How To Talk Turkey With Your Conservative Uncle

Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season are a time for food and family. But that also means having to deal with your conservative uncle who is still asking questions about Benghazi. We’ve compiled some common conservative myths and provided a quick response, backed up with sources. Hopefully this helps you survive the Holidays!


Education

Myth

Politicians in Raleigh have made historic investments in public education.

Fact

Adjusting for inflation, per pupil spending actually fell by over $800 between 2008 and 2015. In addition, investment levels for textbooks and classroom supplies are far below what they were in 2008. The bottom line is while there are more students than ever, classroom investment hasn’t kept up.


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Myth

Every teacher received a pay raise this year

Fact

This year all teachers only received a one-time $750 bonus. After years without a meaningful pay raise for veteran teachers, this “Christmas bonus” does little to help struggling educators. Even Gov. McCrory admitted that the bonus is mere ‘chicken feed.’


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Myth

Teachers are happy in North Carolina

Fact

North Carolina teacher turnover rate is at a five-year high and is steadily increasing as many teachers are either finding work elsewhere or leaving the teaching field entirely. Recently, North Carolina was ranked the second worst state in the country to be a teacher as NC teacher’s rank among the nation’s lowest paid.


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Myth

There are just as many TAs in our state as there were in 2008.

Fact

In fact, there are actually more than 7,000 fewer TAs in NC classrooms than there were in 2008. That’s due to years of cuts to public education from politicians who don’t understand the value of TAs. Just this year, Sen. Berger and others tried to fire 8,500 more TAs.

For more information about how far our public schools have fallen since 2008, visit: http://howfarwehavefallenc.om


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Economy

Myth

Thanks to Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly, we’re seeing a “Carolina Comeback” in the economy.

Fact

While corporate profits might be up, median income in North Carolina is $6,873 below the national average. In addition, North Carolina ranked in the bottom 10 of states where residents feel the financial security to buy food and health care. While unemployment has fallen some under Governor McCrory, it has lagged behind both national and regional trends.


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Myth

Politicians in Raleigh have cut taxes for the middle class.

Fact

While big corporations and the top 1% have received massive tax cuts, politicians have raised taxes on working families by expanding the sales tax and increasing other fees. In a Tax Day poll conducted this year, 60% of North Carolinians said they paid more in state taxes this year.


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Health Care

Myth

Medicaid expansion would hurt North Carolina

Fact

North Carolina is losing as much as $22 billion in economic activity by not expanding medicaid and since federal funding for Medicaid was declined, four rural hospitals in NC have closed. With Medicaid expansion, North Carolina would see over 43,000 jobs created and nearly a billion in new tax revenues by 2020. The state would also see business activity increase by over $20 billion by 2020.


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Myth

A for-profit medicaid system would increase competition and lower prices.

Fact

Taxpayer dollars would be funneled to for-profit insurance companies, while adding another layer of middle men between patients and doctors, which could ultimately hurt many working and middle class families.


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Myth

Obamacare is causing health care insurance premiums to skyrocket.

Fact

While insurance premiums are expected to rise in North Carolina, our Insurance Commissioner blames that increase on our failure to expand Medicaid and the refusal to establish a state-based insurance exchange.


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Environment

Myth

Local municipalities have control of their own land

Fact

The General Assembly again railroaded the rights of local municipalities and counties by invalidating moratoriums that some counties had put on fracking. Once again the state takes power away from local municipalities.


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Myth

McCrory held Duke Energy accountable for their role in the coal ash spill.

Fact

Because of Governor McCrory’s cozy relationship with his former employer, the fine levied on Duke Energy dropped from $25 million to $7 million.


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Myth

Renewable energy tax credits were too costly and didn’t do anything for NC’s economy.

Fact

Thanks to our investment in renewable energy, North Carolina had one of the largest renewable energy sectors in the nation, particularly a blossoming solar industry. North Carolina has over 25,000 renewable energy jobs and clean energy has created over $2.5 billion in economic activity since 2009.


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Voting Rights

Myth

Getting rid of the Voting Rights Act shows how far we’ve come as a nation since the Civil Rights Movement, since we no longer need legislation to ensure equality.

Fact

Immediately following the repeal of the Voting Right Act, NC joined with Texas and other far right states to pass sweeping voting restrictions which will disproportionately impact people of color.


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Myth

Everyone has access to early and absentee voting.

Fact

Some counties, under cost saving measures, have chosen not offer early or absentee voting.


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Immigration

Myth

Immigrants hurt our economy.

Fact

A study conducted by UNC showed that immigrants contributed more than $27,000 per capita per year to the North Carolina economy. And, for every $1 North Carolina spent on immigration services in 2010, it generated $10 in economic activity.


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Climate Change

Myth

Climate change isn’t going to affect me.

Fact

There is strong evidence that climate change is already impacting North Carolina as rising sea levels have affected coastal communities and habitats. The effects on local waters and fish is fairly easy to see as there has been a shift in the composition of fish stocks.


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Progress NC Action's guide to talking turkey with your conservative uncle