In the face of proposed severe cuts in basic state-provided services, NC Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County is bravely grabbing the third rail of current politics: She's proposing a tax hike on North Carolinians making over a quarter of a million dollars per year; that's the top 3 percent of NC income earners. Cotham's proposal is in reaction to conservatives' proposed cuts in the state budget, which are proving to be extremely harsh in areas that would hurt ordinary citizens. Some of the conservatives' proposed cuts in the state budget include firing 18,000 teachers read that again: firing 18,000 teachers along with cuts to social workers who help abused children; raising community college tuition by 19 percent; draining our already miserable mental health system of 20 percent of its state funding; eliminating 25 district attorney positions and public defenders; cut hospice and elderly home care by 50 percent; and pass on millions of dollars in law enforcement expenditures to the counties, which are, of course, already in financial deep, er, waters. These proposed cuts are too much to take, says Cotham, who defends her tax-hike-for-moneybags proposal thusly: "We must not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable. This is a critical moment in NC. It is time for all of us to stand up and do what is right." Good for her. Read all about it at BlueNC.