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Rep. Dale Folwell on WPTF: Budget Lacks Priorities - Part 1

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Host: Joining us this morning is Rep. Dale Folwell, Forsyth County, Republican Joint Caucus Leader to talk about what should've been, what could've been, and what wasn't. Folwell: Good morning, how are you? Host: Probably better than you this morning. This budget that came through, I already talked a bit how it's potentially 50 million bucks could be withheld for increasing fuel costs. What happened when you presented the alternative budget in the General Assembly? Folwell: The alternative budget was presented in two forms One was through ammendments on the floor to the Senate's budget, and as your listeners know that debate was squashed almost immediately. Our responsibility as a minority party is to produce a budget in any form that we can and try to introduce it and make adjustments as we can Host: This is one of the unfortunate realities of the minority, but usually, at least in conference committees folks get together and talk about this stuff. The impression that we get on the outside is that the Democratic leadership basically blew you guys off, they didn't want to even hear any alternatives Folwell: There weren't any options to run ammendments on the floor of the Senate. I serve in the House but am well aware of what went on there last week. The unfortunate thing is that there are two major parties in North Carolina, republicans and Democrats. Even as bad as 2006 was in some respects and years before, there have been more people who voted for Republican members of the House, and up until last year the Senate, than there were Democrats. We feel like our alternatives to lower the cost of living and doing business in North Carolina and offer plans to run a more efficient state government are things we feel not only an obligation to do as sitting members of the House and the Senate, but that the citizens actually voted us in to do. Host: I know that last year when the legislators drafted the budget, it was a 2 year budget. They did their pro forma on certain assumptions that obviously went sideways. They were projecting Diesel to be $1.69 a gallon and, *laugh* it's a little more than that now. Those are unintended things, but the reality that you're facing is a 34 million dollar hole. 34 million dollars short that local taxpayers have to fill somehow. How do you bridge this kind of gap? Folwell: Well the hole is even larger than that, when you look at the unfunded mandates. and the responsibilities of the state government that aren't being addressed at all. I don't think there's anything in either budget that deals with the long term massive transportation needs of North Carolina It's not just education shortfalls that are occurring, but other things in addition to that. It's really important that folks know that there's a difference in philosophy. Conservatives think there is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Oftentimes, for your listeners, it's hard to get their arms around what a billion dollars, or 20 billion dollars is But I can tell you if they just think about their personal household, in terms of their electric bills in terms of their mortgage payment, in terms of the increased amount of money they put into their fuel tanks what they're paying for bread, if you just add many many many zeroes onto that that's exactly the same kind of pressure that we're facing at the state level. is to introduce a budget that will structurally put North Carolina on a better path of prosperity. Host: I think the most unfortunate thing, notwithstanding the routine partisan rancor most reasonable people think is not a healthy thing, that given the dynamics of the fuel cost's impact on everything that Democrats would actively be seeking alternatives to solving the problems because they are the other team, it's us against them Folwell: Well we agree. It's important for listeners to know that in many ways, most of the votes at the legislature are near unanimous. There's a lot of things that come to the legislature that are good for all North Carolinians On these larger issues, there are great differences of opinion. The first one, starting with the amount of debt that the state has It's ironic, I was meeting with former Governor Martin a couple of months ago, and the debt service, which your listeners are familiar with, because it's the amount of money they send out every month to pay not only the interest, but also the principle of what they owe somebody for, whether its their house or their credit card The debt service of North Carolina this year is now approaching the entire debt of the entire state of North Carolina when Governor Martin was the governor, and that's just one year's debt service. *look for part 2!*

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 2 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Public Domain
Genre: None
Views: 109
Posted by: dalefolwell on Jul 7, 2008

Part 1 of 2 of Representative Dale Folwell's discussion on the State Budget for the 2008 Short Session and government efficiency. Courtesy News-Talk 680 WPTF.

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