Wednesday, January 9, 2013

N.C.'s Berger: We're no Washington Republicans

Phil Berger
Sen. Phil Berger,  unanimously re-elected N.C. Senate President Pro Tempore this morning, vowed to accomplish three things this session: cut taxes, reduce regulations and reform public education.

He portrayed North Carolina as a state that had lost its way and had fallen from its perch as an economic leader of the South.

And he took a dig at fellow Republicans in D.C.: "To my Republican colleagues: We must show our constituents, this state, and this country that there is a real difference between a Washington Republican and a North Carolina Republican! North Carolina Republicans deliver! We keep our word. And we act on the promises we've made," Berger, R-Rockingham, said in prepared remarks.

The main promises Berger's focused on: Tax reform, regulatory reform and public education reform. Those are all needed, but the question is how to accomplish those things. Will tax reform mean more than just cutting taxes and reducing revenues? Will regulatory reform mean more than gutting important regulations that protect N.C. citzens' environment and safety? Will public education reform mean more than shifting money out of the traditional public school system and into private and quasi-private schools?

We hope so. We encourage Gov. McCrory, Sen. Berger and the legislature to accomplish all three goals in a way that extends North Carolina's legacy as a state serious about educating its children and fostering economic growth in an enlightened way.

Below are Sen. Berger's complete remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you for that warm welcome and for the trust you’ve placed in me. It is a true honor, and a responsibility that I do not take lightly.

“Today, we renew the fight for reform that started two years ago when the voters sent a new General Assembly to Raleigh to change the way our government operates.

“For too many years, North Carolina tried to tax and spend its way to prosperity. And for too many years, North Carolina lost jobs, lost businesses, failed to educate many of our children and struggled to compete.

“Our leaders had lost their way. And our state lost its place as the leader of the South, and the envy of the nation.

“We vowed two years ago in this chamber to begin fixing those problems. And we’ve made great progress in just a short period of time.

“Today, that work continues.

“Senators, as we make tough decisions, think of the families out there struggling to make ends meet, sitting around their kitchen tables, balancing their check books, saving for retirement or a college education for their children.  Think of them as we craft bills and cast votes.

“Ask yourself: how can we help them create a better life? How can we work together to help small businesses become more successful?  And help working families take home more pay?

“Ask yourself: how can we help their kids get a better education regardless of the political consequences?

“Ask yourself how we, as a body, can come together to help our local towns and communities compete in order to create jobs and grow the economy?

“The voters have placed in our hands enormous trust and responsibility. We have the opportunity to set sweeping policy, to change the direction of North Carolina and to make a real and lasting difference.

“To my Republican colleagues: we must show our constituents, this state, and this country that there is a real difference between a Washington Republican and a North Carolina Republican!

“North Carolina Republicans deliver! We keep our word. And we act on the promises we’ve made.

“We made that clear last session. We cut taxes – unleashing private enterprise to grow our economy and create new jobs. We cut government red tape and bureaucracy. We began the long process of retooling our public education system, to make it more focused on delivering positive results for our children.

“Those were great achievements. But they were only the beginning.

“These next two years, Republicans and Democrats must set the bar even higher.

“With Gov. McCrory, his administration, and leaders in every branch of government, we will reform our old and outdated tax code. Today our tax system slows economic growth, kills jobs, and hurts businesses. It’s one of the single greatest roadblocks to our recovery, and we will not stop until it’s improved.

“We will continue making government more efficient and more responsive. Taxes on working families are still way too high. Regulations on our job creators are still way too cumbersome –and we have an obligation to change them.

“We will never back down from the effort to reform our public schools. No child should be forced to attend a failing school. And while we are committed to rewarding and recognizing our best teachers, no teacher should be guaranteed a job if they fail in their responsibility to educate our children.

“Every month, every week, every day that we accept mediocrity, another child slips through the cracks. We will move on this critical issue – and we will move quickly.

“Most of you know me. I grew up in a working class home. My dad worked with his hands for a living.

“Throughout my life, I’ve had to work hard, as many of you have. I worked multiple jobs while raising a young family to get through college and law school.  My wife, Pat, and I both understand what it takes to make ends meet.

“We’ve seen firsthand how hard work and determination makes anything possible.

“Education reform. Tax reform. Regulatory reform. They are lofty goals.

“But if we work hard, we can change our state, make it more competitive, more successful and help the families of North Carolina.

“I know many North Carolinians have lost hope. They feel stuck. They wonder if they’ll ever get ahead.

“Each and every day that we walk into this chamber, remember. We have an obligation to those in our state who are working hard and doing their best to provide for their families.

“Now is the time that we – as leaders – roll up our sleeves and get to work. We will not waste this great opportunity.

“Will there be tough battles? You bet. Will we have to make decisions that take us outside our comfort zone? Yes. But it is the right thing for us to do.

“And no matter how difficult or daunting the task, we must keep our eyes on what’s best
for the people of this great state.

“Thank you.  And may God bless this body and the people of North Carolina.”

-- Taylor Batten


faithplusnothing said...

Why is it the only stories you write are anti republican? Can you try to be inpartial at all?

RobNClt said...

People working for newspapers are left wing and some are Democrats.

They will not write anything favorable about conservatives. They look for bad news in the midst of something good or great.

That's why almost nobody buys newspapers any more. That's why very few people watch the evening news or left wing cable news stations.

That's why FoxNews is number 1 in America for the past 11 years. They have more viewers than 2 or 3 of the other cable channels combined because they attempt to be fair and balanced in news reports but are have right wing commentators. Those commentators are not presenting the news they are presenting their opinion. That's what CNN and MSNastybc does with it clueless commentators.

Archiguy said...

Since when is an article quoting the Republican leader of the NC Senate an "anti-conservative" article? Lol. Only someone who buys into this left-wing media nonsense would think that. Or maybe you think Republicans, like small children, should be seen and not heard? (probably not a bad idea)

The fact is that professional journalists - like those that work at this newspaper - take that responsibility seriously. If you think they have an "anti-conservative" bias, it's because you have a "pro-conservative" bias. Which is typical, of course, for anyone who watches Fox News.

The fact is that progressives don't need or want propaganda, which is why they don't bother with MSNBC for the most part. They're perfectly capable of thinking for themselves.

And CNN plays it down the middle, so don't toss them into your paranoid fantasies of left-wing bias controlling every single media outlet except the "fair & balanced" FNC and its radio comrade, ClearChannel. It only exists in your muddled mind, and you have only yourself to blame for that.

MarkB said...

Archiguy, you're such a tool! faithplusnothing was referring to Taylor's hand-wringing of the prospects that there might be less intrusive government. Progressives think that reductions in rates always reduce revenues, and that we can't regulate the environment enough, or dump enough money into schools.

CNN, home of Piers Morgan, plays it down the middle? Maybe you're referring to Kathy Griffin's New Year's Eve stupidity. CNN is only slight less nutty than MSNBC. Progressives don't think, at least with any objectivity or facts, as consistently demonstrated by the CO board.