For the week of July 15, 2011 – carolinajournal.com
Reaction of the Week
RALEIGH — A recent study on public pension liabilities concludes that North Carolina would need to raise taxes on every household by $764 for each of the next 30 years just to fulfill its promises to retired state workers — and despite that startling conclusion, the Tar Heel State’s public pension system is in better shape than many of its peers, reports Carolina Journal.
The paper (PDF download) for the National Bureau of Economic Research, by Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Rochester and Joshua Rauh of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, highlights the extent of the funding dilemma: Without changes in pension policies, just to pay retired government workers the benefits they were promised would require 30-year annual tax increases averaging $1,348 nationally. Tax increases would range from about $330 in Indiana to a staggering $2,763 in New Jersey. Those figures do not include funding for state employee health benefits, which are in worse fiscal shape than pensions.
In the paper, North Carolina’s $764 per year ranks 40th nationally in the tax increases per household needed to satisfy pension promises — below neighboring Tennessee ($792), Virginia ($991), and South Carolina ($1,216).
Why the shortfall? As Carolina Journal reported in March, Novy-Marx, Rauh, and other critics of public pension accounting say the Governmental Accounting Standards Board — the panel that evaluates public pension solvency — has exacerbated the problem. Critics say the GASB allows public plans to understate their true long-term liabilities by using inflated rates of return; meantime, private pension systems must use more conservative rates to estimate their solvency.
As a result, even “fully funded” pension plans, like the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System in North Carolina, are likely to owe a lot more money to retirees than is now on the books.
CJ: Senate speedily overrides six Perdue vetoes
RALEIGH — Thirty minutes. That’s how long it took the Republican-controlled state Senate to override six of Gov. Bev Perdue’s vetoes Wednesday. But it’s only the opening salvo in an override war that will reach its climax later this month.
CJ Bill cutting red tape earns red ink
RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue surprised the General Assembly June 30 when she vetoed a regulatory reform bill that largely reflected an executive order she issued last year. Perdue claims she is “strongly in favor of regulatory reform,” but says the bill goes too far and may be unconstitutional.
CJ: New law expands concealed carry provisions
RALEIGH — North Carolina House Bill 271, Probation/Parole Officer No Concealed Carry Required Act, was signed into law in late June without fanfare by Gov. Bev Perdue. The new law will take effect Dec. 1 and allow all certified probation and parole officers throughout the state to carry an unpermitted concealed weapon both on duty and off duty.
GOP redraws district map
CHARLOTTE — Republican mapmakers are already back at the drawing board, reconfiguring congressional districts in response to claims that their current plan dilutes the influence of African-American voters in Eastern North Carolina. GOP Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews, who chairs the Senate Redistricting committee, said lawmakers are responding to concerns by Democratic U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who represents the 1st District.
DOT to return $66.3M to feds in budget deal
DURHAM — Local officials are unhappy that the N.C. Department of Transportation is once again in the position of having to give promised subsidies back to the federal government. The department, like others around the country, lost money to the federal budget deal that cleared Congress in April. It has to return to $66.3 million.
Monday, July 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Patrick J. Michaels
Climate Coup: Global Warmings Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at Noon
A Lunch Time Discussion
with our special guest The Honorable Gregory Katsas
The Supreme Court Round-Up OT 2010
Friday, July 29, 2011 at 12 p.m.
Friedman Legacy Freedom Lecture
with our special guest Dr. Roy Cordato
Elaborating on Friedman’s Theory of Social Responsibility of Business
Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 9:30am-3pm
A Citizen’s Constitutional Workshop
with Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions Can Teach Us Today
“They’re splashing a purple state with a can of cheap red paint.”
— State Democratic Chairman David Parker, commenting to the Charlotte Observer on proposed GOP maps for redistricting the General Assembly.
— Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, the Senate Rules Committee chairman, as quoted by the Associated Press, talking about the Senate’s votes to override six of Gov. Bev Perdue’s vetoes.
“Twenty-thousand-dollars ain’t enough for me. It ain’t enough for the rest of these victims either.”
— Sterilization victims Lela Dunston, as quoted by the Associated Press, addressing the Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force.
“Cloud computing — with its ‘pay-as-you-go’ features that lower the initial investment required — is going to actually help generate opportunities and the potential for economic prosperity over the next few years, even in rural parts of North Carolina.”
— Dr. Nasseh Tabrizi, graduate director for Computer Science and the Software Engineering programs at East Carolina University, talking to the Charlotte Observer about the impact of cloud computing.
On The Air This Week…
This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Daren Bakst explains how a Supreme Court election ruling impacts N.C.’s program of taxpayer financing of campaigns; Rob Bluey & Bill Beach of the Heritage Foundation discuss why federal spending must be addressed soon; Wake County Judge Howard Manning expresses frustration over slow pace of improvement in N.C. public schools; Jesse Helms Center President John Dodd reflects on Ronald Reagan’s 1976 GOP primary victory in N.C. and updates Helms Center activities; and Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson outlines occupational licensing bills that would create barriers to entry for various trades and skills.
This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Redistricting; merging community colleges; and live dealer games at the Cherokee casino? This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; and columnists Rick Martinez and Cash Michaels.
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