Share This Episode
Carolina Journal Radio Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai Logo

Carolina Journal Radio No. 910: Questions surround key COVID-19 data points

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
October 26, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 910: Questions surround key COVID-19 data points

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 213 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 26, 2020 8:00 am

Debate about the COVID-19 pandemic has featured plenty of data involving case numbers, deaths, and hospitalizations. Dig into the details, and you learn that the numbers might not be as useful as they first appear. They might even portray a misleading picture. Jon Sanders, John Locke Foundation director of regulatory studies, discusses key aspects of his research into key COVID-19 numbers. Americans are paying much more attention to China these days, largely because of that country’s role in the pandemic. Part of the discussion involves American trade with China. Scott Lincicome, senior fellow in economic studies at the Cato Institute, challenges one popular narrative surrounding trade with China. He shares highlights from his research. One reason voters should pay attention to this year’s N.C. Supreme Court elections involves school choice. A lawsuit challenging the state’s popular Opportunity Scholarship program is heading to a trial court. Most experts expect the case to head eventually to the state Supreme Court, which upheld the scholarships by a 4-3 vote in 2015. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and director of education studies, explains why the new lawsuit should raise concerns for school choice supporters. One of the state’s top government watchdogs recently retired. You’ll hear highlights from John Turcotte’s last meeting as head of the General Assembly’s internal Program Evaluation Division. If North Carolina moves forward with Medicaid expansion, ends its ban on collective bargaining, and adopts the types of spending increases Gov. Roy Cooper has proposed in his budget plans, the state budget could grow by 13%. That’s a key finding in a new report from John Locke Foundation Senior Fellow Joseph Coletti. Coletti discusses report and talks about the potential impact for taxpayers if North Carolina pursues ideas popular among Democratic policymakers and political candidates.

Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
The Steve Noble Show
Steve Noble
The Steve Noble Show
Steve Noble
The Steve Noble Show
Steve Noble

From chair to current and the largest city, and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Michiko got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state Americans are thinking a lot more about China these days, largely because of covert, 19 will hear one North Carolina-based expert take on the issue of trade with China state Supreme Court elections matter. Why one reason involves the future of school choice in North Carolina. You learn how the High Court could play a role in the future of opportunity scholarships, one of North Carolina government's top internal watchdogs retired recently. You'll hear his assessment of the Gen. assembly, program evaluation, division if North Carolina expands Medicaid ends its ban on collective bargaining and follows Gov. Roy Cooper's budget ideas. Taxpayers will pay the price you learn how those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline, Gov. Roy Cooper has used emergency powers to shut down North Carolina businesses during the Cova 19 pandemic and he's instituted all sorts of rules and mandates and prohibitions, but the data upon which the governor based and continues to base his prohibitions is far from clear fact, so it's pretty foggy as John Locke foundation researchers have been detailing for months now John Sanders is director of regulatory studies for the Locke foundation. He joins us now with a look at what we know and, importantly, what we still don't know John, welcome back to the shelving stuff. Let's talk first about testing and covert, 19 positive cases, the department of Health and Human Services has a dashboard on their website and they keep track of the data we have periodic news conferences from Dr. Mandy Cohen which he gives us the numbers but you've been doing a lot a lot of drilling down into the numbers looking at research and what other states are doing and you have determined that there's really discrepant safes in how different states are defining what a verified case of Cova 19 is help us understand this okay so that gets to what the predominant way of measuring cases through something called PCR tests and essentially what they do is a take a sample from someone and they cycle it to detect strands of viral RNA and each cycle kind of doubles the amount they been able to to detect from the first cycle. So think about it is if you're doubling your money if you got a little bit of money but you doublet over 16 times, you'll suddenly have a lot of money, so if you come in with a sample new got an actual infection and you you get cycle that doesn't take longer to suck. Discover oh yeah, this person has a virus.

If you have a scrap of viral RNA. It may take a bunch of cycles before it gets big enough to determine doubling a doubling so the problem is the way North Carolina and most other states in the in the US and many other testing services do these tests as well beyond the research scientific consensus for how many cycles it should take the scientific consensus is 30. The CDC is looked at it and said they weren't able to find really viable virus beyond 33 cycles of the New York Times wrote an expos on this at the end of August and their expert suggested no more than 30 to maybe 35. What is North Carolina. Carolina is using 37 which means were basically doubling more more of at least 7 to 10 times what the research consensus is because of the test would use 40. Does that mean John can can we conclude then that when North Carolina counts someone as a positive case that it could be that some of those folks really are infected in and they got a lot of virus, but there may be some people in that count, who have a very very low level of virus absolutely and that's one of the problems with the test. The test itself is not a problem but what it can tell you is a yes no answer. Do you have his do you have viral material, the more it cycles the less useful.

That answer is going to be because the other thing is not telling you is if is how much viral RNA. You've got do you actually have an infection or do you have some viral RNA floating around St. John that states would at least be consistent since were comparing at least and news reporting were comparing states against one another for how many cases are active etc. and the CDC, one would think that Chase will be following their guidelines. So kind of what gives here for the states are consistent in any other data on on this during this pandemic, which is one of the frustrating things is is a well-meaning researcher and anyone who is just trying to get good information, because as I mentioned at the top. Of course, Gov. Cooper and Dr. Cohen in consultation with the governor they are making public policy decisions that are impacting 10 million+ North Carolinians based on this kind of data. At least this is one of several data points that they're using so it behooves us all, doesn't matter your ideology or politics or anything. It's important that we all understand what those decisions are based on what those decisions are based on absolutely and then for example in the New York Times expos they had a Harvard at the genealogist look at the bar. The him the cases that they knew of. If they cycle number 30 as opposed to 40, which is what they were doing in Massachusetts.

It would've thrown out 85 to 90% of their positive cases, which is a very just a shocking amount in other studies of other states on the von New York state.

It was closer to 63% but still you're talking about the vast majority of cases that might actually be infections which would also explain why we have the phenomenon of asymptomatic infections. Maybe it's because they're not really infections.

We just don't know because even North Carolina. We don't know how many cycles it took to get to that some states will have those data.

But North Carolina and many other states currently do not. John, do we know if Dr. Mandy Cohen or Gov. Cooper have been asked about this, this situation, I have no idea that they have certainly haven't seen any evidence they been asked about this by media what it's such a critical question and for obvious reasons and end your explanation is really helpful. That leads me to the next question then one of the other important data points that we follow and again that public policy decisions whether businesses can opener close with her kids are going back to school or not is based in part on the number of people who are hospitalized for Cova 19 is that data accurate. That's a good question two and the. The DHHS was asked about it and essentially what they say is ignorant. They're not making a distinction between someone hospitalized for Cova someone hospitalized with code for for you and I and regular conversation what you want to know is has this infection gotten to the point where it's put you in the hospital. That's what we worry about the way it's done for a DHHS is if you put into the hospital because of covert or if you have gone in for routine examination, argument carrack or you're having heart palpitations or whatever they will test you as part of the clinical assessment and if you test positive.

Even though that's not why you're there you will be counted as a hospitalization with code and then, sadly, of course, we do have a people who are succumbing Cova 19 the death data also reported by DHHS.

One of the data points out that they look at base policy decisions on what we know about the death rate. Is that accurate have have those folks that we think have have sadly died from Cova. 19. Is that really the cause. It's very difficult with viruses in general to to disaggregate weathers, the virus that causes because of virus consent in the motion.

The whole bunch of other things that will lead to death and that's what we are concerned about, but we can tell is if someone was hospitalized and died with coven as opposed to as a result of the covert infection and there's no way of knowing from this vantage point, which you know how many are in either category would there's just no way of knowing settlement, then this is why all of this at work that's being done by John Sanders and other members of the John Locke foundation research team is so important to every single North Carolinian and be sure to log on to John and check out their analysis they are posting regular updates looking into this data.

Also, over at the locker room. John Sanders is director of regulatory studies. John, thanks for joining us this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles who the powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money.

We shine a light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus or print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day.

Log on to Carolina once, twice, even three times a day. You won't be disappointed. It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko guy.

Americans are focusing a lot more attention on China.

These days, especially because that country's role in the covert, 19 pandemic part of the conversation involves a reevaluation of American trade relationships with China. Our next guest has researched the topic in his work challenges. A popular narrative about American Chinese trade Scott Linthicum is a senior fellow in economic studies with the libertarian Cato Institute.

Welcome to the program of extravagant to be that one of the reasons why you put together this piece is this narrative that is grown in at least in recent months if not years that the American trade relationship with China has been bad for America. First of all, before you counter it.

What is the basis of this narrative. It seems that you really can't read the newspaper or hear about a new policy proposal without it being in some way. Often times tied to this narrative and the idea is that in the late 1990s, the Clinton administration and Congress got together and passed a law permanent normal trade relations. Essentially, allowing China to enter the WTO and that in turn spurred what we call the China shock, which was a substantial increase in imports of Chinese goods into the United States that so the studies go destroyed approximately 2 1/2 million jobs now that P NTR and China studies show accession along with the China shock is also blamed for fueling the rise of China and China shifts towards liberalism and Empire and all of the bad things we hear about the Chinese government doing these days and again all of that is tied not to the regime in Beijing, but instead the fingers are pointed back at policymakers several decades ago.

Now you put this to the test in a policy analysis for Cato a labeled testing the China shock and you find that the story is not quite what this narrative says no errors. Several misconceptions and really that make the narrative complex to put it nicely. I'm really that the number of flaws in the narrative, I just gave to collectively prove pretty fatal for the thesis and the first is just simply the narrative of permanent normal trade relations in China's WTO accession is cast as if the United States flipped the switch and suddenly China joined the WTO. That's nothing to be further from the truth. The fact is that China exceeded the WTO for about a 15 year. There were all sorts of multilateral negotiations, bilateral negotiations with the United States and China shot of the United States drove the hardest bargain of any of the WTO member countries and they made China agree to all sorts of things that no other WTO member had to agree to the same time P NTR that vote in Congress was actually simply the making permanent, something that the United States had been granting on an annual basis for over 20 years and that was actually done not out of any grand desire or belief that China would suddenly become a liberal democracy but instead was really a basic pragmatic decision. Every other WTO member had granted China that status if the United States hadn't done the same United States companies would've lost out on the Chinese market United States would've lack of venue. The WTO oppresses interests and China still would've risen anyway. And that's I think a big point and something that that people miss is that counterfactual that somehow if United States had denied P NTR China would not be causing problems today is simply just it is belied by the facts. The second big problem is economic.

If you actually look at multiple studies that have been published since the original China shock literature, you see a lot of things that that really again I'm cast doubt on this China shop narrative. The first, I think the most important is that China's WTO accession and US economic engagement with China actually brought fun of benefits for the United States. Of course there are consumer benefits, whether it's cheap T-shirts are a consumer electronics and all that estimated to total hundreds of dollars per year per person for the rest of our lives can be a good chunk of money in terms of consumer benefits is not just consumer benefits. There are studies showing really substantial gains for American companies American manufacturers that ended up importing inputs that they use, and of course their workers use to make their own globally competitive products. There is also literature showing that there were substantial pro competitive effects in terms of innovation in the United States that many of the jobs we lost in manufacturing we gained back in services or in other types of manufacturing to put all of this together and you see that the China shock is really far more complex and more benign. Then again, this kind of scary narrative you here. We are chatting with Scott Linthicum. He is senior fellow in economic studies with libertarian Cato Institute. Some people might hear us and say wait a minute. Sounds like he doesn't recognize the China is this bad guy you're not saying that the China is this great nation and we should we should be thankful that we have any relations with the Nono deftly not and in fact I think it's it's undeniable that particularly in the last decade, the Chinese government has really taken a turn for for the worse and not simply in terms of human rights and trade, but foreign policy censorship and the rest, but in order to actually address those issues. It's really critical for us to understand what the United States did right and what United States did wrong in the last 20 years. That's really the point of my paper is grew out of the frustration that American policymakers routinely pointed at a singular event. P NTR, China's WTO accession and that economic engagement more broadly and said there is our mistake. So clearly we can solve this by just shutting off trade with China and the fact is that's really just not true that again China would have risen in the absence of US economic engagement and by the way, there were tons of actual policy mistakes. The United States government did in the wake of China's WTO accession's and others in the last 20 years. WTO has this rather successful dispute settlement system were countries can bring disparate cases against each other. Essentially, like a court and that the facts show that China actually has done a decent job in terms of compliance. Certainly not perfect.

No nation is perfect but didn't win when they are pressed on the issue due to reputational issues and their valuing the WTO itself. The Chinese government will change their behavior proportionally United States only brought a handful of cases and even when United States is one they didn't actually go further in and demand compliance.

That's a problem. Other problems outside of the trade space are looking. We had a Ford for decades of very uncompetitive corporate tax rate. We have all sorts of labor policies and other regulations that really have stymied American companies and workers and oh by the way, we ditched an agreement. The transpacific partnership that was actually designed to help contain China's economic rise and to provide countries like Japan and Vietnam and others another outlet so they didn't have to depend on China, they could depend more on the United States. All of those things we ignored in the stead again are policymakers point the finger it back 20 years ago.

It P NTR one of the major reasons for writing this piece is to say, look, let's not abandon free trade, policymakers and pundits want to draw broader lessons from the China experience and apply those to other countries as if well we got China so wrong.

Now we need to be protectionist with countries other than China or we need to engage in all sorts of mercantilism, or industrial policy and the rest. And so, that of course has has does the multiple problems in the first is that China side we have times of experience with protectionism and economic nationalism in its routinely shown to impose immense cost on American workers and consumers it to fail to achieve its actual objectives with Scott Linthicum. He is senior fellow in economic studies with libertarian Cato Institute, thanks much for doing so.

My pleasure thanks a lot more on Carolina journal radio in just a moment. If you have freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom

You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James Dean Martin, Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else. Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal. Don't wait for the morning newspaper. Don't wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal. Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal. Who knew you could shop and invest in freedom at the same time it is true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shop using the Amazon smile program and designate the John Mott foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop Amazon donates money to pass the John Locke foundation hears how long aren't to Amazon smile is the same Amazon you know same products same prices. But here's what's better. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon smile purchases to the John Locke foundation to try it. Be sure to designate us as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy.

So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom.

Don't forget log on to today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation will Qubec Carolina journal radio why Michiko guy this year's North Carolina judicial elections are important, why the John Locke foundation's education expert Terry stoops offers one reason he cites a case challenging a popular state program. This is really worrisome. The North Carolina Association of educators and others so filed a lawsuit challenging the opportunity scholarship program user $4200 vouchers for low income children to be able to attend private school.

It's extremely popular program more than 12,000 students were part of it last year. Certainly thousands more this year and this is being taken to court for the second time was worrisome about at this time is that the sitting members of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Several of them have expressed their dissatisfaction with the program in the previous lawsuit and if it gets, the North Carolina Supreme Court. I think many are predicting that the Supreme Court will strike it down. This highlights the importance of the courts, especially with individuals so that one to use the courts to try to get their preferred policies advanced when the elected officials will not advance their policies and so this is just an alternative means of trying to advance their policies and this is certainly the case with the North Carolina Association of educators. So since the Gen. assembly became led by Republicans in 2010 have been unable to get inroads in trying to get their preferred policies passed in one of those preferred policies as limitations on North Carolina school choice programs try to The number of charter schools and charter school students to eliminate private school voucher programs and to try to increase regulations on homeschool.

So if you can't do it through the deliberative process and the elected process of collecting about a sufficient number of people to the general assembly you go to the court and so I think it's critical for people, especially school choice proponents, and parents to understand just how important these judicial races are because things end up in the courts and there's only so much that the attorneys can do to convince the individuals that are deciding these cases what's in the best interest of kids and what's in the best interest of North Carolinians. So really, something that is turning we could talk about these in the abstract. We can talk about them as policies. We can talk about the politics of the issues when it comes down to it, were talking about children here in these children that have received the opportunity scholarship have had their lives changed for the better in the fact that this lawsuit is threatening to take that away.

It's more than disgusting. It's a moral and this is why we need to pay more attention as a states, not only what's going on the legislature what's going on in our that's Terry stoops, VP and education analyst for the John Locke foundation.

He speaking during a recent online will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right, like Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time double down with S. Listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation will Qubec Carolina journal radio I Michiko guy, one of North Carolina governments top watchdogs is stepping down John Turk.

Todd is retiring from the general assembly staff after serving as the only director of the legislature's program evaluation division Turk arts last meeting with the program evaluation oversight committee brought tribute from people like Republican state representative Craig Horne. We truly have been blessed to have you with us you are undoubtedly purely a living legend in this business and I don't mean the legislative drippings. I'm in the program valuation vision sure one of the founders of this type of an effort. That's pretty rare air and certainly good for us were looking for to walk around back in time to time come and visit keep restrictor caught had a chance to reflect on his own work at the head of the program evaluation division.

First, he brushed away praise for his work when one person does its job does his or her job and gets paid for by the taxpayers. Let's note this for longer-term. I don't need to be.

You think you're anything like that. I mean, you expect things to be gone. That's what I've done, turning away from his own contributions Turk cut focused instead on the institution. He compared North Carolina's program evaluation oversight group to other units across the country this committee. Unlike others across the country has a very strong role in legislation. It may surprise a community event in other states. The program evaluators or the legislative auditor's Mike reports male amount to the legislature and at the next meeting of the legislative audit committee by my bring one or two up for discussion. But there is no follow-up there is no follow-up individual members may introduce legislation or they may do Facebook and some states the program evaluators and the auditors are discouraged from evening meeting with legislative doors Turk cut turn to an example from his own professional past.

When I moved to Florida became the first director of Otago which is equivalent to this unit but it had been the performance audit division of the legislative auditor's office. Those auditors had to file a written report with the state auditor with the legislative auditor every time they had a contract with legislative tool and had to get permission to return legislators phone calls and all that. I just want to let you know how unusual this committee is in the strong role that you have, particularly pursuing legislation and I like to mention the representative power and Fletcher Hartsell who were chairs at the time made.

This is standard practice that with every report that legislation be prepared to implement the recommendations just won't let you know how powerful and how strong that that activity is and it's very very unusual across the country and having to use this committee a lot of strength and a lot of character and you need to hear live why is it so important for program evaluations to lead to proposed reform legislation. The agencies if you do not do the if you did not follow through with legislation. The agencies would not take this work as seriously as they do, that's John Turk he's retiring as director of the North Carolina Gen. assembly's program evaluation division. In addition to linking evaluations to reform legislation Turk cut emphasize the importance of maintaining an independent voice the independence of a function such as loose is very important.

The committee and the leadership of this legislature has always allowed us to speak freely with with members in these reports we don't edit or water down these reports in any way you give our professional opinion, that's not the case in a lot of places your committee last. Many years ago. The committee's like this would bring the reports up and go through it line by line side elected finding was strangely instead of slain finalist just like not its unusual mall to do that with this committee goes and confirm that you you you receive his report There might presentations to express our opinions and do so without yelling at us Turk cut mentioned one of the legislatures would just praised his efforts leave those occasionally takes exception to something that's live and some of you do, but it's it's it's not like it is in other places where staff new postal group conflict. Gen. Michael express an opinion about something and that that independence and ability to come before this committee and speak freely about our findings and write our findings in a direct, active way that we do and and have the bill drafting the vision follow-through has a pencil capably with her legislation is a real real genuine Joule and I hope you would continue layout and keep that going.

What's next for John Turk. He's heading to Texas for a while. Then on to a permanent home in Mississippi.

I'm looking forward I've been working full time since 1970 and I took Edgar Starnes of Russian winter storms. He told laser don't stick around too long. We we had a discussion about state automobiles and we have made a recommendation years ago. The boom spitefully rotated hundred thousand miles. Edgar said no. You knew Ron Wally's cars up to 175, 200 200,000 Marshall unfortunate took his advice and hard around here a little longer. [Get some more mileage so I probably would've left earlier but it's been a genuine pleasure to work with all of you collectively and individually and I might add that the state art are that involvement in state auditor. This always occurred back to his unusual and you should continue that we have a fine state auditor in the system that we have is is a good news good for the taxpayers and thank you very much Mr. Chairman Marie increment that Chairman representative Craig Horne offered more words of praise for John Turk caught in his program evaluation division through your efforts. You are a trailblazer, no question about it. You've set the pace you will be discussed in public costs time and time again, but that goes with the territory. What you do before. If one of us is on the right side of of one of your research project. We love you were on the wrong side would know why that's part of the deal but I just personally advised. I feel confident on behalf of the members. The members of this committee members writ large across the Gen. assembly will we and the oldest people in the state owe you a great deal of gratitude we really do for lead the way with integrity and earnestness and you have unquestionably save the state tax for the state millions and millions of dollars. Craig Horne is retiring from the Gen. assembly at the end of the year held no longer help to lead the legislatures program evaluation oversight group.

Horne offered some encouragement to those who will continue the work in the years ahead. There's no question there so much for us to be proud of what were accomplishing what were doing there. The naysayers will be the naysayers there no matter what you do where all of them have rocks thrown out of subjective, but openness and transparency has been the hallmark of OPD in this committee how we do our work. It's been a pleasure and certainly a source of pride for me as well to work with the committee.

In particular John to work with you in the few years that we've had that opportunity.

Republican state representative Craig Horne cochairman open oversight committee that works with the gimbal assemblies program evaluation division. Horne praised the work of John Turk cut is retiring from his job is director of that division overture with more Carolina journal rate of almost real influence. You either have it or you don't and at the John Mott foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms in the past decade here in North Carolina.

So while others talk or complain or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life.

Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the envy of every other state.

Our research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you are.

Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors.

The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina.

We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm down in Martinez since the great recession, the North Carolina Gen. assembly has kept spending growth at or below the rate of population plus inflation that's really important.

And by doing so, state legislators, led by the Republican majorities in both chambers protected North Carolinians purchases and paychecks from tax hikes. A new research paper authored by my next guest. The John Locke foundation to senior fellow Joe Colletti looks at North Carolina's pathway on fiscal issues compares this with two other states approach and chart the course for us for 2021 and beyond. Joe welcome back to the show.

Nice to talk with you here the Cova 19 has devastated the fiscal situation in a number of states in the country, but not really. So with North Carolina and there's a reason in you detail that in your new paper, big government, big price tag tell us about North Carolina. North Carolina has been fortunate for the last 10 years since 2011 as the state came out of recession. The Republican Gen. assembly has kept spending to that level of of inflation and population growth, which means that on a REIT adjusting for inflation.

You and I aren't paying any more than we were 10 years ago for state government which means that because were not paying more, but our incomes are going up. We have more available to take care of her own needs and at the state level by not spending that much and as the economy has grown. The state now has has had more money, which is allowed the government to provide tax cuts and to set aside money in savings to that helped us get through to hurricanes two major hurricanes and still have $1 billion left over billion dollars left coming into the pandemic. In addition to that, because they added a feature of the budget which it prevents government shutdowns. The governor's veto in the in the stalemate between the governor and the general assembly. Over the past year that has resulted in additional savings that allowed the state to be able to get through the recession to get through the coat the pandemic so far without any furloughs without any tax increases without significant pain that we've seen in previous recessions were after the state had expended money beyond what it beyond that that inflation and population rate. So the states and really in no states in really good shape but this ticket, but North Carolina is in much better shape than than just about any other than just about anyplace else in the country jail in your paper. You really emphasize that it is so important for policymakers in every state that particularly here in North Carolina because we seen it for them to focus on reining in that spending growth that some other states have really focused on tax rates and cutting taxes first, but that spending component is so critical here North Carolina. We actually did both. We reined in spending growth and we also made sure that North Carolina needs More of what they earned so great a very unique position of essentially coming up with the right recipe we've seen in Kansas in earlier this decade and we saw in over the past 50 years of tax revolt starting in California with proposition 13, which limited the property tax increases.

In that state. When you focus on when when legislators and in others, focus first on taxes without addressing the spending question, then the spending continues and eventually the taxes have to go back up and at the federal level, we see that he just reviewed results in debts and deficit but North Carolina by focusing first on on that spending question that that the taxes are able to follow spending down instead of trying to try instead of trying to force that the conversation which is really hard to make it happen right so that's the California situation on and we all remember that early.

Some of us of a certain age remember that the state of Colorado is an interesting case as well. What can we learn from how Colorado approach this right Colorado tried a similar tactic as is California first focusing on on local property taxes, and how do you keep those local residents. But in 1992 after number of tries.

The state voters in North Korea and Colorado approved the taxpayer's Bill of Rights which limited spending and revenue growth to the rate of population inflation and allowed voters to have a say in any future tax increases and an ability to spend above that level and as a result, Colorado has had lower spending has had lower taxes and continues to grow at a faster rate than North Carolina and population and an economy so looking forward how do we ensure that North Carolina keeps to this successful recipe is as I put it of reining in the spending growth, making sure people who are out there working, earning a living that they keep as much as they can. Just paying taxes to provide core services that we all help fund them as North Carolinians. How do we stick to that that track when you've got some folks who were saying no, we need to be spending more money people are paying their fair share in taxes and so that all looms out there.

What we do what's allowed us to keep it so far as to by voting for the people who have had that initiative and have that had the desire to keep spending low weeds taken a look at the taxpayer's Bill of Rights and the paper focuses on can you put this into the Constitution and that's where the from academic research from the expansion Colorado suggest that constitutional amendment for tax expenditure limits similar to the taxpayer's Bill of Rights is the best way to be able to continue reining in spending into in and to make sure that it's not a question of who's in charge of the of the processes in place.

North Carolina has a number of things that have kept spending within reason. Over the course of years have Stepped in and checked Colorado. We've seen that regardless of what people want. With spending.

Dave had because the taxpayer's Bill of Rights. They've had that institution in place and people have not gone and have not gone to crazy when when when in power over there. So instead of just the kind of voting for certain people and rolling the dice as to who becomes in charge of the general assembly or who is elected governor and then they can change the laws they can raise spending, etc. if they've got the votes rather than kind of them banking on that go-ahead and put it into the state constitution so doesn't matter who's in charge right and with that in Colorado people are still are the keep proponent the provisions of that of the voting on tax increases and in the low spending remains popular and so if you have it in the in the Constitution, they can't just not say notwithstanding what we said before that it's it's it's it's written there.

It's in the Constitution and they can in the legislature can't go against that gel.

What is so important here I think about your paper. It is the third in the series of them really a focus of the jail F research team on big government and big price tag. It's really important because it's more than a theoretical discussion.

We actually have current state legislators that they haven't be Democrats who are proposing ideas that would increase spending some of it relates to expanding Medicaid in North Carolina. There's also legislators who want to repeal our states ban on collective bargaining or public sector unions. That's big costs right there huge costs, and in both both of those papers have documented just how much that is and how much it's been understated. When people have advocated for those things and so that's where it where the taxpayer Bill of Rights and tax expenditure limit becomes extremely valuable.

Joe Colletti is the author of the third paper in this series of big government, big price tag and as of the time we have for the show this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of Mitch Kovach time Donna Martines join us again next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the job on foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke.or call 66 jail F info 166554636 Carolina journal radio is the John line foundation, Carolina's free-market maintaining and Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program and are solely those did not merely reflect the more the station. For more information about the show or other programs and services of the John line foundation John Locke toll-free at 866 JL and would like to thank our wonderful radio affiliates across Carolina and our sponsors. Carolina journal radio. Thank you for listening. Please join us again next week

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime