Civitas Review

Education Town Hall Meeting in Apex, NC on January 20th

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Jan
14

THM2

Are you a parent who wishes they had more control over where and how your child is educated?  Do you support school choice but aren’t quite sure about the impacts such programs have on local communities?

If you answered yes to either of those questions you’ll want to attend our Town Hall Meeting in Apex, North Carolina on Wednesday, January 20th.   Speakers include:

Professor Bartley Danielsen of North Carolina State University
Jonathan Butcher – Director of Education Studies, Goldwater Institute, Phoenix AZ
Dr. Robert Luebke, Senior Policy Analyst, Civitas Institute

Come and learn how you can gain greater control over your child’s education. There is no cost to attend, but you must register. Hope to see you on January 20th !                                                             

Court blocks Nevada ESA program

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Jan
14

NevadaESA

Supporters of Nevada’s groundbreaking Education Savings Account (ESA) program were disappointed earlier this week when a state judge granted an injunction stopping the program, saying it takes away money from the public schools and the program is unconstitutional.

Friends of the Nevada program, one the most ambitious school choice programs in the nation, are not surprised that the law was challenged.  However, it is considered a setback to the thousands of students, parents involved who had hoped to enroll in the program.

The decision is expected to be appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

The Nevada ESA legislation, passed last year provides parents with a percentage of state per pupil funds to help pay the education costs of their children. The amount averages about $5,100 per student.

You can be sure this case will be closely watched.

Tax Foundation to NC Legislators: Expand Sales Tax Base, Eliminate Tax on Capital Stock

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Jan
13

From the N&O:

Legislators heard a call Tuesday to further expand sales taxes and eliminate the capital stock tax – a conservative think tank’s proposal for continuing the state’s tax code overhaul.      

The Tax Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., presented its report on North Carolina’s business tax climate, painting a rosy picture of recent Republican-sponsored cuts in personal and corporate income taxes while calling on the legislature’s Revenue Laws Study Committee to do more.

“North Carolina is one of the states that other states are looking at and want to emulate in many ways,” said Scott Drenkard, the foundation’s director of state projects.

Drenkard added that expanding the sales tax to services would better reflect the modern economy, in which more consumer purchases are of services compared rather than goods. Expanding the sales tax base would reduce distortions in economic decisions by treating consumer purchases the same across the board; it would also allow the tax rates to remain low – or possibly be reduced.

Also recommended was an elimination of the state's tax on capital stock, a tax that still exists in only 18 states. The tax is levied on the overall net worth of a company, and was described by Drenkard as a "tax on breathing."

"Largely White" Crowd at Rubio Rally Actually Included Many Latinos

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Jan
12

The liberal media has a habit of blatantly misrepresenting GOP Presidential events in our state.

As Civitas’ Jim Tynen reported last month, Reuters inaccurately reported that Donald Trump’s event at Dorton Arena was shut down by protesters. Now the News & Observer has reported on the Marco Rubio rally held in Raleigh on Saturday, and they’ve gotten it very wrong as well.

The News & Observer said that “Rubio nearly filled the Holshouser building, which can hold roughly 900 people…” This sounds quite different from the estimated attendance from the Rubio campaign, which was 1,300.

So I took a look at the official website for the Gov. James E. Holshouser Building, which states that there is at least enough seating for “1,200 for a conference arrangement.” Hmmm… if the building was nearly full, Rubio’s campaign seems to be much closer to an accurate estimate of the crowd number.

How did they describe the attendees?

“Rubio’s audience was largely white but had a noticeable presence of younger voters.”

Well they got it half right. There were indeed many young people there. But how odd is it that the N&O are making such huge generalizations about race demographics? And rather inaccurately, I might add.

You see, I attended Saturday’s rally and was one of many Latinos present to hear Marco Rubio.

As I stood there, the daughter of a Cuban immigrant myself, I was struck that there were other conservative Latinos all around me. In fact, I turned to my husband and said, “Wow, do you see how many Latinos are in this room?”

If I had not attended that rally and just read the report from the N&O, I would believe that if there were really only white people at Marco Rubio’s rally. But I was there. And as a young Latino conservative, I am happy to report that despite what the media would have you believe, we conservatives are not just a bunch of old, white elitists.rubio_raleigh

Next Bubble to Burst: Auto Loans?

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Jan
12

That's the question examined by this article published by the Mises Institute. The article draws comparisons to the housing bubble that burst around 2008, triggering the Great Recession: Artificially low interest rates resulting from massive amounts of new credit expansion encouraging the purchase of consumer durable goods financed via cheap credit.

Instead of learning from the mistakes that sent shock waves throughout most of the planet, the Federal Reserve has continued with its expansionist policies. Since 2009, the money supply has increased by four trillion, while the federal funds rate has remained at or near zero percent. Consequently, the housing bubble has been replaced with several other bubbles, including one in the automotive industry.

The auto bubble has yet to burst, but its negative effects are already starting to gradually appear. For one, delinquencies on car loans have increased by nearly 120 percent, from just over 1 percent in 2010 to 2.62 percent in 2014. Since cars rapidly depreciate in value, this number is projected to spike.

Of course, the auto industry also suffered major losses in the last recession (remember Cash 4 Clunkers, auto bailouts, Government Motors?), and signs are pointing to another freefall.

Keep this in mind as NC lawmakers and economic developers seek to bribe a major auto manufacturer to NC with millions of your tax dollars.

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