Publisher's note: This post, by Brian Balfour, was originally published in Civitas's online edition.
The N&O yesterday published an op-ed by the NC Justice Center
that accuses Sen. Phil Berger of "spinning a compelling yarn, even when he doesn't tell the whole story."
The Justice Center article is a response to Berger's earlier article touting positive economic outcomes following years of tax cuts and reform.
One focus of the Justice Center's piece is on the state's still-too-high poverty rate:
- "Our state has one of the highest rates of poverty in the country and last year (the most recent figures available) over 1.4 million North Carolinians were under the incredibly low threshold the Federal Government defines as the poverty line (less than $26,000 for a family of four).
- Poverty is widespread but imposes a particularly harsh weight on some communities. One out of every five children in our state was in poverty last year, which should be enough in-itself to stop any elected leader from claiming their economic policies are working."
Obviously, self-awareness is lacking at the Justice Center, because in the very same piece they accuse Berger of not telling "the whole story," they continue to leave a gaping hole in their analysis on poverty.
Once again, they omit the vital fact that North Carolina families are roughly five times as likely to be in poverty when there is no father in the home.
The continued refusal to even acknowledge this fact demonstrates that the Justice Center is not really interested in eradicating poverty, but more interested in advancing a partisan agenda.
It is professional negligence to speak about poverty in North Carolina and ignore these facts.