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Keep a lid on state debt

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — It’s cheap to borrow right now. That doesn’t mean you ought to load up with new debt, however, and this same wisdom applies to the public sector. North Carolina has traditionally maintained low levels of indebtedness, at least when compared to other states. According…

What if the United Kingdom departs the European Union?

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DOUG BANDOW Guest Columnist Donald Trump’s success in the U.S. is not unique. Europe is being buffeted by similar populist currents. The United Kingdom might vote to exit the European Union in June. Moreover, a yes victory might spark what John Gillingham of the Harvard Center for European Studies and…

Be wary of motorcycle bills

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH – Sometimes, in this job, you just get a funny feeling about what might happen next. That happened recently when a bill was filed in the state House with an odd title: “DOT/No Discrimination Against Motorcyclists.” At any other time in history, that might not…

OUR VIEW — Honor the fallen by caring for the living

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We can always do more to honor the soldiers who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy in this country. Lincoln County is fortunate to have an active collection of veterans and veterans’ advocates that ensures that local men and women who served or are serving in the armed…

A jackass or a carpenter?

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.” Using a saying from UNC President Margaret Spellings’s native Texas, one attributed to Sam Rayburn, the long-time speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom Lambeth was beginning his tribute to…

How to read this column

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — One of the consequences of writing a syndicated column on politics and public policy for nearly 30 years is that I am constantly told what I think and why I think it. You may find this consequence perplexing. Isn’t my job here to tell…

State should make good investments

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With a sizzling state economy fueling job growth, income-tax revenues are quickly filling the state’s coffers. And although significant legislative hurdles remain — most notably the Senate — it’s good to see the N.C. House agrees with Gov. Pat McCrory that the state is in a good position again to…

5 things to know about the House budget

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH – The House finished its budget, so now it’s on to the Senate. The big question is whether the Senate will agree with most of the House’s spending or differ extensively, potentially setting up contentious negotiations. Here are five items in the House budget to…

Get to Ayden before it’s too late

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist Can a Louisiana food writer tell us something about North Carolina barbecue that we did not already know? Rien Fertel gives it a good try in his new book, “The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog.” Fertel caught the…

Political coin lands on its edge

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist RALEIGH — So far, 2016 has turned out to be a momentous year in state politics — and the general election is still months away. North Carolinians have watched and in many cases participated in the rise of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and other avatars of…