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Carolina Journal Radio No. 716: Obamacare repeal, replace options take shape

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
February 6, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 716: Obamacare repeal, replace options take shape

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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February 6, 2017 12:00 am

Now that Barack Obama has left the White House, congressional Republicans can make a serious effort to repeal and replace his namesake health care law. Katherine Restrepo, the John Locke Foundation’s director of health care policy, analyzes key elements of the GOP health care reform proposals. Donald Trump’s presidential election win could lead to major shifts in the future of the U.S. Supreme Court. Campbell University Law School professor Greg Wallace assesses Trump’s likely impact on the nation’s highest court, especially with an initial appointment to replace conservative icon Antonin Scalia. North Carolina’s senior U.S. senator, Richard Burr, sees plenty of room for improvement in the U.S. Treasury Department, especially in terms of cleaning up the Internal Revenue Service. Burr made that point clear during the confirmation hearing for President Trump’s treasury secretary. You’ll hear highlights from Burr’s questioning of Steven Mnuchin. Some of the state’s top economic minds gathered recently to deliver their forecast for North Carolina’s economy in 2017. State business leaders heard from Michael Walden of N.C. State University, Harry Davis of Appalachian State University and the N.C. Bankers Association, John Connaughton of UNC-Charlotte, and Mark Vitner of Wells Fargo. You’ll learn details of each economist’s take on the next year’s economic outlook. North Carolina has seen dramatic improvement in recent years in national rankings of state tax policies. Roy Cordato, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research and resident scholar, scrutinizes the rankings and explains why North Carolina has fared so well recently.

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From Cherokee to current and the largest city to the smallest 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 at Muskoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state a new president means the potential for a major impact on the US Supreme Court will chat with the Campbell University Law school professor will assess the potential legal and constitutional impact of a Donald Trump administration, North Carolina's senior US Sen. wants to see big fixes at the US Treasury Department, especially the Internal Revenue Service, you learn why will North Carolina's economy farewell or fare poorly over the next year. You hear the forecasts of some of the states most well-known economists plus will delve into North Carolina's dramatic improvement in national rankings of state tax policies recent tax reform has attracted attention across the country.

Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline the United States Congress has begun efforts to repeal and replace the affordable care act Obama care. Pres. Trump has already issued an executive order to ease the impact of the laws, regulations, but the big question now is replace Obama care with what Catherine Restrepo is the John Locke foundation's director of healthcare policy. Just take a look at some of the alternative plans and joins us now. Catherine welcome back. Thanks for the longest time. Literally years Republicans and conservatives on Capitol Hill have been talking about the need to replace Obama care did actually have something on paper that they can present no but getting close hopefully and really all I mean like he sent on others than a lot of different conservative market oriented healthcare reform plans that have been floating around for quite some time but really, you know, a newsletter that I just wrote last week kinda focuses on if you know if and when this health reform plans going to get to Pres. Trump's desk to be signed into law like what will it most likely look like and so I kind of focus on the similarities and differences between on-time prices plan is called empowering patients first act and on House Speaker Paul Ryan's plan, which is called a better way. What do those two plans have in common. While they really they focus on putting patients and control over their healthcare dollars. So right now if someone qualifies for subsidy for an individual market plan if they don't get health insurance through their job. That subsidy goes directly to the insurance company.

It doesn't go into the hands of the consumer, though with the with both of these plans, you would have some type of refundable tax credit where those individuals could use on their own. You will be in their hands to shop for a private plan in the individual market that would offset the total cost of their plan for sounds is something that you would like. Yes, I think it it's a good compromise. Yes, okay, what I would like probably is not ideal at all. But that's okay. And as though were talking about these universal refundable tax credits and you know, keep in mind Republicans are getting a lot of flak for okay well if we repeal Obama care and don't have a replacement plan you 20 million people can lose coverage well with this refundable tax credit would actually extend to people who don't have any tax liability at all on people who don't pay taxes, though this would actually cover the current gap population that we have right now North Carolina people who are ineligible for Medicaid and don't earn enough income to qualify for subsidized health plan on the individual market on so that's you know that's pretty significant and both of these plans also really look to expand the usage and flexibility of health savings accounts. These are tax preferred accounts for people can use funds. Employers can contribute on funds into their employees health savings accounts.

They can use that to purchase. No daily medications and dental vision on necessities over the counter staff with that HSA and the big thing there is that people control their own little bank account of money exactly and there's more. It mean it's a notable one. If you have more people using health savings accounts.

It's notable that you have more price transparency in the system because again going back to the patient. This is a patient empowerment mechanism for suppliers and healthcare providers to compete offer the best prices for their patients compete for customers. So just to remind our listeners what were doing right now is talking about. Two of these key alternative plans that is basically being a shop around Washington DC at this point, one by representative Tom Price one by House Speaker Paul Ryan so they are similar in terms of tax credits in the use of health savings accounts. What do they do and are they similar in terms of the big problem we hear people talk about that is pre-existing condition yet sent both of them are similar. While there are some nuances with the pre-existing condition causes that they haven't in both of their plan so on Paul Ryan's plan it would preserve of the affordable care export existing condition clause so people who have phonic illnesses. You know they cannot be denied treatment from insurance company for the specific illness on everything has to be covered or benefits have to be offered for their further chronic illnesses and so he would preserve that clause on Tom Price. However, he does not preserve that.

However, both both the price and Ryan would have federally funded high risk pools so under prices plan if somebody was denied by an insurance company for their pre-existing condition. They would still have access to a federally funded high risk pool that their state would administer and these these premiums are going to be subsidized on and it really allows the rest you know it's a win-win, because these patients will still have access to coverage for their pre-existing conditions, but it allows the rest of the individual market to be innovative and have a healthier risk pool and have people sign up without needing an individual mandate to have a sustainable risk will because if you let the rest of the market innovate and offer more tailored products. I think it's more appealing to more people, as you describe this Catherine.

It sounds like.

Definitely these are moving towards a more patient centered and consumer driven type of health insurance and healthcare plan, which is when you been writing about for so long here at the John Locke foundation, but I know that you don't think that either of these plans is really the perfect solution sense of what you think that that they have they have left out of the mist, as is the plans together will I think that I don't think that some stuff isn't necessarily missing or left out but I guess there is this big divide amongst different camps in the conservative libertarian movement of what you know, the role of government and healthcare reform. So some people are okay with universal refundable tax credit idea. Others would rather have a tax deduction but that necessarily would necessarily help people who you know don't have any tax liability.

So do you think is better. What are your thoughts on the hill. I prefer I do like Tom prices plan. I do buy it idealistically. I would have even greater flexibility of health savings accounts on right now your maximum contribution to an HSA and prices plan is equivalent to an IRA contribution every year I would raise that I would triple the current HSA contribution limits. I would have employers be able to on have more flexibility in providing more funds into their employees health savings account so that that employee could not only shop around for a health plan through by offered by their employer or they could go into the individual market on their own.

I think you know the more flexibility and less regulation over HSA's, the more choices patients will have and I think that will create much more of a competitive marketplace and healthcare Catherine that the big talking point you here in the policy discussion on the national news and talk shows and things is that well in the in this process of repealing and replacing that it's just gonna be chaos for aliens of people of the yet very can using based on what you know now about these two particular alternative plans will it be chaotic now. I don't think so because I don't think Republicans are going to want to be responding to media questions about 20 people.

20 million people losing coverage and not having something to replace the repeal on me, not just like for the buyer like I did not look good. It's very heartless thing to do so.

I mean even a Pres. Trump ran Paul other ACA opponents. Paul Ryan really want a heavy wet the media thing a down payment on what that replace plan is gonna look like so it can be on the heels of the first partial repeal bill that will have to happen through the budget reconciliation process we been talking with Catherine Restrepo.

By the way, you can read all of her work on health care policy that John Locke think you think you stay with this much more Carolina journal radio become just a moment North Carolina lawmakers head back to Raleigh. There's a new governor until working together or working against each other will make big decisions decisions that affect you, your wallet, your home, your business, your kids education to keep up with those big decisions day by day.

Even minute by minute look to Carolina journal, a full team of reporters and analysts there watching the action in the state capital. The reporting minute by minute developments for you Carolina journal. It's available each month as a free newspaper and every day with updated find us on Facebook to share items from Carolina journal share items from the John Locke foundation. Follow us on Twitter at Carolina journal at John Locke in the sea and at Becky Gray Carolina journal it your go to source for news about state government and how government affects your life. Visit Carolina today will go back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko Gipe in an election pitting two of the most unpopular candidates in history. A common rallying cry was think of the Supreme Court. Now the voters have spoken, and Donald Trump is in line to be the next US president.

What is the potential impact of the nation's highest court. Our next guest is good, considering that question along with other issues related to the Supreme Court's future. Greg Wallace is a professor at Campbell University's law school lecture joining us.

Thanks for having me do it really did hear quite a bit during the election campaign for both sides about the think of the future of the Supreme Court will the voters have spoken Donald Trump's going to be the president, what might we see in terms of the impact on the nation's highest court was think the Supreme Court issue was very important especially for Trump voters not not so much.

According to the exit polls for Clinton voters and I know of many people who voted for Trump solely because of the Supreme Court appointment issue and that is because the seed of Joseph Schooley needs to be filled and the Senate Republicans have put off filling that seat until the end of the Obama administration. They were successful in their strategy and so now the question is whose use the present Trump going to appoint to the Supreme Court.

And if you go with the lists of number of names that he has released to the media. They called those names stand in mainstream of conservative legal thought they were all while they may not have the will and brilliance of over Joseph Schooley of they all share his interpretive approach to the Constitution.

That is what we call originals and and so I think that that we should see in this first nomination here somebody in the mold of the trust to Schooley.

We've also seen via the website for President-elect trump some ideas about the types of things he's looking for what you think about those yes she says on his website that he's going to appoint judges and justices to adhere to a regionalism which is the interpretive approach used by Joseph Schooley on what we mean by ritualism is that you treat the Constitution is a legal legal document legal text like a contractor property and you and you understand you interpret the legal text in its ordinary sense trying to to understand what the meaning was when it was ratified, and you have to look at history and you have to look at the text itself in context and things like that.

It's not so perfect approach to constitutional interpretation, but it's far preferable to the approach to the open-ended approach that the liberal justices take of simply making it up as you go along. Of of of smuggling their own personal political preferences into the wall under the guise of constitutional decision, but we are chatting with Greg Wallace Prof. of Law at Campbell University Law school.

There's also the implication isn't there for the types of cases that the Supreme Court will be taking in the future and affect some cases that are moving through the courts. Now that Mike go away. Yes, one of a number of cases that are moving through the course right now some of them high profile cases are challenges to the Obama administration's use of executive orders on executive authority. Of course, when present, Trump comes and he's going to change those executive policies things dealing with immigration and Obama care and title IX he will change those policies and it's likely those cases will go away and that could mean for a shorter docket, at least in the short term for the Supreme Court. These are cases that were getting to that point. Yes, there are not any cases so far on the docket that are of earth shattering import like we seen with the Obama care were the gay marriage case or things like that of the last few years and I think that this Supreme Court term is going to be fairly modest and fairly quiet on on that front. There are some a couple of interesting First Amendment free-speech cases that could help clarify some free-speech doctrine, but again, they're not your shattering type cases that we seen the past terms. One of the things that you mentioned in a public speech or for the John Locke foundation on the impact of the election that was that one of the potential winners was associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. How does he end up being a winner in this will the Trump. The fact that Trump is now elected president he will get to make the choice he is going to put somebody back on the court very much in the, the, within the philosophy of adjust to Schooley so what that will result of that is that it will not really change the ideological makeup of the court right now so Justice Kennedy is still going to probably be the swing voter. The difference will come where we have three justices two of them that are over 80, and one of whose about eternity and so if during later in the Trump administration. He is able to add one or two more justices, then he could really reshape the court for 40 years to come. So for the short term could be in the back and that 54 is the flips back and forth depending on which way the wind blows in which way at the Kennedy has a has considered the case yes exactly no moving forward. In the long term. What is it say to you that were going to have a president who's going to be appointing not just Supreme Court justices but also justices in the courts of appeals and district court level will have a different philosophy than what we've seen over the past eight years. What kind of impact will make a huge impact because it's not just the Supreme Court that decides these cases it's lower courts as well.

And if you've seen for example under during the eight years that was Obama has served as president he has appointed a number of of judges to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals used to be one of the most conservative appellate courts in the nation, and yet now because of Pres. Obama's appointments. It has become one of the most liberal Courts of Appeals so so you can see how a president in a short period of four or eight years can change the makeup there currently hundred and three vacancies in federal court right now. Not to mention the ones that are to be created as we go forward into the Trump administration and so filling those vacancies is going to have a profound impact on the federal court system as well know at this point as we are speaking a lot of what were talking about when it comes to Donald Trump is based on what he is put out in terms of the information on his website or in releasing lists of potential Supreme Court justices as the actual process unfolds. He gets into office and starts working on this. What you go to be watching for to see if the words match up with the D well I think that that that's exactly the thing. I will be watching for to see who it is that he's going to nominate is he gonna stick with somebody off of these two lists or or even there a couple of good judges that didn't make the list. Judge Sutton in the six circuit Judge Cavanaugh in the DC circuit, Michael McConnell, who was out at Stanford would be a great appointment to the Supreme Court, but is if he does follow through.

That's the big question is whether he's going to follow through with both of the appointments at the at the Supreme Court and of the lower court level. A lot of people I know are concerned about Trump going.

You know, rogue, honest, but I think Trump is going to be one of the most checked and balanced presidents in modern times you got media that's very hostile and going to scrutinize everything he does. You got members of his own party and in in the Congress. The Republican-controlled Congress who didn't support him or who supported him hesitatingly and you got the court so I think that that you're going to see Donald Trump who's very circumspect about what he does and also who he surrounds himself with the people that he points to advise him. The people he points to run his departments are going to be real telltale of of whether he's going to continue to stand sort of in the in the mainstream of conservative political thought, what we know one person is going to be watching very closely as he just told us is Greg Wallace Prof. of Cabell University's law school.

Thanks much for joining. Thanks for having a lot more on Carolina journal radio interest at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying. In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you. That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interests. The special interests.

We would be honored to have your help in this fight. John and make a tax-deductible donation. Right now the John Locke foundation were fighting for you were fighting for freedom government plays a key role in your life affecting your paycheck the way you educate your kids the way you do business. How can you tell if government is doing a good job making the right choices. Spending tax dollars wisely. Carolina tackles those questions every day.

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Support the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko got North Carolina's senior US Sen. Richard Burr recently had a chance to grilled US treasury secretary nominee Stephen with Nguyen first talked taxes you commit to the committee to work towards a simpler, more understandable tax code in this country.

I do absolutely. Burr also honed in on the IRS April 2014 the treasury RG came out of the study found that the Internal Revenue Service had paid up $2.8 million in bonuses as well as well as tens of thousands of hours of leave and hundreds of pay step increases to employees who work tax delinquent or had committed serious misconduct, including fraud and drug abuse. More recently married in 2015 report Vincent Inspector General found that 100 -364 employees with woeful tax noncompliance cases closed between October 1, 2000 8 September 2013 receive one or more wards, promotions, quality step for voluntary separation incentive payments within the year after being disciplined for tax noncompliance. When you commit to me today to change this policy this insane policy absolutely very concerning.

So I commit to work with you and your staff on it absolutely. Another report December 2014 Inspector General of the IRS discovered the letter had repeatedly hired employees who were fired for poor conduct and performance. After lengthy examination processes on their employment. In fact, the treasury watchdog found that in a sample of 7163 employees who were rehired by the IRS 824, 11% of had bad performance in their record as to why they were fired in the first place, and in some instances it said in the records do not rehire yet the IRS rehired. Do you pledge to this committee to change that insane policy that the IRS that sounds like the most common sense thing I've ever heard.

So I guess I absolutely am committed to that unappreciated because I think the with all the questions you've been asked a billion. All the pledges you asked Mike I try to look at it from a value of the American people. The American people deserve better than this because in the private sector.

You wouldn't stand for this, which absolutely not.

You wouldn't have a company that would pay people for nonperformance or poor performance. You wouldn't reward individuals by rehiring them if in fact they do a poor job the last time and I think the American people look at insane policies like this and I really do question those that had agencies and quite frankly committees like the goose that have oversight over the agencies that's North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr discussing problems that need fixing at the IRS for Carolina journal in 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 all across the state. All in one place North Carolina one-stop shopping for North Carolina St. movement North Carolina

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 analyst plus opinion pieces and reports on higher education. All of that from the Pope Center for higher education policy commentary and polling data from the Cintas Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all of that, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Log on today. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Michiko kind what's the economic outlook for North Carolina in the next year, a group of professional economists offer projections recently to state business leaders. Michael Walden is a professor at NC State University person most poorly I think will then have growth so no reward no recession.

Economic forecast of actually improved somewhat since the election in terms of GDP growth in terms of job growth. We will see how the administration's policies progress in Congress but I think that that's obviously got a lot of anticipation about the potential positive impact on the economy. I do think we've seen some reaction already in the financial markets since interest rates of trended upward in anticipation of some of the compounds as well as inflationary expectations of, but overall I think a positive urine model put on the bandwagon over to get three or 4% growth but I do think Harry Davis of Appalachian State University also represents the North Carolina bankers Association grow faster this year than last 2% save a lot over 2% of the national level which would be nice for growth in order a lot of collectivism this year's award last year but will still be in excess of 9000 new jobs other than the regular tour environments can change dramatically. I believe road regulations the president appoints 4000 people in those 4000 people are going to be pro-business. I think so. The welcome mat is going to be on Washington and Austin have a tremendous impact on the productivity growth which is been first low for the last years we really need worker productivity business investment will see that because the pro-business environment. Washington, this will get that business investment to drive productivity. John commented of UNC Charlotte offered his own projections for the North Carolina economy were sitting out 7 1/2 years of economic expansion. So for those of you that like to keep records: Moneyball, where were sitting here the longest economic expansion of the 33 expansions that we have tracked since 1854 is a very long. Talk is right. It's been a really slow set of economic growth 2% at best. During that period, but looking for the 2017 if you have this conversation six months ago. I think you get a majority, suggesting that that is probably the R word in our future lay 27 2017. If not earlier than that I think of the election cycle has probably postponed that for sure all along with Mike and this will not have a recession this year all but I agree with Harry that it probably issues all this we can hope for is about 2%, a little less optimistic than Harry in terms of jobs, North Carolina I think is closer to 80,000 2017 Mark Bittner of Wells Fargo in Charlotte chimed in markets around a lot of expectations of how quickly they think things are done and how much is going to get done tax cuts that people get an infrastructure program. Realistically, the tax cut on until July or August of the earliest with Reagan.

Reagan was passed in September signed in September, so it happened that quick infrastructure if they got it done in the first six months with Darcy and spent money being spent 2020 or 21 you can speed up the environmental approval process is so we haven't changed our forecast all that much. We are little bit more optimistic.

North Carolina looks you look at the quarterly Census of employment and wages through June 2016. We had 111,000 jobs across think that they'll probably hold for the year. We probably have 110,000 jobs, 2016. I don't know the will and as many I think the quality of jobs that we will create 20 2017 will be a little bit better than what we had in 2016. So maybe it will be closer to 100 good quality job growth there were probably going 3% GP from growing 3%. The one thing that I do see that that's changing a change in 2016. The change to become aware of the 2017 is that the prosperity is spreading out a little beyond Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham loser for assessments of the North Carolina economy from professional economists working in the state.

What's the likely impact of a Donald Trump presidency on the economy. Walden's not sure that's my biggest worry that we have built up high expectations based on the ideas that present electronic have been based on present one from having Republican Congress and people talk about the Florida activity in the first hundred days, I'm already starting to see some pushback.

For example, on the income tax plan as Treasury Secretary does, that Nguyen is well you cut rates but you know what we might look at deductions and exemptions. When my back.

That's not that's the set off some some firestorms of opposition so what I'm worried about among many things is that we built up this this high level of optimism and trauma program stalls doesn't get through.

The forms were expecting.

We could see for example the stock market which is gone up tremendously go down just Davis focuses on the impact. Trump and his thousands of appointees are likely to have executive orders. The president can do all kinds of things and Pres. Obama certainly did. And I think Pres. will come in and start hitting the delete key and hit a lot and so were have fewer federal regulations at the end of the first day of his presidency. We did that morning and the next they were have less than we did before different environment in that sales which I think is positive for the business environment in this country and that's that's the way to drive productivity growth will happen. We do have the highest marginal tax rate in the city in the world moves think this change would gotta bring the 2 1/2 to 3 dollars sitting overseas because the companies will not bring the money back to the United States was not marginal tax rate so we need to come up with a number that allows 2 1/2 trillion dollars to come back to this country to be invested in workers and plant equipment right here. What's Mark Bittner's take on Trump he means what he says and I got a joke about a little bit nice that he needs everything he thinks he said that is because it you don't take it literally means not to build a wall all the way to San Diego but he is going to tighten border security. That is, that is a hallmark of the hallmark of his presidency. He is going to cut taxes is going to cut corporate he doesn't know exactly how is and those are very important to address everything we heard here cutting the marginal tax rate will bring more workers back in the labor force, particularly all parts of the country. The parts that really Trump in the White House. Plus, Victor emphasizes the impact of trumps Supreme Court appointments you think about the situation with Boeing and how the NLRB treated Boeing with with more conservative Supreme Court justices that will happen because the NLRB would not have would wouldn't of had the audacity to do what they tried to and so I think that I think that there is this a chance to have a reset to have a more pro growth oriented economic policy, the last 25 years. That's Mark Bittner, one of four North Carolina economists who gather recently. They projected the state economic forecast for the rest of the year term with North Carolina journal radio. The moment at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying. In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you. That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interests. The special interests.

We would be honored to have your help in this fight. John and make a tax-deductible donation.

Right now the John Locke foundation where fighting for you where fighting for freedom, welcome back to Carolina journal radio Donna Martinez after years of being ranked in the bottom half of states in key tax policy index is published by the tax foundation, North Carolina has now skyrocketed to among the best states in the nation for both individual and business taxpayers. Dr. Roy Coronado, who is vice president for research for the John Locke foundation is here to explain why Roy welcome back to the show good to be back on. This is great. As for North Carolina, oh yes terrific I were looking better and better relative to other states really for about the last five years, and why the last five years.

It is the accumulation of all these attached reports yeah we went for years and years in North Carolina without really doing anything serious at all. In terms of tax reform. We had temporary increases in different kinds taxes then that would be eliminated, but nothing really to fundamentally reform the tax system. So what happened five years ago is that we started to take a serious look.

We looked at our our corporate income tax relative to the rest of the country and the South. We look at our personal income tax. We look at the nature of our sales tax and I decided a lot could be done to improve things, North Carolina. Make it easy on taxpayers make it easier on businesses in general. While bike a complete overhaul of the system. Let's talk about some of the details of that overhaul comes to personal income tax. What's different now than it was five years will first of all, North Carolina converted from a progressive income tax with a pretty high top marginal rate 7.75% to a flat tax, but we ask we got rid of a lot of exemptions and special privileges in the tax code and a lowered the rate now it's going to be a 5.499%, so that's from that's across-the-board it waits below all taxpayers have seen a reduction in their rate, not just the top rate payers and and the also experiencing a tax cut. People may not realize what's the importance of what you just said.

For the longest time, Roy. We've heard a lot of folks who are on the right of the idea ideological spectrum call for a flat tax. North Carolina has it. That's right, we gone the way that I mean to be frank, the federal government been trying to do for years and people like Steve Forbes pushed it when he ran for president and Jack going all way back to people like Jack And Doug North Carolina has accomplished what I would call a true flat tax.

Let's talk about the business side of the equation. There's been a lot of discussion about down.

What should happen with with businesses.

What kind of reform was seen over the past five years. Again, what we did was we had a terrible corporate income tax system and structure and to be frank, I mean I think will all corporate income taxes are are bad for the economy, there's double taxation, hidden taxation, but what we did was we took our rate which was the highest in the southeast, by far, 6.9%. It is now scheduled to fall to 3% it's going through a period of several reductions and it is the de minimis is very very low rate and what we we did that again by by getting rid of all the special favors and goodies and giveaways that were embedded in the corporate income tax system. Why is that important right well for one thing, the low corporate income tax since a signal to business.

I mean it's it's a it's a cost that's imposed on everyone.

People say well to courts of tech docs and corporations well known fact corporations because are just a legal entity really can't pay taxes.

All taxes have to come out of somebody's pocket and corporate income taxes come in the form of higher prices, lower wages and fewer dividends and dumb so it's a hidden it's a hidden tax to the people.

So just in terms of fairness. It's a tax that I think ultimately should go away, but it also is makes it easier to do business in North Carolina in this piece that you have written and folks. You can read You've talked about the fact that data in these rankings by the tax foundation, North Carolina has improved so dramatically in terms of our ranking versus some other states right here in North Carolina. Though Roy, what has all of this tax reform meant to opportunity and economic growth.

Well, we fenced some of the fests fastest growing economies in the nation over the past few years and I think that's largely do to our tax reform because it was so dramatic because the sensor sent such a strong signal to entrepreneurs and businesses that that where we are good place to set up shop to expand and so on. I think that had a lot to do that in the tax foundation, I mean in terms of business tax friendliness. We went from somewhere in the 40s, I believe, to number 11 in the nation and we and we been there for for a while. For several years and last week the North Carolina Gen. assembly came back into session for the so-called long legislative session, and even though there's been this tremendous tax reform that we been talking about the John Locke foundation as it's not enough and you been writing a lot about this the right is more work that can be done. Continue to reform one of the big issues you been writing about Roy is capital gains tax tell us about that well. Capital gains taxes basically are taxes that you pay is paid in several forms. If you have the simplest thing that most people know about if you own a house and you sell it at a higher price and you bought a Ford at the capital gain and you pay tax on that difference in certain exclusions for pending on agents of sewing, but not North Carolina. Those are federal exclusions, North Carolina taxes, capital gains, by the way, it's also on stocks the sale of stocks are really the sale of any asset, and Doug North Carolina taxes, capital gains, unlike the federal government at the exact same rate that it taxes everything else, when in fact it should capital gains taxes are a double tax and its taxing income that's really already been taxed and it reduces the returns to investment and relative to the consumption your calling for a reduction in and ultimately repeal. Yeah, I think they should be repealed and that but at the very least you should be a differential between the rate that you pay on other income and you pay on just like just like there is at the federal level. There is a differential between the rate you pay on regular income and capital gains income you have described it as a bias against savings and investment in what way.

Well, what it does is it essentially reduces the returns to saving investment a second time when when when your income is taxed. The first time through your regular income tax any it reduces all uses for the income including the returns to saving and investment. When you hit those returns to investment again with a capital gains tax. You are you are essentially double taxing. It gets a special penalty on investment income relative to other kinds of returns to to use your money and lastly Roy, have we seen all of this reform are you hopeful that we'll see some more. Yes I am I me. I think there's a appetite for me to John Locke foundation can take some credit for the fact that people recognize that and people of legislature talk about doing something about talking with Dr. Roy Cordova, VP for research for the Locke foundation. That's all the time we have for the program this week for listening on behalf of Mitch.

Okay Donna Martinez come back again next week for another edition.

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