Carter wrote (“The Real Reason”) that “Democrats are having apoplexy” over Art Pope as Budget Czar because “Pope is dead serious about cutting government spending.”
Well, that’s part of the story. The rest is that Democrats wonder whether he can cut government spending without hurting education (public schools, community colleges and universities), jeopardizing public safety and shredding the safety net for people who need help.
Pope himself set up the yardstick for measuring him and Governor-elect McCrory.
Pope said there are three budget challenges: “how to pay for increasing enrollment in schools and improve the quality of education, how to deal with burgeoning health and human services costs without protecting core needs such as courts and public safety, how to pay for needed building renovations and keep a rainy-day fund.”
If Pope can cut spending and meet all three of those challenges, he’ll deserve a laurel and hearty handshake.
It’s up to the media and the Democrats will have to hold him, McCrory and the legislature accountable to that standard.
By the way, note that the quote (which, in fairness, is the N&O’s paraphrase, not a quote from Pope) said “protecting core needs such as courts and public safety.” Not protecting health care or mental health care.