Whose Gig is Up?

In a recent interview with The News and Observer Governor Mike Easley called for a tax increase to address the state’s budget problems. The governor declared “…the gig’s up. We’re just going to have to get a lot of new revenue.”

According to the governor, the economic future of our state is so bleak that a tax increase is necessary to keep the government from running another deficit and to preserve the state’s superior bond rating. Gov. Easley called on lawmakers to raise an additional $700 million to $800 million to make up for declining revenues and to help replenish the state’s rainy day fund.

In typical big-government, liberal politician fashion, Easley stopped short of discussing specific tax hike proposals to generate the new revenue. But most intriguing was the language the governor used when interviewed.

In the N & O interview, the governor said, “We’ve used all the bubble gum and baling wire that we have. It’s just not going to get us there. The gig’s up. We’re just going to have to get a lot of new revenue.”

What exactly does he mean by “the gig’s up?”

Is that the limit of his performance as governor? When faced with a modest budgetary problem when one considers the foolhardy spending that takes place in Raleigh, are tax hikes going to be his only answer to the questions that have arisen from the state’s fiscal problems?

Surely we can expect more from our state’s top executive than tax increases to solve budget shortfalls. The citizens of North Carolina deserve a little more from their political leaders as those leaders work to solve the state’s fiscal problems. The citizens of North Carolina expect, and should demand, a more thoughtful response and far greater effort from the governor and the legislature as they search for ways to solve our state’s fiscal problems.

By asserting that North Carolinians need to pony up more money for the state, the governor is intimating that North Carolina’s state budget is in terrible condition. Is it the governor’s position that taking more of the taxpayers’ hard earned money is the only way to solve the state’s budget crisis? Shouldn’t that be a last resort? After all, the taxpayers created the surplus and the politicians poured it all down the drain. Don’t the politicians have a fiduciary duty to the taxpayers to find ways to trim the budget before taxes are increased? Clearly, the governor and many of the big-spending, liberal politicians in Raleigh aren’t listening to the political and business leaders who say that a tax increase isn’t necessary.

Governor Easley knows that the citizens and business leaders do not want a tax increase. They want smaller, more efficient government, less taxes, and greater accountability. In fact, many citizens throughout the state are now asking the question the governor fears the most – why should we allow the governor to raise our taxes when there is so much controversy over whether we are really facing a fiscal crisis or not? Some are whispering that this so-called fiscal crisis is really something that has been contrived by those who support bigger government and higher taxes? Is it?

Working families have budgets and must work hard to refrain from spending money they don’t have. Why can’t our governor, legislators, and the government bureaucrats do the same? Don’t they have a moral and ethical obligation to refrain from spending money they don’t have?

Our state’s leaders know we have a spending problem, yet they continue to spend more and more money and there appears to be no end in sight. They need to be held accountable. When is the runaway spending going to stop? North Carolina’s taxpayers want answers now.

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