Sunday, June 12, 2016

North Carolina Named Big Mover in Fiscal Responsibility

When adults took over North Carolina’s General Assembly and governorship back in 2013, republican legislators began a much needed fiscal overhaul of the state’s finances.  Teat squawkers from near and far began to protest.  The lip-smackers began to show up in Raleigh demanding all sorts of taxpayer goodies that we could ill-afford.  They called it Moral Mondays.  I’m here to say there is nothing moral about bankrupting a state.

The tough decisions republicans made saved us from a blue state disaster.  The Mercatus Center ranked North Carolina #21 in fiscal solvency.  Here are their criteria:

·         Cash solvency. Does a state have enough cash on hand to cover its short-term bills?
·         Budget solvency. Can a state cover its fiscal year spending with current revenues, or does it have a budget shortfall?
·         Long-run solvency. Can a state meet its long-term spending commitments? Will there be enough money to cushion it from economic shocks or other long-term fiscal risks?
·         Service-level solvency. How much “fiscal slack” does a state have to increase spending if citizens demand more services?
·         Trust fund solvency. How much debt does a state have? How large are its unfunded pen-sion and healthcare liabilities?

  Mercatus specifically named North Carolina as one of the big movers.  Here is an excerpt:

·         Two states—Maine and North Carolina—experienced a significant shift in their long-run sol­vency ranking. Maine fell by eight spots and North Carolina improved by seven spots.
·         There was little movement in the service-solvency ranking, except in the case of North Caro­lina, which improved its position by six places

All the liberal rags that infest the Old North State can suck on that!  Had our legislators taken their advice we would’ve ranked near Puerto Rico.  Here are North Carolina’s current rankings:

·          Cash solvency measures whether a state has enough cash to cover its short-term bills, which include accounts payable, vouchers, warrants, and short-term debt. (North Carolina ranks 37th.)
·         Budget solvency measures whether a state can cover its fiscal year spending using current revenues. Did it run a shortfall during the year? (North Carolina ranks 8th.)
·         Long-run solvency measures whether a state has a hedge against large long-term liabilities. Are enough assets available to cushion the state from potential shocks or long-term fiscal risks? (North Carolina ranks 17th.)
·         Service-level solvency measures how high taxes, revenues, and spending are when compared to state personal income. Do states have enough “fiscal slack”? If spending commitments demand more revenues, are states in a good position to increase taxes without harming the economy? Is spending high or low relative to the tax base? (North Carolina ranks 18th.)
·         Trust fund solvency measures how much debt a state has. How large are unfunded pension liabilities, OPEB liabilities, and state debt compared to the state personal income? (North Carolina ranks 8th.)

To all the teat squawkers that contaminate Raleigh on Mondays:  being fiscally sound is moral.  Learn it, live it.


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