The Campaign Trail


Congressman Ted Budd Enters Race For U.S. Senate PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 28 April 2021 10:55
Cpngressman Ted Budd is running for the U.S. Senate seat from North Carolina held by Richard Burr, whi is not running for re-election. The following is an edited biography supplied by the Budd campaign.  
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Ted Budd is a conservative. Raised in a family of small business owners, Budd learned that hard work, family, and faith are the foundation to success. Ted grew up on a cattle and commercial chicken farm in Davie County where he still lives today with his wife and three kids.
 
The Council for Citizens against Government Waste named Budd a Taxpayer Super Hero for his “relentless and unwavering support of the fiscal interests of American taxpayers.” As a business owner, he knows that fiscal responsibility leads to economic growth. Budd voted to cut middle-class taxes and why he votes to deregulate small businesses who are strangled by big government.
 
Out of college, Budd orked with his family’s facility-services business, The Budd Group, and helped create new jobs at Green Resource (now part of John Deere Landscapes). Ted’s work at The Budd Group and Green Resource helped them to earn the Triad Business Journal’s “Fast 50” as one of the region’s 50 fastest growing privately held companies. After that project, pursuing other entrepreneurial opportunities, Ted sold his share of the family business to his brother and has had no financial interest in The Budd Group since 2003.
 
Since divesting from his family’s business, Budd has pursued business interests in a number of fields. Currently, he is the owner of ProShots. When Ted Budd bought the business, ProShots was struggling, but it is now a thriving shooting-sports retail store, training center, and indoor range.
 
As a lifetime NRA and Grassroots NC member and the owner of a gun range and store, Budd will not waver in defense of the freedoms protected by the 2nd Amendment. He is committed to strengthening the family and recognizes the cultural battle we face to protect it. He is a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association and has served as a board member of North Carolinians for Home Education. He met his wife Amy Kate in the former Soviet Union on a mission trip in 1991, the week before the collapse of communism. They still enjoy mission trips and serve in their church.
 
Budd says the best way to get the American economy ramped up again after the COVID shutdowns is through a system that encourages innovation and relieves the stranglehold of overregulation.
 
A graduate of Appalachian State University, Budd holds a Masters in Business Administration from Wake Forest University where he was recognized as Mentor of the Year, and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Family Life from Dallas Theological Seminary.
 
Dr. Mike Walden: You Decide, Should We Look At A Negative Income Tax? PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:51

Income inequality, poverty, hunger, unemployment – these are all issues that have been with us for a while but became worse during the pandemic.  The various stimulus bills tried to help, and currently Congress is considering legislature that would make more permanent changes to addressing the challenges.

However, it’s not as if we haven’t been engaged in helping alleviate economic stress.  In my recently published book, Real Solutions: Common Sense Ideas for Solving Our Most Pressing Problems, I identified 92 individual poverty programs operated by 52 different agencies of the federal government and collectively spending almost $1 trillion annually.  Unfortunately, each program has its own rules and there can be little coordination among the programs. 

There are also major administrative costs with these programs, usually at the rate of 15% to 20% of the total agency budget, with some as high as 40%!  Obviously, this means less money going to recipients.

Aother problem with several of the programs is the existence of a “tax cliff.”  A tax cliff occurs when additional income earned by the recipient results in a big drop in help from the program.  Sometimes the value of assistance drops more than 100% for every extra dollar earned by the recipient.  In other words, if the recipient earns an additional $1000 by working more, they may lose more than $1000 in program benefits. Obviously, a tax cliff reduces the incentive of the recipient to become economically self-sufficient.

What all this means is that not only do we need a commitment to helping households in poverty, but we also need to have a logical and coordinated process for delivering that help, and in a way that still leaves an incentive for the recipient to ultimately become self-supporting.

Fortunately, many say there is such a system, the idea of which has been around almost fifty years.  It’s called a “negative income tax,” or NIT. Maybe it’s time to revive that idea.

Here’s how an NIT works.  All households file an income tax return that lists their earnings and members of the household including dependents.  The IRS compares the household earnings against the income deemed necessary to achieve some agreed-upon standard of living for the household.  If the household’s earnings exceed the minimum income standard, then they pay income taxes as usual.

However, if the household’s earnings are less than the minimum income standard, then the IRS sends money to the household.   The money could be sent in one lump sum, although a better approach would be monthly payments.  Notice, this money is not a tax refund.  A refund occurs when a household has paid too much taxes and has the excess returned.

Importantly, the NIT would be structured to preserve financial incentives for the household. This means if the household earns more, the amount of the funds received from the IRS would drop, but by much less than the extra earnings.  Some plans recommend a reduction of 50 cents for every additional dollar of earnings.

Preserving the incentive to earn more would mean more households would qualify for payments from the IRS than are receiving some form of poverty assistance today.  However, with the incentive to earn more, over time many of these households would move to self-sufficiency.

Two big plus points for the NIT are its low administration costs and flexibility. A similar program the IRS currently operates has administrative costs of only 1.5%.  The NIT could be set up to quickly adjust to a household’s circumstances.  When a household’s earnings change – either up or down – an interim income tax form could be filed allowing the NIT payments to be adjusted.  Alternatively, employers could be required to send information about hirings, firings, and payment adjustments to the IRS.

Financial help via the NIT could be brought into the 21st century by issuing debit cards to recipients.  The cards could be replenished each month, and when adjustments to the amounts are needed, they can quickly be reflected in the cards.

One reason there are so many federal poverty programs is that each addresses a different aspect of poverty, such as hunger, housing, energy costs, etc.  The simplest NIT program would eliminate these categories and just provide households cash via the NIT debit cards.  It would then be up to households to decide how to use the cash.

 While this would be the simplest and most straightforward approach, there are some who think controls should be placed on how recipients use public financial assistance.  Such control could be accomplished by issuing several NIT debit cards, with the amounts on each card limited to certain expenditures, like food, housing, transportation, etc.

How does the NIT compare to a universal guaranteed income (UGI)?  While there are many versions of the UGI, the most common gives recipients a certain amount of cash with no strings attached.  Some versions provide almost everyone the cash regardless of their income.  Obviously, the NIT is more restrictive as well as directed to those with the most need.

The political environment seems to be set for a renewed focus on economic challenges faced by a large part of our society, but in particular those who live in or near poverty.  Now might be the perfect time to restructure how we provide help to those households.   Should the idea of a negative income tax be part of that restructuring?  You decide.

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Walden is a Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University.

    

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:55
 
Human Rights Campaign Slams Pat McCrory’s Entry into North Carolina Senate Race PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 11:51
The following is a statement from the Human Rights Campaign.

 

Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced that he would be entering the race to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr in the United States Senate. McCrory has a long history of opposition to civil rights and LGBTQ equality, most notably in the case of HB2, an anti-transgender “bathroom” bill that prevented people from accessing facilities consistent with their gender identity. 
 
“Pat McCrory lost his re-election in 2016 — the only governor that year with that particular honor — because he signed and doggedly refused to listen to widespread opposition to HB2, an anti-transgender bill that devastated North Carolina’s economy and its reputation,” said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Unremorseful, he’s now attempting to revitalize his political career by running for office yet again. We are confident that North Carolina voters, who made it abundantly clear in 2016 that they stand with the LGBTQ community and against discrimination, will do so again in 2022 should McCrory’s name be on the ballot.”
 
HB2 was a lightning rod for activism in the state and across the country, as North Carolina saw tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue after McCrory’s decision to sign the bill and support its enforcement. According to polling commissioned by HRC and Equality North Carolina and performed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in 2016, 57 percent of voters put HB2 as the top reason “not to vote for Pat McCrory” — exceeding any other issue by 17 points. 
 
Further, McCrory ran 63,000 votes behind Donald Trump in 2016, demonstrating that his anti-LGBTQ agenda and its impact on the state was too much for Republican and Democratic voters alike.
 
HRC and other LGBTQ advocacy groups had a robust and highly successful voter education and mobilization campaign in North Carolina in 2016 — a fact that led to McCrory calling HRC “more powerful than the NRA” and giving pro-equality voters credit for his defeat.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 April 2021 11:53
 
Former Governor Pat McCrory Seeks Senate Seat PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 11:48
Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will seek the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 2022.
 
In an announcement video released by his campaign, McCrory talked about the slim balance of power in the Senate and the role North Carolina’s race will play in 2022: “The US Senate is split right down the middle…that puts Vice President Kamala Harris in charge, giving Democrats everything, they want to radically change America for generations to come.  It’s time to join together and take back the Senate from Kamala Harris.  So, I’m in.”
 
The campaign also released a polling memo detailing key findings of a recent survey which showed Gov. McCrory with a commanding lead in the primary and significant advantages with every primary voter group.
 
McCrory enters the race with almost two decades of executive leadership experience as mayor and governor – not as a DC insider – and as the only candidate who has balanced budgets while cutting taxes.  The polling memo outlined the strength McCrory has as someone who has not served in Congress but instead has made executive-level decisions as a proven conservative.  “I’m proud of my record of growing the economy, balancing budgets, cutting taxes, and creating jobs,” said McCrory.  “Conservatives must hold this seat in 2022 to prevent Kamala Harris and Chuck Schumer from enacting radical liberal policies.  I look forward to doing just that.”
 
The open Senate seat in North Carolina will be one of the most closely-watched races of 2022, and will play a central role in determining majority control.  In his video, McCrory discussed the need for a proven conservative from outside the DC establishment: “I have a conservative track record of standing firm; a record built in North Carolina, not Washington DC.”
 
Pat McCrory served as Mayor of Charlotte for 14 years and as Governor from 2012-2016.  Since 2017, he has hosted “The Pat McCrory Show” on WBT radio, the top-rated talk radio show in Charlotte.  McCrory and his wife, Ann, live in Charlotte.
 
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