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Archive for July 23rd, 2009

The Avett Brothers Hoax

Says here that the Avett Brothers shot a video in NoDa yesterday. Don’t believe it.

Couldn’t have happened, not according to state Rep. Becky Carney and the Charlotte Chamber. Nothing creative could possibly happen in North Carolina, let alone CLT, without a big fat subsidy from the state. Why, without a $75m. a year tax subsidy our local film and video makers would have to pack up and head off to Cally-fornia.

Nevermind that the tax credit on the books since 2006 has not attracted more productions to the state, if we just make the credit 66 percent bigger and continue to hand out ever-more money, someone is bound to take us up on the offer. And if you don’t believe me, you can just die, die, die.

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Who Killed Memorial Stadium?

Boy, the county Park & Rec Department is sure taking great care of the FDR-built official Historical Landmark, huh? Soil erosion so bad that the structure is starting to collapse.

The benign neglect of Memorial has been an open secret for some time. Me, I always thought that Park & Rec resented having CMS football games be by-far the biggest events at the site. The Park folks would rather be off building Greenways and skate parks and BMX trails, not caring for a 75-year-old stadium surrounded by a sea of asphalt.

Keep on eye on this repair stuff. Money or power — or both — might crop up soon.

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Banana Republic Fiscal Policy: Taxing a Tax

Thom Tillis is exactly correct to highlight the absurdity of the General Assembly actually considering a surcharge on income taxes. But absurd as it is policymakers in this state have no other choice.

Note by “no other choice” I do not mean it is impossible for the state of North Carolina to deliver essential services without an additional billion dollars in tax revenue. This is very possible. Just not for the the group currently in power, given our current unreformed and unresponsive state bureaucracy. During the past five years what little control there was of state spending evaporated leaving only the expectation — the need — for ever-greater sacks of revenue.

The state power structure wants — demands — to spend $20b. this year. How it arrives at that number, however absurd, is quite irrelevant. This is why it is simply pointless to talk about the state’s competitiveness or long-term economic outlook with an onerous tax burden as those making the spending the decisions do not care. They want $20 billion. Now. And next year they will want $21 billion and will raise taxes by another billion if need be to get it.

And, no, voters will not vote them out of office. They can’t. Oh, sure there are a handful of “competitive” — ie, not fraudulent — districts, but not enough to derail the core direction of current state policy. As is always the case in a Banana Republic, change does not come by playing by the plutocrats’ rules.

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July 2009
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