Growing momentum of Affordable Care Act shines spotlight on NC’s failure to expand Medicaid


With the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment deadline now upon us; there are two overarching conclusions to be drawn about the health care reform law and its impact here in North Carolina. Conclusion Number One is that the law has been a remarkable success. Notwithstanding its initial website problems and all of the roadblocks [Continue Reading...]

Public policies undermine the ability of average North Carolinians to pay the rent


These days, with the weak and lopsided economic recovery, one has to seriously question the status of the American Dream. Is the traditional American belief that “hard work will pay off” just another fairy tale that we’re taught at a young age? Sadly, for far too many North Carolinians trapped in the booming low-wage labor [Continue Reading...]

Close to one million North Carolinians will claim state Earned Income Tax Credit for last time this tax season


Unless lawmakers reverse course, nearly one million North Carolina families will claim the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the last time this tax season—one year after Gov. McCrory signed a bill ending the tax credit, according to a new report from the NC Budget and Tax Center. In 2013, North Carolina [Continue Reading...]

Still the pits: Why cherry-picked jobs data are not a true reflection of NC economy


Over the past few months, Governor McCrory has been claiming his policies—especially cutting unemployment benefits—are responsible for reducing the state’s unemployment rate. He’s even branded this the “Carolina Comeback.” But as it turns out, the Governor’s claims largely rest on treating jobs numbers like fruit—like apples, oranges, and cherries. In fact, the evidence [Continue Reading...]

Election Law’s Racial Twist


It’s easy to imagine the response from legislative leaders to a new scholarly look at the impacts of North Carolina’s recent election law changes: “Get over it!” Those same Republican legislators would be hard-pressed to argue that the changes won’t hold down vote totals among people who these days tend to vote Democratic. [Continue Reading...]

No “Carolina Comeback”– Just a “Carolina Setback” for too many jobless workers


In recent months, Governor McCrory and his supporters have pointed to a number of controversial steps lawmakers took in 2013, like cutting unemployment insurance, as being the catalyst for a “Carolina Comeback.”  A look at the evidence, however, reveals no such benefits and, indeed, points to very real harm being done to jobless [Continue Reading...]

Last year’s tax cuts undermine new state economic development plan


Earlier this month, the North Carolina Economic Development Board released a new strategic plan for creating jobs and growing the state’s economy over the next decade. The plan listed a number of admirable and important policy goals, including supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, promoting rural prosperity, and strengthening community-level opportunities for economic revitalization. [Continue Reading...]