stam almost told the truth during Tuesday's House budget debate. Stam said that the Republicans' budget for the next fiscal year is basically the same as the budget the General Assembly approved in 2002-2003, when adjusted for inflation.

That's not true for several reasons, most notably that health care costs have risen far faster than inflation during that time and health costs have a significant impact on the state budget.

But putting that aside, Stam's argument for his budget is essentially that it puts North Carolina where it was nine years ago and that since the majority of Democrats in the General Assembly voted for the budget in 2002-2003 they ought to support the current proposal.

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