Political opportunism drives up the cost to taxpayers for needed infrastructure investments :: WRAL.com

Radio-Canada editorial: Wednesday June 22, 2022; Editorial #8768
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

For more than a decade, the General Assembly has taken a short-term view and failed to invest so that North Carolina has quality public schools and top-notch teachers, facilities and services. state-of-the-art college and university equipment, modern public security and correctional institutions to protect. the public, prison workers and inmates, as well as stable and modern public buildings and infrastructure.

The consequences of legislative leaders’ failure to take a long-term view are becoming all too apparent. This mismanagement will cost taxpayers dearly.

Labor and material costs skyrocketed. Money borrowing — as federal regulators seek to control inflation — is doubling from historic lows.

No matter where it comes from, it will be the taxpayers of North Carolina who will suffer the consequences.

A few years ago, Governor Roy Cooper offered a modest recommendation for a referendum on $3.9 billion in bonds: $2 billion for public schools; $500 million for public universities and community colleges as well as $900 million for water and sewer projects, the state zoo, and the history museum.

Borrowing costs for this program are now about double what they would have been when Cooper recommended it.

Federal aid, approved under COVID and other laws, while not insignificant, still meets only a small portion of the state’s urgent needs.

There’s a simple description for those who don’t take a long-term view of finances and wait for a crisis to act. Poor financial management.

How else would you describe the fund managers who have turned down $17.3 billion in Medicaid expansion funds since 2014 — money that would have not only helped hundreds of thousands of citizens in need of health care , but created thousands of jobs and helped save endangered rural hospitals.

Why? political opportunity. When the primary motivation behind public policy is simply to retain and increase partisan power, inundate corporate supporters with tax cuts at the expense of the broader public good.

Do not buy the political slogans launched by the public relations apparatus of the leadership of the General Assembly.

Fiscal mismanagement, favoring short-term partisan political gains over long-term planning, is making our state worse off at a time when there should be consensus around investing in state building and other infrastructure needs.

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