What's on the table?

With the full text of his N&O story posted (without a link) at one of Art Pope's web sites, the circle between Rob Christensen and the Show is complete. Either the N&O gave explicit permission for the full copy-and-paste, or Mr. Orr's understanding of "fair use" is, shall we say, in need of remediation.

In any event, it is the subject of the story itself that deserves our attention.

Last week, the incoming Republican legislative leaders, Sen. Phil Berger of Eden and Rep. Thom Tillis of Cornelius, once again made it plain that there is no support in the new Republican majority for either raising the tax rate or extending the temporary $1.3 billion tax hike passed in 2009 that is due to expire in July. Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue said she is also not looking at tax increases for now, although her comments have been less adamant than those of the Republican leadership.

But there is a huge pot of money out there that could be tapped for hundreds of millions - perhaps billions - to help the state get through the fiscal crisis. North Carolina's tax code is a Christmas tree of loopholes, credits or exemptions. Sometimes they were put into the law for good reasons. But quite often they were put in there because an industry had a powerful lobbyist in Raleigh or had helped bankroll some political campaigns or had a friend who was a powerful legislator.