As expected, The John Locke Foundation says Gov. Perdue’s budget cuts do not go far enough:

Gov. Beverly Perdue’s new budget plan spends more than she’s willing to promote, and it includes ideas for boosting the North Carolina economy that are likely to have little positive impact. That’s the initial reaction from the John Locke Foundation’s top budget expert.

Said Joseph Coletti, Director of Health and Fiscal Policy Studies for the John Locke Foundation:

“The governor’s budget is not nearly as fiscally conservative as advertised. Her own budget director admitted that Medicaid spending, listed as a large cut, actually has higher spending in this budget. Add in the federal money from the original stimulus bill and the state budget reaches $20.8 billion in General Fund spending.

“An example of the smoke and mirrors in the budget is the governor’s setting aside $100 million in the Savings Reserve Account, the states rainy day fund. This looks like a fiscally prudent idea, but $85 million of that is set aside to offset the temporary repeal of the death tax this year, before it returns in 2011.

“Gov. Perdue highlighted a number of targeted incentives that help North Carolina’s ranking in Site Selection magazine, but do little actually to help entrepreneurs and businesses in the state.

“The entire budget debate illustrates the problems we brought up last year in taking the federal stimulus money. If it goes to pay for recurring expenses, it just delays the day of reckoning. Regardless of how it is used, there are a number of strings attached to those dollars.”