In a Oct. 26 Point of View “N.C. tax cuts failed to grow economy,” Alexandra Sirota repeated a familiar liberal refrain: The only way to revive North Carolina’s economy is through more government, spending and taxation.
But after decades of irresponsible tax-and-spend policies saddled North Carolinians with a decline in per capita personal income, a rise in the poverty rate and an increase in government dependency, in 2013 state leaders decided to take a new approach.
If someone wants to know what has been accomplished since our historic tax reforms, the numbers don’t lie:
▪ A majority of North Carolinians in every income category now pay less or nothing in state personal income taxes – with the largest number being those making less than $50,000 per year.
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▪ The state unemployment rate is at its lowest level since mid-2007, with unemployment down in all 100 counties.
▪ More than 300,000 new jobs have been created statewide. Our labor force is growing, and we are adding jobs faster than the country as a whole.
▪ North Carolina recorded the highest median household income growth for the past three years – more than double the national rate.
▪ Our growth in per capita income has exceeded the U.S. growth rate, and our poverty rate has declined.
▪ Education spending has increased by roughly $1 billion due to strong revenue growth, resulting in the largest teacher pay raise in state history.
Just last week, The News & Observer cited nonpartisan economists’ analysis that “the state’s economy remains on an upward trajectory” and that the “labor market has now returned to the zone of full employment,” which is “pushing wages higher and pulling job seekers back into the labor market.”
As Gov. Pat McCrory astutely observed, the “Carolina Comeback” is about results, not politics.
Given the clear evidence that tax reform is yielding economic gains for small businesses and working families, it’s no wonder Sirota’s appeal to return to the failed policies of the past rings hollow.
Chairman, North Carolina Senate Finance Committee
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response.