by John Hood
John Locke Foundation
April 16, 2014
In recent years, few issues in North Carolina politics have been as contentious as fiscal policy. It is clear that the policy preferences of fiscal conservatives have strong empirical support. Most studies find that lower levels of taxes and spending, less-intrusive regulation, and lower energy prices correlate with stronger economic performance. Most studies also find that the quantity and quality of infrastructure and the level of educational attainment are linked to economic performance. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that raising taxes to fund more spending on infrastructure and education will prove to be a good investment. State and local officials should pursue a strategy for promoting economic growth in both the short term and the long term that keeps overall tax and regulatory burdens as low as possible, spends more tax dollars on public safety and the courts, and increases the productivity of current taxpayer spending on infrastructure and education.

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