RALEIGH — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton on Monday offered a jobs plan that he said avoids rigid ideology but includes a series of practical ideas that he said would help address North Carolinas high unemployment rate.
Dalton, the lieutenant governor, outlined two dozen proposals, including offering tax incentives to companies who hire long-term unemployed workers, establishing recruitment teams for specific industries and providing tax relief to small businesses.
We are talking about an economic plan that will put North Carolina back to work, Dalton said at a news conference attended by several small-business owners at Boylan Bridge Brewpub, which offers a panoramic view of downtown Raleigh. This is a real plan based on research and best practices, not political platitudes. It will help our companies. It will leverage our strengths.
Dalton said the proposals grew out of dozens of meetings he held across the state with business, education and community leaders, while heading various task forces and holding listening tours.
He said the plan would cost less than $80 million annually.
Dalton offers his plan at a time when North Carolina has a 9.6 percent unemployment rate, the fifth-highest in the nation.
His Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, has been stressing joblessness as one of the main reasons why North Carolina needs to change leadership.
In July, McCrory offered his own jobs plan, calling for cuts in the corporate and personal income tax, more aggressive energy exploration, and a more business-friendly regulatory environment.
Dalton said he was offering a far more detailed jobs plan than McCrory, saying that his opponents plan was filled with generalizations but offered few specifics. He said McCrorys proposal for cuts in corporate and personal income taxes would likely result in increases in consumption taxes, such as sales taxes, that would hurt small businesses and senior citizens.
You are going to hurt these small businesses by putting a tax on them, Dalton said.
The McCrory campaign dismissed Daltons plan, saying he cannot be trusted to fix North Carolinas broken economy because Dalton himself is part of the problem. Gov. (Bev) Perdue and Lt. Gov. Daltons policies of raising taxes, increasing spending, more debt and bigger government have suffocated the private sector and hindered job creation in North Carolina during one of the worst recessions in state history.
But Dalton said the recession was the result of federal trade policies by former Republican President George W. Bushs administration, which devastated his home county of Rutherford, which had unemployment as high as 17 percent.