Fitzsimon File

Fitzsimon File

Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The GOP’s false and telling choice for public schools

The 2017 General Assembly session is only a few weeks old but there’s already a compelling example of what’s wrong with the way things are being done in Raleigh and why the conventional wisdom about the legislature often misses the real story.

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Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

42---number of years since the creation of a federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help low-wage workers (Prosperity Watch (Issue 69, No. 4: The Earned Income Tax Credit delivers a bottom-up tax cut to working families in every county,” N.C. Budget & Tax Center, January 30, 2017)

22---percentage of North Carolina filing tax returns that claimed a federal EITC in 2014, the latest year for which data is available (Ibid)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File Trump Administration

The Follies

DeVos cites wildly inaccurate data about virtual charters

New information about the written responses from Education Secretary-nominee Betsy DeVos to questions posed by a Democratic Senator should cause more problems for her embattled nomination.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

3---number of days since President Trump signed an executive order banning entry into the United State for refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries (“How Trump’s Rush to Enact an Immigration Ban Unleashed Global Chaos, New York Times, January 29, 2017)

10,000---number of people who gathered in Battery Park in New York Sunday to protest immigration order, one of dozens of large protests held across the country (“2nd day of protests over Trump's immigration policies, CNN, January 30, 2017)

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The real choice during “school choice week”

Every year around this time there’s an increase in the coverage of the school privatization movement as “National School Choice Week” rolls around, a highly organized and well-funded effort by folks on the Right to build support for more public funding for private and religious academies and as well less regulations and accountability for charters and home schools.

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Monday numbers

2---number of days until the General Assembly reconvenes (N.C. General Assembly)

306---number of days since House and Senate passed HB2 that was signed by former Gov. Pat McCrory (Ibid)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The Follies

The bar is set for Trump on the economy

As Donald Trump takes over the reins of power in Washington today promising to make America great again, it’s worth noting where things actually stand with the economy as President Obama leaves office.

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Fitzsimon File

Real lives at stake in the chaos in Washington

Never mind the bullying tweets that unnerve allied nations and reverberate through financial markets.

Put aside for moment the disturbing confirmation hearings that have revealed not only ethical conflicts of nominees, but people who either don’t understand the issues handled by the agency they will lead or have expressed open hostility toward the fundamental mission of the jobs they have been nominated to fill.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday words (from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane. (March 25, 1966)

There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether [she or] he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid, or day laborer…. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum and livable income for every American family. ( “Where Do We Go From Here?” 1967)

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The Follies

More misinformation about GOP power grab

The Right continues its push for a post fact world in Raleigh. Example number one this week would be Senator Andrew Brock.

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Cooper’s correcting a colossal blunder on Medicaid, not making one

The folks on the Right are apoplectic these days that Governor Roy Cooper thinks it’s a good idea to follow the lead of Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, Chris Christie, John Kasich and 28 other governors and expand Medicaid to provide health care coverage to 500,000 people in North Carolina and help local hospitals while creating thousands of jobs in the process.

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Monday numbers

5---number of days since Governor Roy Cooper announced that he was pushing ahead with plans to expand Medicaid in North Carolina to create jobs, help hospitals and provide health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of people who are currently uninsured (“Gov. Roy Cooper wants to expand Medicaid; Republicans vow to fight, News & Observer, January 4, 2017)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

There’s finally a grownup in Raleigh

We are only a few days into the New Year but two starkly different political styles are already on display in Raleigh.

Newly elected Governor Roy Cooper is beginning his term by methodically announcing his choices for cabinet posts after calling Republican legislative leaders to inform them of his decisions. And they are good ones.

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Monday numbers: The disastrous planned repeal of the ACA

1---number of weeks until the Republican majority in Congress plans to vote for a budget blueprint that will call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“Job No. 1 for a New Congress? Undoing Obama’s Health Law, New York Times, December 31, 2016) 4---number of weeks until a House committee is expected to act on legislation to carry out the blueprint that will include repeal of both the ACA and the expansion of Medicaid under the health care law (Ibid)

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Monday numbers

30—number of years since President Ronald Reagan called the EITC “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress” (“Earned Income Tax Credit,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

3—number of years since North Carolina allowed its state EITC to end in 2013 (“States Can Adopt or Expand Earned Income Tax Credits to Build a Stronger Future Economy,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, January 19, 2016)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

3---number of days since secretly called special session of the General Assembly adjourned (“Lawmakers leave town after passing bill limiting Cooper's, education board's power, WRAL-TV, Friday, December 16, 2016) 425---number of exempt positions in state government that will be under the control of Governor-elect Roy Cooper thanks to legislation passed in the special session (Ibid)

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