The Black Political Caucus Biased Forum Night

January 24, 2020

I attended the forum night for my district at the Black Political Caucus hosted at West Meck High School on January 21, 2020. While I met some nice people, the “debate” if you can call it that, was an unmitigated disaster. The moderators were completely biased and attempted to frame every Republican as evil, ignorant, and misguided. Some of their questions were so loaded and prefaced with half-truths that anyone attending could not help but notice it was an attack on any Republican candidates.

How unfortunate. We agree on so many issues yet differ on economic approaches. There is not one “right” party, or candidate. As one Democrat on stage put it, NO PARTY has all the good ideas. But every question and answer from Democrats seemed to say one thing over and over. Republicans and their ideas and legislation are BAD, using that exact word, and Democrats are GOOD. Do you think people are that stupid? That they cannot discern nuance on any issue? Please read my rebuttals as I was only given about three minutes in two and half hours to attempt to combat the biased moderators.

MEDICAID EXPANSION

The Democrats decried Republican legislative efforts about not providing health coverage for those in the Medicare/Medicaid gap. But what they failed to explain was WHY it was not voted. The Governor wants an ALL or nothing approach. He wants to go down the road of socialized medicine which is a disaster and proven so around the world. Instead of being reasonable with our limited budget funds, he stomped his feet and the Governor vetoed unrelated matters to hold teachers, and many others hostage. Today we learn even most teachers oppose using their pay raise to force a vote on Medicaid expansion. Meanwhile, New York State faces a $6.1 billion deficit due to Medicaid. That would translate to 25% of North Carolina's annual budget. 

Where do I stand on the Medicaid gap? I believe in working together. We should cover those disabled, and children who fall in the gap. It is more compassionate and far less expensive to cover a child’s initial medication costs for a simple illness than wait until it becomes an emergency room visit costing us thousands. There is a middle ground we can try to reach. But our current Governor only wants everything now, like a child in a toy store with empty pockets. We don’t have all the funds. Not at all.

DEMOCRAT CONTROL RESULTED IN 140 YEARS of OPPRESSION

Senator Jeff Jackson must be looking to be named King of the Half-Truths as he continually paints ALL Republican measures as bad, and that we should vote a majority of Democrats into both houses to fix everything. He leaves out a few very important facts.

The Democrats HAD control. Of the entire legislature, the Governor’s mansion, Lieutenant Governorship, and more for almost 140 years! 140 years. Until Republicans somehow managed to win in districts that the Democrats had drawn! If you know nothing else, understand this. Republicans managed to WIN super majorities in districts DRAWN by Democrats, outnumbered in them by Democrats, because the Democrats had dragged this state into the gutter economically, so that everyone suffered greatly and black families in many instances fared worst of all.

GERRYMANDERING

The Gerrymandering Democrats complained about in recent years had NOTHING to do with Republicans. In 1990, when the original insanely laid out 12th Congressional district was drawn, it was created BY Democrats to ensure a black Democrat would win it. And they did. Until very recently. They also drew all districts in 2000, and 2010. The Republicans had NO control over what the Democrats did. And NOW, that Democrat’s own handiwork undid their plans, gerrymandering is bad, and became associated with Republicans trying to disenfranchise black voters. How ridiculous. There was a House candidate running against Becky Carney who promoted more black history studies in classrooms. And I agree. Black children should now the lengths that Democrats have gone to to destroy their lives and livelihoods, and how they create problems they later ascribe to others.

How is that the Courts today see gerrymandering that has gone on by party control for over 240 years as suddenly racist? It is time to have big squares drawn on population alone with no regard to anything other than straight lines and raw numbers. Do not consider race, gender, party or anything else.

Republicans would be GLAD to run under those conditions and if elected I fully support independent redistricting. This whole argument came up because the ONE time in this state’s history that Republicans have had to draw the districts, with Democrat input, we are called out for being every name in the book. We have drawn and redrawn over and over to satisfy Democrats, judges and every other complainant. If somehow Republicans regain super majorities this fall DO NOT complain. Democrats have had everything they wanted to prepare the districts. Enough.

NORTH CAROLINA WAS A FAILED STATE

North Carolina under Democrat control for 140 years languished at the bottom in almost every measure of success, from graduates, competency, economic development, teacher and state worker pay, to business climate, tax code, and more. We really had issues. We were 49th in teacher earnings, and 44th in business climate and unemployment soaring. We were nearly the worst in the South by every measure. Companies were closing and leaving our state in droves. Entire industries collapsed. Unemployment was some of the highest in the nation. Under Democrat control.

Then something happened. Republicans, who have always been better with budgets, came to power. For the first time we were able to make serious advancements. In just a few years we had a balanced budget, a rainy day fund for natural disasters, we replenished many of the funds that were drained, promoted business growth for years to become 11th in the nation, then 3rd and finally under our leadership number ONE according to Forbes magazine for THREE YEARS RUNNING. That’s why we have such great investment by companies occurring throughout the state. A more stable and predictable tax code, better education and more opportunities. This was NOT brought to you by Democrats. The man who lead the House was your current U.S. Senator Thom Tillis. He and other leaders navigated deficits and turned this state around to a positive future.

TEACHER PAY

Republicans had to take three years to eliminate the debt, debt interest, and replenish many accounts DRAINED by Democrats over the years. Democrats STOLE the $170 million road fund to use for their own purposes. Does anyone remember Democrat House Speaker Jim Black stuffing his pockets with cash in a bathroom? And going to prison? Building a multi-million dollar teapot museum when teachers had no raise? There was NO rainy day fund which was desperately needed when hurricanes struck our state. Water, sewer, power, roads, bridges, state buildings, do not repair themselves. They could not find ANY money in an overpressed budget for three years but worked towards 2014 when they DID get teachers a 7% raise to make up for some of the missing years. Then 3.8% in 2015, 4.7% in 2016 for a total of 16%. Not bad when the Obama recession robbed most of us of any increase in income. In 2017 they tried to pass a 3.3% increase and Roy Cooper vetoed it. Then he vetoed a 6.5% increase the following year. That’s another 10%. 26% total so far. PLUS 4%+ this year which the Governor vetoed along with a $400 check for each teacher to buy supplies. Almost 31% increase in pay under Republicans had Cooper not blocked it.

Senator Jackson made a very good argument he thought when he said Democrats wanted 8% so they turned down 4.4%. With the budget as written there was not 8% to be had. Voters have to understand we have criminal justice, the DMV, infrastructure, healthcare, pensions, as well as schools to fund. We spend OVER 58% of the state’s annual budget on schools now. We do not have another BILLION dollars to pay teachers right now. We will if we keep on track with business growth. We will.

If Democrats were not hypocrites, they would support the 4.4% today and move on to next year. Senator Jackson commented that they took the teacher pay money and gave it to corporations in a $250 million tax reduction. Not true. There never was any money to give. Not $250 million, not a dime. The tax CUT to corporations was to encourage MORE growth in the state. Those tax dollars had not yet materialized at all. It was a reduction in what companies would pay in the future.

DEMOCRATS and ECONOMIC FALLACIES

Now, Democrats will argue, incorrectly, that all corporations should pay “their fair share” of taxes, and tax them heavily. We cannot do this. It is THE MOST regressive tax conceived. Let me be blunt.

CORPORATIONS DO NOT PAY TAXES - ZERO!

Corporations do NOT pay taxes. None. Zero. Even if you tax every product and service they make for industry, business or the public, they do not pay taxes. Take a two-dollar bottle of flavored water on the shelf of any retail store. A person goes in to buy it and pays a tax on the food purchase. A few cents, right? Wrong. What you are really paying for in that bottle is every salary, wage, raw material, transporting, accounting, liability insurance, pay raise, benefit, facility, and service on debt that the company manufacturing that bottle has embedded in its cost. The company may have 50 cents of labor, materials and everything else in that one bottle, which it sells to Target for a dollar. Target turns around and stores the inventory, builds the stores, hires employees, tracks everything, and takes the risk that someone will buy that bottle for two dollars so they can profit and buy more products to resell.

You go into the store and get your two-dollar bottle. Done.

WHY WE SHOULD ZERO OUT ALL CORPORATE TAXES

Here’s where Democrats are dead wrong. If we tax that corporation on each bottle, say even 5 cents a bottle. Just 5 cents added cost. They don’t pay it. They never have and never will. They add that tax cost to their other costs and raise their price. The bottle is now valued at 55 cents. Cost to Target, $1.10, and cost to YOU the consumer is now $2.20. A ten percent increase in cost! Easily. On everything you buy. There are 60 embedded taxes now on everything you buy from insurance to your cell phone bill. Property, income and other visible taxes are just the obvious ones. Why do you think product prices keep rising?

It was bad enough poor people pay any income tax, sales tax, and the other 63, yes 63, taxes embedded in products already. Now the poor have higher priced products, so they buy less of everything. Worse, if the corporate taxes become unpredictable or so high the company cannot compete with out of state manufacturers, they will MOVE. They don’t HAVE to stay here. Most firms that can move will move. We saw it year after year that Democrats controlled the legislature. Companies moved, we lost jobs, we lost job training opportunities, we saw less income for the state because every employee and contractor PAID taxes into the state. But they left. And, so will the wealthy. They aren’t trapped. They will pick up their marbles and leave.

So the state of North Carolina will be left with higher priced products, fewer jobs, less income for our needs, and worst, if they cannot move, companies CLOSE their doors. Forever. Ask the textile companies, and the furniture companies how they feel about higher corporate taxes as they try to compete with imported goods. We’ve lost entire industries over decades of terrible economic controls under Democrats.

If you remove all corporate tax permanently, we will attract hundreds of firms from around the world. They will make us their home base. There will be more jobs than you can imagine, and North Carolina’s income will rise dramatically. We will be able to repair roads and bridges, fully fund all schools, add teaching assistants, and much, much more.

Before you blindly vote for Democrats and their insane tax plans, ask yourself how much more you want to spend on everything you buy when your income hasn’t risen. Unemployment under Republicans at every level has FALLEN to the lowest points in all recorded history. Democrats had more unemployed than we ever did.

MIMIMUM WAGE HIKES and THE LIVING WAGE

I have another article on this blog that covers this fully so please read it. Minimum wages and price and wage controls never work. They achieve the opposite effect.

A living wage is a fallacy since most people earning minimum wage are doing so at jobs that are “starter” positions in industries like restaurants, and other sites where you need job training just to do the job. You may get raises of a dime or quarter an hour based on overall performance of a unit, not the individual because so many come and go from those jobs, they are not considered careers.

If you raise wages to say $15 per hour that is admirable. Read my other article. Every product will increase in cost OR fewer people will be required to do more work OR robots and kiosks will become economic alternatives to staff. Don’t believe me. Walk into a McDonald’s today and look around. Fewer front desk staff and managers covering shift worker’s areas. And shiny new kiosks to take your order and card.

Ask Portland residents who lost their jobs when the brilliant economists of the city decided to raise the minimum wage. 40% of all businesses are closed and are closing because they can’t afford to pay people those wages and pay their other costs and be competitive. Unless you want a Big Mac meal for $15 as well, re-examine what raising minimum wage means.

Representative Nasif Majeed was in attendance and waved at everyone. Did you know he owned a Burger King franchise on Charlotte’s west side for many years? He screams about paying people a living wage of at least $15 per hour. But as a business owner he knows he could not afford to do that and compete or supply products at a reasonable cost. So he didn’t. He is a hypocrite who never paid any of his staff a living wage, ever. All were paid bare minimum wage and received paltry raises during their tenure. Open your books Majeed. Show us where you ever paid anyone close to what you want to force on every company. You are a liar, and worse you KNOW the disastrous effects a higher minimum wage would have. Your companions talked about the wonderous effects a living wage has had elsewhere.

Lies. All lies. Go ask those companies and employees. Where five people once worked now only four or three do. Their hours have been cut. They may earn $15 per hour but with fewer hours they get paid the same and are expected to still do the work. A higher minimum wage is truly oppressive. Fewer opportunities for training and job growth and fewer positions.

ECONOMICS and BALANCE

Anyone, including the Democrat on stage who has a PhD. in economics, will tell you that economics is about balance. Anytime you put pressure on one part of the economy to conform to what you want you affect everything else. Sometimes drastically.

OUR SCHOOLS

There was one woman running who touted more school counselors. I agree. But she only mentioned how to pay for it by removing ALL police. Really. Even those in the crowd were a bit stunned. We all know that schools can be violent places where young felons sit among good students. She claims that “black children” are afraid of police. Thanks Obama. Police used to be partners in the community. The claims against them have been so overblown that an entire generation is afraid of police. Maybe so, but we still need them in schools. Especially now.

CHARTER SCHOOLS and HOMESCHOOLS vs. PUBLIC SCHOOLS

I left out private schools because parents pay for private schools. There are no credits, incentives or programs for them. You are out-of-pocket for all private school costs AND you still pay full taxes that the public schools get, 58% of every dime you pay each year in income tax and MOST of your property taxes. Thousands per family to public schools.

The Democrats claim that public schools suffer when we expand charter schools or allow homeschooling. Not true. They actually have more money. Here’s why:

When you send your child to public school they get the per pupil allotment to the school you attend, PLUS the facilities, supplies, and staff allotment which is conveniently never talked about. It is a separate amount PER PUPIL. It accounts for several thousand dollars PER STUDENT.

When you send your child to a charter school they get the per pupil allotment ONLY. They get none of the thousands of dollars per student for the facilities, staff, etc. So charter schools operate at a 40% deficit to start but still perform well. That is why charter schools have to fundraise to build their own facilities over a period of years. The public school still gets that facilities allotment.

When you keep your child at home to school, again, you get zero credits and incentives. You pay out-of-pocket for all curriculum, events, books, and other needs. Your child’s assigned school still gets the FULL allotment. So the public school doesn’t really care if you send your child. They actually get more money for doing nothing while you educate your child at home.

One legislator observed that Washington, D.C. schools (run entirely by Democrats) get over $21,000 annually per student while North Carolina students get about $11,000 each. It is actually more when you add the separate fees schools get for taking challenged kids and add transportation. But let’s say schools here get HALF. You would expect Washington schools to have stellar performance comparatively right? They fund double. Nope.

Everything in D.C. costs more. Schools spend more on facilities, energy, staff, teachers, books, and everything else so compare the cost of living and you will see we actually spend about the same in real dollars. Worse, Washington, D.C. schools rate at the bottom nationally, while ours do not.

Democrats seem to enjoy twisting facts to suit their needs.

We should expand the school voucher program into every poverty zone. Every family should get their full allotments of both student and facilities. A voucher for almost $12,000 would allow families to decide. There would be an explosion of private school growth to take in those eager pupils and families looking for a better school.

Democrats need to stop defending mediocrity. If a school is low-performing, there are reasons. There are reasons to also CLOSE such schools or replace everyone working there. If schools were operated more like a business they would not be underperforming at all because it would not be tolerated.

RENEWABLE ENERGY and CLIMATE CHANGE

Where does one begin? As a debater and someone interested in the science of the environment and having worked with some of the largest environmental engineering firms on the planet, I have some knowledge in this area as well.

I have followed the efforts of renewable energy since the early 1970s. Before many people attending the BPC forum were born.

The science is not there yet. While we have made great strides in solar, wind, tidal river kinetic, hydroelectric and minimizing energy use through energy efficient appliances, building, devices that operate on micro-amperage, we are not ready to shift from fossil fuels. We won’t be for another one hundred years most likely unless cold fusion is developed. To make blanket statements about ending fracking, offshore drilling or restricting natural gas use, or coal, or oil is just plain stupid. Everything in modern civilization depends on those commodities. We would grind to a halt without them, and welcome in the Stone Age.

We can incentivize more biobuses, energy efficient glass for windows, developer lighter and more deployable solar systems, remove barriers to homeowners so more can use tankless water heaters and many other energy saving devices. We cannot shoot ourselves in the foot and expect to survive without fossil fuels.

As far as climate change, my goodness. The world was supposed to end every ten years since I was born due to the climate. Does anyone actually read the reports? Look at the data? I have. Yes, I am a pretty boring person at parties if you need to ask so I don’t get many invitations. I sat with Dr. Richard Lindzen, the reknown MIT professor, whose summary on climate change and its anthropogenic influence was altered by scientists to fit their goal, and not because it reflected the data. Our atmosphere, and climate, are more greatly influenced by solar activity (look up the Maunder minimum) and by water vapor action in the atmosphere, as well as our planet’s magnetic field. Mankind has zero effect on the climate. None. We can destroy agricultural or natural areas, but we don’t affect the planet. We can fill the oceans with garbage but that’s not changing the climate.

When lunatics run around screaming about how the polar ice caps are melting, I wonder if they ever took Middle School science and learned about displacement. The entire Arctic ice cap has melted at times in the course of history, most notably when the Vikings discovered Greenland. Never once did the oceans rise. And they are not rising due to ice melt today. Go get a bucket, fill it with enough water that a block of ice can be set in it and the water line reached the top. Watch the ice melt. The water level does NOT rise. Because ice is expanded water. The water level may actually drop.

Now glaciers are made of fresh water, and so are the ice caps. I know I will get clobbered if I don’t mention that salt water has a different density. But even if you melted all the ice on the planet and added it to the oceans, the entire rising effect of the difference in density would cause sea levels to rise a total of…. Drumroll…. 4 to 6 centimeters or in a worst case about 2.5 inches.

Leftists recommend destroying civilization and our economies, ability to feed, cloth and house everyone because sea levels will rise two and a half inches. I am not impressed with their sensibilities.

MODERN SLAVERY and HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This topic was brought up and one of the Republicans was asked what he personally has done to end human trafficking. This is what I call a non-question. You cannot answer it. I doubt anyone in attendance has had any hands-on experience in ending human trafficking. That is the purview of LAW ENFORCEMENT. Senator hopeful Niday answered well considering the nature of the question. He wants ICE do its job. If we expand their work to pursue human traffickers more we can end the practice.

Which brings us to the Democrats. What did all these elected officials do prior to Republican control of the State House. Personally, and professionally. What do they do? Nothing. They enacted nothing to stop human trafficking in our state. They cooperated with Obama and tried to halt ICE from even doing their job. Most traffickers are NOT U.S. citizens. They are illegal aliens. And Democrats did nothing to stop it.

President Trump, on the other hand, has broken up hundreds of the rings and arrested nearly 10,000 traffickers to date, where they are meeting justice.

To malign Republicans when ONCE AGAIN, we are ending slavery is a cruel irony.

One of the candidates mentioned that we need Democrat majorities to safeguard the rights of black citizens. Really? He told us we need to preserve the 15th Amendment.

Good. We need to preserve the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which ended slavery, declared all slaves to be people and guaranteed their participation as fully enfranchised citizens of the U.S.

Democrats voted against all of those things. It was the Republican party that supported those and every civil rights position in history. Democrats have lied to the people for so long that they are believed.

Democrats should not be rewarded with majorities in either House to enact anything as they have proven themselves to be economically incompetent.

This year, VOTE REPUBLICAN to keep North Carolina moving forward, growing and gain the income needed to help ALL our families, the disabled, elderly, and especially those in poverty.

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