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Carolina Journal Radio No. 863: Candidates flock to wide-open N.C. lieutenant governor’s race

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2019 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 863: Candidates flock to wide-open N.C. lieutenant governor’s race

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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December 2, 2019 8:00 am

The open 2020 N.C. lieutenant governor’s race is drawing a crowded field of candidates, including one Republican who plans to vacate his current job on the Council of State. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes recent developments in the race for lieutenant governor. Henderson also explains how Mark Johnson’s decision to run for lieutenant governor will open up competition for the statewide job of superintendent of public instruction. The current lineup of the U.S. Supreme Court has started its second year of hearing cases together. Daniel Gibson, an attorney with the Stam law firm, assesses the high court’s first term with newest Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Gibson discusses key trends that could offer clues about decisions justices will render between now and June 2020. The 2016 election cycle helped spark discussion of a new term: “fake news.” During a recent event at Davidson College, longtime conservative pundit Bill Kristol and Axios co-founder Mike Allen discussed continuing concerns about the media’s reliability as the 2020 campaign approaches. The head of N.C. Emergency Management recently headed to Capitol Hill to share ideas with Congress about improving the federal government’s disaster relief programs. But Mike Sprayberry also faced some pointed questions from an Alabama congressman about the slow pace of North Carolina’s federal hurricane relief spending. You’ll hear highlights from their exchange. Some Democratic presidential candidates have rallied around the idea of raising taxes on the rich. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, discusses their plans. Coletti also assesses the latest efforts from local governments to tax soda.

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From chair to current from the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina journal your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina journal why Michiko Kime during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state.

The US Supreme Court is back in action.

A North Carolina legal expert helps us prepare for the court's current term by looking back at key rulings from the last year.

What are the interesting trends which justices are working together in surprising ways. The 2016 election cycle introduced America to the term fake news will hear from some national political pundits speaking at a Davidson College event. They worry about ongoing concerns surrounding mainstream media news coverage, the head of North Carolina emergency management recently testified on Capitol Hill. You'll hear his suggestions and his answers to pointed questions about federal disaster relief at least one outsider questions North Carolina's use of federal dollars and will dissect the latest Democratic plans for raising taxes on the rich who wants to do it doesn't make sense.

What are the unintended consequences. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina journal headline when we talk about 20/20 politics, the focus is usually on the presidential election and North Carolina's role as a battleground state, but one state wide race is shaping up to be pretty interesting, at least a dozen people have said that they have plans to run for the lieutenant governor's job that is of course the number two job in state government current Lieut. Gov. Dan Forest as we know, is running for governor.

The latest person to announce for the lieutenant governor's job is the current superintendent of public instruction, Carolina journal is following all of these statewide races very closely Rick Anderson as editor-in-chief and joint is now talk about the latest developments. Eric hi there, so Mark Johnson, superintendent of public instruction says he wants to continue to be an elected official, but he doesn't want to a second term as superintendent. Yes, in the somewhat unusual because actually you could consider the governor to be a demotion from superintendent of public instruction because lieutenant governor has almost no power in the state governor has whatever power the general assembly has given it then it took most those powers away when Jim Gardner was Lieut. Gov. about 34 years ago and so the lieutenant governor's job is largely symbolic. Now course, that person has the ability to do to serve as an ambassador to be the acting governor of the governors away.

Things like that but superintendent actually is a lot more authority. And so Mark Johnson's decision to do this is somewhat interesting that people may think the lieutenant governor's job has higher profile. It is more important than all that, but it will always really listen to so it's sort of unusual that that the Johnson would choose that path rather than another from superintendent that again.

His tenure has not sat well with the education establishment lot folks so maybe he's thinking that he might have a tough time getting reelected. Interesting that he's not the only one all sorts of people have decided that they're very interested in this particular seat and that's curious in that as you describe.

Not much official power, but is it just that Tom the person in the lieutenant governor's position kind of fashion.

Whatever job they want. That has something to do with it. And of course Lieut. Gov. has been the steppingstone to governor in several instances, especially when the governor could not succeed him or herself.

Now that's not an issue anymore, but you do have a situation where Jim Hunt went from Lieut. Gov. governor where the fluid flow to the governor to governor so and enforces attempt to make that same step but yes it is something is largely it's a position that you can define your own job is helpful if the governor is of the same party because that way you can that we could talk about that is the second but that that the governor when Pat McCrory was governor he actually gave Danforth a pretty big four pole a portfolio of things to do and so that was useful in Lieut. Gov. also presides over the Senate.

And so, if indeed we do have an evenly divided center is that it were.

There are three issues in play that vote can be very important. We have a lot of people who are interested in it on the Republican side, we have former representative US representative Rene Albers of the.Lillington area. We've got State Sen. Randy Wells Catawba County former State rep. Scott Sunstone interested in the job and so we got some big players who are interested in. On the Democratic side with that at least five people that we know you said they would like to know that the official filing begins in early December, but several people talking about it, including a couple of state representatives right. Also State Sen. Terry then die from a Buncombe County who had an interesting statement. Issues at events recently in which she said that the role of the lieutenant governor is to be is to essentially amplify the voice of the governor that's really handy when you're the same party you North Carolina's one of the states were the governor, Lieut. Gov. don't want is a ticket so a lot of the stakes were gonna run as a ticket. Lieut. Gov. really is even more symbolic position than it is a North Carolina's person is basically a ribbon cutter in a ceremony attender of that type of thing, but then die statement was interesting because one thing, it shows that the Democrats are very confident they're going to take the governor see again on the right to pursue reelected, but it is an unusual role because lieutenant governor you know basically used these the old joke she space it was in the governor a potted plant that's what this is, since it was a lie there safe to say yeah governor what you do a good thing. What EFM even a handful of the people who said they're interested in end up actually filing as a candidate.

This will be an amazing primary and marched it absolutely will if one thing, it will mean that there will certainly be openings in a number of state legislative states that Arthur currently the Rene Albers's role in this in the statewide race. This is interesting.

I guess it's a strange 6 of separation were elders defeated Bob Etheridge who was the superintendent of public instruction how she's running against the current superintendent of the world is a very real world with them. Mark Johnson saying no not going to seek a second term as superintendent of public instruction on the look of the lieutenant governor's race that is now opened up a whole. My speculation about okay will file to try to seek the superintendent's job right and there are two very prominent Republicans who stepped forward one is representative Craig Horne whose Union County I think is very was one of the top education policymakers and the general assembly also Catherine Truitt who was advisor to Gov. McCrory. But as the Chancellor of Western Governors University North Carolina two people who have, I think somewhat similar views about a lot of issues with educational choices like but have very different backgrounds and experience in that that post that's going to be a very interesting race because you have someone who has a lot of experience in the legislative side with education of someone who has a lot of experience on the administrative side with education so that it's going to be a fascinating race Chris Malone for wake County school board members also said he's interested in running the only reason he is of interest at all. Probably is because he is for wake County and he has been elected for wake County, but Catherine Truitt Was Way, County to it so that's that's it, but the Republican race will be very interesting. On the Democratic side is basically it would be let's unravel all the reforms with Republicans in general simply over the past 10 years, go back to having the joint Association of educators on this particular position is always fascinating because of the continual strife. It seems in disagreements about who runs and I use that wording." Who runs education in North Carolina and so one has to wonder what it be any different.

Perhaps if Roy Cooper, a Democrat, is reelected and a Democrat wins the superintendent's race. Maybe they would be more simpatico on their views about education but it could just be lining up to be more strife. It's always possible, but then again you have to remember that not so long ago about a decade ago there was a fight between two Democrats about this then Gov. Bev Purdue and the van superintendent June Atkinson over who actually controls management of the schools, and it went to court and the courts actually said that the superintendent is the chief policymakers and the chief administrator from public school system.

There Purdue try to point her upon her education. Sorry basically take all Atkinson's authority way so it doesn't is not necessarily something that is a partisan issue, but one of philosophy and of the roles of of public schools, private schools, alternative types of schools and hurt alternative to traditional schools.

It's it's a big issue.

Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief of Carolina turn Rick.

I know that CJ is going to be all over the statewide races at the primaries as well as the general profiling the candidates taking a look at the big issues in the races that we await the official filing once we know who's actually in the race.

We look forward to all of that coverage M QuickBooks find out Carolina and you on twitter Carolina journal.com is the web address I am at the regulator on Twitter. Thanks very much.

Thank you this much more. Carolyn just 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 up@carolinajournal.com you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles. 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 print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot onto Carolina journal.com 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 journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you. Welcome back. Carolina drove OI Michiko guy the return of October means the return to action of the US Supreme Court. What can the courts recent past. Tell us about its potential future joining us with some interesting answers to that question is Daniel Gibson he's an attorney with the apex-based stamp law firm, and he recently discussed the US Supreme Court's 2019 term with the John lot foundations Shaftesbury society. Welcome to the program. Glad to be here in looking at this 2019 term, obviously were studying it very closely. What are some of the things that stood out most to you.

I think the first thing to note is what I would call the odd majorities of the United States Supreme Court this term if we were expecting what I would call pure partisanship, which is the five conservative justices always aligning against the four liberal justices we would've seen a very different term. What actually happened. This term was there were 20 154 cases but actually a plurality of those cases, which is 45% went in sort of a more liberal direction. So what happened was the liberal justices I think were crafting opinions to pick off one of the conservative justices to join them.

So you'd see for liberals and Roberts or for liberals and corsets. So instead of getting this partisanship that I think a lot of us were expecting. We actually got much more narrow Supreme Court decisions because the liberals honestly were narrowing the broadness of their holdings to attract an extra justice do you get the sense that there was a concerted effort to do that, you know, it's hard to say because what sort of have to put ourselves in their minds, but I gotta think if I was in the United States Supreme Court Justice, and the alternative was the five justices that I disagree with getting together and writing a very broad opinion that might, you know, potentially overturn precedent that I care about or sort of taking a smaller victory over a big loss. I take the smaller victory in looking at these cases. You mentioned that it's a number of cases it was the four justices considered the liberal block with one of the members of the so-called conservative block do you get the sense then that that is against this idea that we have a very strong conservative majority on the court.

You know, I think it's really more against the idea of justices is purely partisan, and what I mean by that is, you know, we think of Republican or conservative justices in Democrat or liberal justices, but really I think these justices are people that are very well educated in the law and have a consistent judicial philosophy, and a lot of times that's going to yield predictable partisan results. But if someone is a pure originalist in the vein of say Justice Thomas, or just discourse which you might find things that seem liberal friend since on criminal defendants rights because our Constitution is actually fairly liberal when it comes to the rights of the accused. On the other end of the spectrum, someone that's a pure pragmatist and liberal judicial philosophy might sometimes give conservative results in cases because those the results that they actually think are the most pragmatic, so I think it's really more a question of the underlying judicial philosophy than this. Justice always votes with conservatives.

We are chatting with Daniel Gibson. He's an attorney with the stem law firm in apex North Carolina and that he's been looking very closely at the 2019 term of the US Supreme Court. When you went through these decisions did they surprise you or did you see that even if the outcomes the 54 with the for liberals and one conservative coming together. They actually sort of fit in with what we have seen these justices rule about in the past. Well whenever you're dealing with two fairly new justices like Cavanaugh and corsets sometimes it's hard to say what they're going to turn out to be like, and I think the biggest surprise in this term has actually been An encore search.

Something is really remarkable about them is they have one of the highest disagreement rates of any two justices appointed by the same president so that means that a lot of times they are splitting their votes on and that's what he gets back to the partisanship question. I think more stitches very much and originalist wants to stick to the original meaning of the Constitution doesn't really care about you know changing interpretations of those words. On the other hand Cavanaugh is more, I think, in the line of say a Chief Justice Roberts that is more concerned about the appearance of the courts having a limited judiciary things like that so a lot of the surprises in my opinion, came from Roberts Cavanaugh and corsets. They were the ones that were most likely to split off and give us the sort of more unique cases.

You mentioned Cavanaugh and it's a good time to remind folks this is the first term would Cavanaugh actually played a role beyond what you've already said anything else about Cavanaugh that that struck you is interesting in his contribution to the court.

It's it's fairly early to say he did align a lot with Chief Justice Roberts which was not something I was expecting you know there's always a question of he went through such a embattled nomination process has that perhaps shifted him in a direction where he wants to give a better appearance to the court. I was expecting Cavanaugh to be more in line with a corsets but obviously that didn't quite turn out the way that we were expecting. So we have basically one term in hand with this court as it's currently constituted any things that you see.

Looking forward, that this could to mean for the cases that are good at becoming before the court in the 2020 term I think something that's really interesting to note about the court is the inaction or relative in action when it comes to pro-life or pro-choice issues.

There've been cases that have come up to the court where they could have potentially taken those and narrow door overturn Roe V Wade and they haven't chosen to do that. I think that that's probably the biggest message moving forward from this court is I think were not gonna see a whole lot of major intervention with this current makeup of the court, Roberts and Cavanaugh are now sort of the swing boats and I think they're going to act as sort of a ballast for the court so it's not going to go too far in either way, in either direction given what we saw during the 2019 term do you expect that there's going to be a lot of the action behind the scenes. Once the new cases get started. Of the four member so-called liberal block trying to find ways to get at least one of the conservatives on their side as they did in this past term I would.

I would expect that trend to continue. You know, there are not there. Honestly very well educated, very intelligent people on the Supreme Court, and again the the incentive structure hasn't changed their I think they still have an incentive to try to write an opinion that can be a small win for them or at least a smaller loss as opposed to a large Wynford conservatives are a large loss for liberals so that's a trend that I expect to continue. Of course, I can't see the future so I could be completely wrong on that in the brief time do we have left. Does that also mean any sort of change in strategy. On the other side of the conservatives to try to find a way to keep them all together you know if I was a conservative jurist or I was a conservative attorney arguing Supreme Court. I would be thinking what are the issues that I can pick off one of the liberal justices on and maybe turn that 54 case into a 63 case. Maybe we can get.

Prior to joining the conservatives crazier things have happened.

So you know there's always a question of what your strategy and what your tactics are at the Supreme Court. And there's always sort of this game theory.

If we do this they'll do that. So on and so forth. So it should be an interesting term one person who will be watching that term very closely is Daniel Gibson.

He is an attorney with the stem law firm Daniel likes what you're doing. Thanks for having level on Carolina just a moment if you love 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 conservative.com it's one stop shopping for North Carolina's freedom movement@northcarolinaconservative.com. You'll find links to John Mott foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education from the James G. 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 conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com.

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The topic cropped up during a recent event at Davidson College, longtime conservative pundit Bill Kristol shared his concerns about accurate media information with Mike Allen, cofounder of actio's crystal is been a vocal critic of Pres. Trump. He recalls a dinner he had in 2017 with other conservatives who support Trump you Study carefully should expand the space he lost by two halfway votes or so in the popular vote, he can't just assume you know you really if I were he should be reaching out to new voters, such as doubling downand what if he was a no-no. But that's just Festus fake I mean there were 3 million votes that were stolen 3 million illegal votes in California like a and I said that's really not.

They look to the study carefully and I can explain even where this this understanding comes from but it's not actually true intelligent people well educated, successful but nice people just insisted it was true and it was they had seen it online but seated on a Facebook post circulated an email see that many times on quote new sites and at some point, you do worry that I mean and that's out there million cases of this on right left-center but you worry that it will point you have you ever correct something like that and how much are we going down the path were there is no authoritative route authorities letting the right word, but no common source of news or facts or truth and what you worry about that spot. The media is complicit in this, so he's done plenty to undermine your trust in us. If you look at it, how we covered 2061 to in our job was to understand America and explain it to you and results of that election made it clear what the big hole in our approach is so important person talk to people who move in all parts of America in 2016. Our biggest mistake was we didn't listen very obviously consequential conversations going on in America, including in my family were not one spot and we missed and not much better this time around and so what that trust was undermined and the more the reporters from organizations that we grew up trusting more the day get sloppy and go on the porters and give their opinion. What makes people less likely to trust. That's Mike Allen, cofounder of actio's and a 20 year veteran of Washington media is responding to a question from longtime conservative political pundit Bill Kristol. Their conversation took place during a recent event at Davidson College will return with more Carolina where doubling it Carolina to bring you stories that impact your life and your and now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes and@johnlocke.org/podcast Locke is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right light. Carolina journal Radiohead Locke 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 this.

Listen to Carolina each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to headlock@johnlocke.org/podcast or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal 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 the back Carolina journal DOI Michiko kind North Carolina has suffered from multiple rounds of damaging hurricanes in recent years. State officials still haven't spent all the federal aid from the first major hurricane Matthew from 2016. That topic cropped up during a recent congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. Mike spray Barry is North Carolina's director of emergency management. He testified about the funding issues, including those tied to a program called community development block grants for disaster relief CDBG DR was is proven to be problematic for us. It was a challenge because we didn't have any experience since the early 2000's and then at much, much lower amount of funding. The first allocation was $236.5 million. We are now finally on pace but the real problem is that I think is that you know it's not authorized and you have to wait you know every time that there is an allocation there's an appropriation made in Congress. And then there's a press release which heightens the expectations of everybody in the state were going to be getting this money and it's gonna be quick and then we wait go silent until we get the Federal Register spray Barry is not sure what the process of issuing a Federal Register take so long, it doesn't change that much. The Federal Register, so what they're doing is they're spending an inordinate amount of time writing these Federal Register when they could just put them on out there and let's take a look at you noticed the rules for state action plans to so we need to compress the timeframe. I don't think I don't think that we need to move it to another agency update hutch the right place for there's a lot of other housing programs. There they can leverage in the and also think that if we think moving it to someplace like FEMA was still developing policies for the disaster recovery Reform Act there still a year there, year out from that and still haven't gotten all those policies out, which are laws you know there's some issues there. North Carolina's seventh District Congressman David rouser responded to spray Barry's remarks. We've been through a number of storms together and it seems like every year it's a it's a it's a new storm, a new day. Which leads me to comment.

I think you mentioned another press releases announcing the press releases. Of course, so you know in Congress and have been part of some of those press releases and Congress appropriates money and I can tell you that those of us who sought our names to those had no expectation whatsoever that it would take three years. In some cases to to get this money out the door into the recipients. Can you talk just briefly about how that hinders the recovery effort, particularly in years when you have success. Success of storms when we first got the funding for hurricane Matthew, we didn't have the capacity and we had to build from scratch and we have since remedied that with our in core office. I would tell you that the that the directives that I give the team it in core is that you know we stop work whenever the storms actually happening, but as soon as the storm blows out, we continue to march and so the idea is is that no matter if you have successive storms that are affecting additional households were continuing to be decisively engaged with the funding that we have for hurricane Matthew as you know sure were still waiting for the mitigation funding there's been far from that. We intend to turn in our state action plan the hood in December and then were still waiting for the 336.5 million for Florence and then whatever were going to get the sub.

The disaster supplemental bill later on after that what I'm telling you here Sirs, we've got a structure now when we where we can drop the funding into the structure and they continue to move were not slowing down at all.

The Congressman had more pointed questions for spray Barry Republican Gary Palmer represents a district in Alabama.

One of the issues there was that there were millions of dollars of relief funding that had not gotten to residence North Carolina's is still the case, so now all in place.

We've drawn down $27.3 million and have 140 $842.8 million committed so we made some significant progress is not where you want to be. We want to have all that money out to disaster survivors. It's 27 million out of over 150,000,236.36 is 27 million from 230 209,000,003 years after the disaster. I don't know about my calling from North Carolina. I can't understand why three years after disaster were still sitting on over $200 million when their people in desperate need for it's a great point. Sure, and I would tell you that when the money was awarded to us. We didn't have the capacity to basically execute the grant we didn't have anybody that was trained in the new how to do it. We change that now with the with the stand up of the new North Carolina office of recovery and resiliency would 45 highly trained individuals and no more able to manage the grant more efficiently and get the money out the door to disaster survivors. You had another strong sense, and not merely the impact with Matthew.

But again, you just tell me you're sitting on $209 million. What is the timeline maintenance love to know what the holdup is because of the if if the monies under the control of the state of North Carolina. I mean, are there still federal regulations that are time your hands will know I would say that we are working with all the projects to get them out and making sure they were fully meeting all the eligibility criteria we've been hit Matthew which was our storm of record then by Florence, which is our new storm of record to be followed by Michael and now Dorian show a lot of different fund imparts a lot of money going out there. We haven't received $168 million in mitigation.

Yet we haven't received the $336 million in Florence money so were still working with the Matthew money and then so we are totally focused on that and totally focused on not only just assisting with reconstructions and rehabilitations but also expanding our portfolio of of affordable housing, money been spent on anything other than relief for hurricane Matthew said hurricane Matthew only sure okay that you're waiting on funding for these other hurricanes. Florence Michael and Dorian that's Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer you've heard him grilling North Carolina emergency management director Mike spray Barry the topic the states use of federal hurricane disaster relief money Palmer followed his questions by summarizing his concerns. This is something that really bothers me is that we fund these projects.

The money doesn't and spent another storm hits.

We appropriate more money and we don't know yet what's been done to mitigate and and and provide relief from the previous storms and it sounds like pollen money on top of money. I think this might be something we will take a deeper dive into a little bit later on. Not satisfied with the answers that I'm getting mean three years after the storm there still over 200 million that hasn't been spent in then and there's request for more money and this is not just a North Carolina problem this going on in other places as well. That's Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer speaking during a recent hearing of the U.S. House transportation and infrastructure subcommittee is responding to comments from North Carolina's emergency management director.

The topic state use of federal hurricane disaster relief money will return with more Carolina involvement really 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 of 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.

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Taxes are the talk of politics at all levels of government. Last month here in North Carolina voters in Charlotte Mecklenburg voted down a proposed hike in the sales tax. State lawmakers have looked at the franchise tax imposed on businesses and at least one presidential candidate is rolling out a plan to tax wealth, not just income. Joe Colletti is senior fellow with the John Mott foundation. He's our expert on all fiscal and tax issues and he's been taking a look at all of this and is here to talk about it.

Joe welcome back to the show going to be here. Let's start with that the federal level here so taxing the rich and seems to be an idea that is getting a lot of traction in this country. What you make of it, but the the question of inequality is is and mobility is what is one is is is the starting point for that that we take a look around the economy over the past few years and how do we help people at the lower and be able to advance. Unfortunately, sometimes when people look at that. They think that the best way to help somebody at the lower end of the economic spectrum is to penalize people at the upper end of the spectrum, and that's where this starts is taking is is the wrong prescription for potentially the right diagnosis that were different for unequal society than their problems, but the way that you way that you do it either by lifting the bottom worker cutting on the top and that's where this all starts is is some jealousy and some envy and in some and some general distrust of how people got their money, we hear the phrase fair share a lot as well and the. The implication they are in the belief behind that is that people at the higher end of the income spectrum are being taxed at a lower rate than people at the low-end, damn, what about that there is actually the New York Times recently had a bad by one of the reporters based on the new book by manual size whose been writing on inequality for a long time and is an advisor to Elizabeth Warren and has advised Bernie Sanders as well. So this all sound like the site come together in a way and they've taken a look at what the tax burden on on wealthy people versus the rest of us is and surprisingly, Matthew Iglesias, who is not what was left of center right writing@vox.com took a look at what they did and said you know they put a lot of assumptions into this to be able to get to their to get to their conclusions about how the rich pay less in taxes than in the rest of us do, and pointed to some other work earlier work by says with Thomas Picardy and support from folks in the federal government that's the Congressional Budget Office that show potentially much higher, much more progressive taxes in the country than what and what these people at the current research is showing so it all depends on assumptions. It's likely that the rich because of of tax rates do pay more in the federal federal tax code is more progressive than than most people give credit for. If someone is wealthy and they been working all their lives. Maybe it's through a business or maybe someone even inherited wealth. Is there anything inherently wrong with the fact that they have more than many people do not actually the best description I've heard what's wrong with well tax came from a professor at the University of Michigan.

He said you know, Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter and the all those movies saved his money and is in his put it aside it so that he can work on the movies that he wants to work on art or whatever else Johnny Depp has been countless movies is going bankrupt because he couldn't figure out how to use all of that money that he has. She concluded with I don't know that I want a system that penalizes Daniel Radcliffe and rewards Johnny Depp think that so you know if you can get out of most of us are yeah okay I would like to make sense you Joe. I like the fact that Tim you write and talk a lot about this issue of helping people, particularly those who are vulnerable. Maybe living on the margins really living paycheck to paycheck and is someone who grow up who grew up poor I can really relate to that. I remember those times growing up when literally we didn't have any money and we were one of those families even though it was a working family were the working poor with my mom and dad. I now know as an adult were wondering where was dinner going to to come from here in North Carolina. There's been an effort with the tax code by state lawmakers to really address that one way they've done. It is with what's called the zero tax bracket or the standard deduction help us understand what North Carolina lawmakers have done and how that helps, particularly those who are living paycheck to paycheck. The tax code starting in 2013. The journalism we moved into a flat tax rate but expanded the standard deduction edge as you mention which is this the amount of money that you can earn before you start paying a dollar in taxes and so right now we have a 5% sit income tax rate and in the in the standard deduction as as signed into law by Gov. Cooper will be increasing by another seven map percent in the next year and that's going to save people money amount and because it's the first dollar that you earn up to the $20,000 that you are and if you're married filing jointly. That means a $20,000 for your income is tax-free that does allow you to be able to spend more and take care of those basic needs because that first $20,000 is your basic needs. It probably would.

But more than $20,000 but data covers that that gives you head of the curve and then that first dollar that you are in the 20,001st dollar is is is that the effective tax rate on that is is relatively small because it's taking into account all the rest of that and it makes the tax code. It does make the tax code. Progressive which is what folks on the left one. While making sure that the people and by making sure that the people at the bottom and are the most protected Joe, I want to make sure that we talk about something that you also been writing about related to this sent the whole issue of taxes and that is people who want to use them punitive taxes to get people to not buy certain products we seen that was cigarettes soda is now kind of in the crosshairs of a lot of people and several different cities have imposed what's known as the soda tax was starting to get some information on whether or not that actually is effective.

What we learn. For the most part it is not in Philadelphia. For some reason. Higher taxes have cut down on the soda consumption but most of what is the soda taxes have done is raise the prices in cities where they are imposed and because folks who have less transportation folks at the lower end of the income scale can't move can't go out to have less access to places outside of the tax district where they can purchase orders, whereas somebody with more money is able to go to Cosco biased by by by cases of it and avoid that that access tax that's there and and it leads to a lot of weird things because of holiday because of what gets attacked and what doesn't gets taxed and apparently there even people who say well we can actually go one step further and solve that problem you just described by having a nationwide Soda Yeah Yeah If You Can. If You If You Can Do It. You Can't Get People to Do What You Want in This in a Specific Place and Just Impose the Penalty across Every across Everybody so There Will Folks.

You Can Read All about These Tax Issues in Joe Colletti's Work for the John Mark Foundation, You Find that@johnlocke.org Joe, thanks very much. It's been fun. That's all the time we have for the program this week.

Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch.

Okay I'm Donna Martinez.

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