The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its new 10 year baseline, which shows “daunting economic and budgetary challenges” facing the United States. Without change, the nation could potentially face a Greece-like economic crisis according to Heritage budget expert Brian Riedl.
One such policy driving the deficit is the “doc fix.” Ever year, doctors are scheduled to receive severe pay cuts under Medicare, which threaten seniors’ access to care. As a temporary fix, Congress continually passes a fix to delay the cuts. The CBO warns if the cuts are extended indefinitely, deficits from 2012 through 2021 would average about 6 percent of GDP.
Federal spending on health care is also a prime culprit in the future bankruptcy of our country. According to the CBO:
Spending on the government’s major mandatory health care programs—Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance subsidies to be provided through insurance exchanges—along with Social Security will increase from roughly 10 percent of GDP in 2011 to about 16 percent over the next 25 years. If revenues stay close to their average share of GDP for the past 40 years, that rise in spending will lead to rapidly growing budget deficits and surging federal debt.
As America continues to face economic instability, ObamaCare seeks to expand our deficit by billions each year. A federal healthcare law devastating the US economy, further spiraling America into an uncontrollable debt, surely cannot lead to a path of prosperity and “quality” healthcare access for all.
Plenty of states, including North Carolina, have laws that give citizens the right to use deadly force against intruders that invade their homes or other property. This concept–the Castle Doctrine– protects your right to protect your own “castle.”
Though NC does have some Castle Doctrine protection, currently the mix of common and statutory law leaves too much gray area that can leave crime victims who protect themselves in a legal mess. Florida’s Castle Doctrine is written with less ambiguity and gives citizens more freedom to defend themselves in the event of an attack or intrusion.
Here is a quick comparison of how North Carolina measures up to Florida when it comes to Castle Doctrine protections.
- Duty to retreat– In Florida a person who is attacked has a right to meet force with force, whether they are attacked in their home or a public place. In North Carolina you have a right to use force in the case of an attack or intrusion into your home, but there a duty to retreat if the attack occurs outside of your home like in a car or in public.
- Presumption of intent to commit a felony or violence and fear of death or serious injury– In Florida there is a legal presumption that an intruder or attacker entering a home has the intent to commit a felony and that the victim has a reasonable fear of death or injury. In North Carolina, occupants must prove that they had a reason to believe the intruder planned to commit a felony and that they feared that the intruder was going to harm them physically.
- Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liability – If a question about whether force used was justifiable arises in Florida, the burden is on the state to prove that force was excessive. In North Carolina the victim of a crime must prove that the force they used was justified.
The most recent attempt to update the North Carolina Castle Doctrine, SB928, passed the state Senate but failed to make it out of committee in the House. Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie, Rowan), a co-sponsor of the bill, says that it would have given an individual “a right to defend themselves if they [felt] that their life [was] in danger.” The bill would have expanded Castle Doctrine protection to include vehicles.
Legislation to clarify and strengthen the Castle Doctrine in NC is a realistic plan to include more rights for citizens who want to defend themselves.
Police officers cannot be in all places at all times. Expanding the law would not mitigate duties of officers. Rather it would provide supplemental support in rare, extreme cases. With tight budgets, law enforcement could be subject to scrutiny and funding cuts like any other government agency.
North Carolinian’s should have a right to protect themselves and others should a public attack like the one in Tuscon, Arizona ever happen in NC.