President Joe Biden made a stop in Raleigh Thursday to tout not only how Bidenomics is helping the country succeed but also that the White House is investing another $82 million to connect 16,000 additional homes and businesses to high-speed internet in North Carolina.
“Affordable high-speed Internet is just as essential today as electricity was a century ago,” Biden said at the beginning of his appearance at Abbots Creek Community Center.
He said many people now work from home and need the service, as well as children doing schoolwork, those who use telemedicine for doctor appointments, and those who could watch church services online.
Over the next three years, over 300,000 homes and businesses across the state should be connected to high-speed internet, according to Biden, with his goal of connecting everyone in America by 2030.
In addition, CommScope and Corning, which already manufacture 40% of all the fiber optic cable in Hickory, will expand by investing more than $550 million and creating 650 jobs, according to the President.
He also stated during his presidency, $11 billion has been invested in North Carolina infrastructure, including high-speed internet, clean energy, clean water, new roads and bridges, including $110 million for the Alligator River Bridge in the Outer Banks and a proposed $1 billion in a new rail line connecting Raleigh and Richmond, Virginia.
Biden also claimed that he created 14 million new jobs since he took office, with 440 new jobs in North Carolina. As far as the country as a whole, many sources say that number is inaccurate, with nearly 72% of all job gains since 2021 being recovered jobs from the pandemic, not newly created.
He also said that nationwide unemployment has been below 4%, the “longest stretch in American history in the last 50 years, and in North Carolina, it’s even lower at 3.5%.”
Biden had high praise for Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper and the other state government leaders on hand for the event.
Earlier in the day North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, released a statement saying it was actually policies and legislation from the Republican-controlled General Assembly over the last several years that has put North Carolina on the map as one of the most sought-after states to relocate to, whether it be a company or someone looking for a better quality of life.
For two years in a row (2022 & 2023), CNBC named North Carolina as the best state to do business. The state has also been profiled in Pewtrusts.org as having one of the best rainy-day funds in the country.
North Carolina has also climbed to rank 9th in the nation in 2023 for its tax climate, according to a study conducted by the nonprofit Tax Foundation. The rise in the rankings can be attributed to significant tax reforms undertaken by the state over the past decade, making it an attractive destination for work, residence, investment, and job creation.
The state’s current 2.50% corporate tax rate will be lowered to 2.25% in 2025 and will be phased out completely in 2030, which may help extend the trend of attracting more businesses.
The personal income tax, at 4.75%, is still lower than many other states. Still, leaders in the state legislature would like to see it go lower.
Biden also made another claim during his appearance.
“Wages are up, household wealth is up, not only for middle-class Americans, but for Latinos, black Americans, and minorities,” he said. “Costs are still too high, but inflation continues to fall.”
Inflation actually rose in December at 0.3%, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
He also said that consumer confidence is “way up” and that 64% of Americans think their personal circumstances are getting better. However, latest polling numbers show his approval rating has dropped to the lowest for any president in the past 15 years, according to a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll.
The poll also found that just 13% of Americans say they are better off financially since Biden took office. That’s compared to 13% of people who said they were not as well off when Donald Trump was in office. Also, a staggering 71% say the economy is in bad shape.
Carolina Journal was denied access to the presidential appearance, with White House officials telling CJ that it was not an “official” event but a “political” event, and the press list was “invite only.” CJ repeatedly tried to get a response ahead of time from the White House and Secret Service.
“President Biden is so afraid of his failed record that he is excluding members of the media from covering his events,” U.S. Sen. Ted Budd, R-NC said in an emailed statement to Carolina Journal upon learning of the denied access. “For an administration that claims to be the defenders of democracy, they’re the ones stifling the free press in North Carolina.”
Budd and other North Carolina officials also had critical remarks ahead of Biden’s visit to Raleigh.