Ten years ago our whole country was mired in an economic recession that took years to get out of, and here in Mecklenburg County, our neighbors, friends and families were hit devastatingly hard. I remember the almost daily headlines about layoffs, high unemployment, and wages going down. To make matters worse, our state leaders at the time never planned for this economic tragedy and failed to prepare us for this “rainy day.” Our state was forced to borrow billions from the federal government and rob Peter to pay Paul by breaking our promises to our citizens, teachers, and state employees by having to cut pay and services. This mismanagement and failure of leadership spurred me to run in the first place. As a husband and father who has sat at his kitchen table making tough financial decisions, I knew we needed a different direction to dig North Carolina out of the hole of financial ruin and get us back on a path to prosperity and opportunity.
Once elected, my colleagues and I made those tough decisions, which meant cutting taxes for 99% of individuals allowing them to keep more of their hard earned money. We made our business environment more attractive to spur innovation and become more competitive in the region so that businesses of all sizes had more money to hire more employees. Unemployment went down and companies started moving to North Carolina in droves, and wages started growing because they saw this was not just a great state to live, but a great state to do business.
Eight years later we’ve created over 600,000 new jobs and our unemployment rate is down from 11.4% to 4.1%. Forbes ranked us the best state in the country to do business and Site Selection Magazine ranked us the second best business climate. In 2016 the U.S. Census Bureau announced North Carolina had the fourth fastest rising household income. The numbers speak for themselves: there are more jobs, rising income, and more opportunities.
Not only have we given our economy a boost, we’ve saved $2 billion in a rainy day fund so that, unlike last time, when a recession hits again we’ll be ready. My opponent is pushing an agenda that would cause our state budget to be more than tripled and require taxes higher than any other state in the country. We’ve seen what the old wasteful spending and high taxes have done to our state before, and we can’t let that happen again.