As a Democratic candidate for state House, I welcome the chance to speak out and present my views on issues important to me and the voters I will serve, if elected.
What economic strategy is important, and how will it benefit you? Some would say a solid infrastructure and a quality of life that attracts and creates good new jobs. Another would say economic development, trade practices and economic policies that enable citizens to compete fairly in a high-skill, high-wage and a high-growth economy. I favor both, however, much more is needed.State government must cut waste and fraud, and cap the general fund spending growth to inflation plus the average real growth in gross state product (GSP). Economic security in the years ahead will depend on fiscal responsibility and restructuring of our state government, what we know and what we can do and our approach to work and education. This in itself is what will lead us to a more prosperous future.
Is a lottery needed as a new source of revenue for public education and for providing job-producing public works programs? The answer is yes. I also support removing the sales tax on food and medicine, and allowing a $75,000 tax exemption on a retiree's home. A tax break for the middle class, equal to or greater than any capital gains tax cut offered or proposed, will be supported by me. Likewise, cuts in taxes on capital gains and reducing or eliminating all inhibiting government regulations which impede new businesses or industry development is supported as well.
We need to make our taxes and corporate laws competitive with other states to draw new businesses and industry, and to stimulate growth in the state economy. For small businesses, we need to increase the first-year depreciation deduction to 25 percent of the purchase price of equipment. Remove the inventory tax and allow an immediate first year write-off of up to $50,000 worth of equipment bought. Reduce corporate income tax by 1 percent per year for the next four years. Also essential is a sound farm economy in providing economic development, thousands of jobs and keeping food prices reasonably low. I pledge to support, effective prices for farm products, farm loans, market developments and to protect all prime farmland in North Carolina for agricultural purposes.
The most pressing problem in state education is its lagging elementary and secondary schools, organization and leadership. I support state and national standards for education, as opposed to personal choice and local options.
The government needs to increase funding for K-12 public schools and provide quality, affordable early childhood education to every child whose parents need it. I support making the superintendent of public instruction an appointed position, and I am opposed to modifying tenure for principals and teachers. However, I favor periodic proficiency testing for public school teachers. I support the community college system, its purpose and its need for necessary funds to upgrade equipment and facilities, and to meet future demands for high-skill, high wage jobs.
In closing, I support: jobs with a decent wage, not poverty or bankruptcy; education, not illiteracy; a national health care system, not vouchers; an environment that has clean air and water, not pollution and toxic waste; a safe place to live, not crime and illegal drugs; the right to choose, ``pro-choice,' not anti-choice; and term limits.
Everyone thinks of changing government, but no one thinks of changing oneself.
The writer is a Democrat running for N.C. House of Representatives, District 38. His opponent is an incumbent Republican, Harold J. Brubaker of Asheboro.