Pat McCrory Tells You to Keep Pounding: The Gov’s First 2016 Ad, Annotated | News

Pat McCrory Tells You to Keep Pounding: The Gov’s First 2016 Ad, Annotated

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Governor McCrory is out with his first ad of this election year. You can watch it here: 



Here’s a quick transcript:

North Carolina’s working again. Unemployment is down from our mountains to the coast. Families are paying less in taxes. We’ve helped seniors with medical bills. We’ve raised teacher pay. There's still work to do, but we have a Carolina Comeback for sure. We just don't always get the respect we earned. Well, there is one solution: keep pounding, Panthers, and have a super day. [Awkwardly throws football to human child.]

Let’s break this down line by line. 

North Carolina’s working again. Unemployment is down from our mountains to the coast. This is sort of true! There’s no doubt unemployment is markedly down from the height of the recession.


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That decline, however, has mostly tracked the national rate, which means it has less to do with any of McCrory’s governing skills than it does the nationwide recover. Worth noting: that December 2015 rate, 5.6 percent, is well above the national average, which today dipped to 4.9 percent. And the state’s unemployment rate is actually up year over year despite the (marginally) improving national economy. And, as the N&O reported last month, the state is only seeing above-average wages in five of its 100 counties, whereas 90 counties have average incomes more than 10 percent lower than the state average. 

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Families are paying less in taxes
. This is true—but only if those families are rich. Last May, a poll found that 60 percent of state residents believed their taxes had actually gone up, while just 8 percent thought they had gone down. And they had good reason to think that way: As the N.C. Budget & Tax Center and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reported in January 2015, before the legislature’s latest round of tax-cutting: 

The lowest income North Carolinians pay over 70 percent more in taxes as a percent of their income compared to the state’s wealthiest residents, according to a new study released today by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. […] The lowest 20 percent of North Carolinians – earning less than $18,000 – pay 9.2 percent of their income in taxes, the study finds, compared to 5.3 percent for the top 1 percent of earners earning more than $376,000. […] North Carolina’s tax system is unfair, or regressive, because the lower one’s income, the higher one’s tax rate. This is in part because North Carolina, like most other states, relies more heavily on sales taxes to raise revenue and has a flat personal income tax that does not take into account a taxpayer’s ability to pay.

It didn’t help that, in 2013, the legislature eliminated the earned income tax credit, which benefits the poor. And it didn’t help last year when the state expanded the regressive sales tax to offset another income tax cut

We’ve helped seniors with medical bills. Here he’s apparently referring to the reinstatement of the medical-expenses tax deduction. Of course, it was McCrory’s Republicans who eliminated that deduction in 2013 to pay for income tax cuts, so help is a relative word. 

We’ve raised teacher pay. Last year, the General Assembly generously allotted a $750 bonus to the state’s teachers and brought up the starting-teacher base pay a hair, from $33,000 to $35,000. Of course, North Carolina’s teacher pay is still among the lowest in the country, per-pupil education spending is at the bottom of the barrel, and now the state’s education schools can’t get students because would-be teachers have seen how the legislature regards them. 

There's still work to do, but we have a Carolina Comeback for sure. Right on, Pat. 

We just don't always get the respect we earned. Maybe that’s because the state’s Republican leaders spend a good amount of its time kicking immigrants, the LGBT community, women, poor people, and generally anyone who cares about the environment in the teeth. Just a thought. 

Well, there is one solution: keep pounding, Panthers, and have a super day. I’m just gonna leave this thing, courtesy of the INDY’s art department, right here. 


CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS
  • Christopher Williams



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