(Raleigh News Observer) Republican Pat McCrory recalls giving top company executives tours of Charlotte in his Honda Accord. “I would show them the good, the bad and the ugly,” he said. It often worked.
Democrat Walter Dalton remembers sitting next to an airline executive at a recruitment dinner who asked what made North Carolina better than his other options. “If you come here, your business will grow as North Carolina grows,” Dalton told him. The line scored.
The candidates for governor cite these experiences often this year as they talk about the economy in a state with the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the nation. The anecdotes add weight to their respective “jobs plans,” which promise to remedy the state’s flagging economy, even though neither can say how many jobs their plans would create.
Dalton’s platform includes an assortment of tax credits and programs to stimulate the economy in the short term, such as a tax break for companies that hire long-term unemployed workers.
McCrory’s proposal is more broad but preaches Republican economic orthodoxy with tax cuts and less regulation, a build-it-and-jobs-will-come approach.
“Neither of them show the proper level of urgency about the poor health of the North Carolina economy,” said Brent Lane, the director of the Carolina Center for Competitive Economies at UNC-Chapel Hill. “If you forced these guys to put numbers on these various proposals and add them up, I’m going to guess they won’t fill the hole.”
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