Carolina Journal Weekly Report

Weekly Report 2015-04-03

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of
April 03, 2015

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — When Gov. Mike Easley announced in May
2008 that Wichita, Kan.-based Spirit AeroSystems would open an aircraft
component manufacturing plant at the Global TransPark in Kinston, he
said the company would create 1,031 jobs within six years, but as of
December 2014 the company employed only 375 people.

Spirit has failed to meet its targets even though state and local
officials lured the company to North Carolina with a package of
financial incentives that, according to an analysis by Triangle Business Journal, could exceed $240 million. TBJ said the Spirit deal ranked just behind the largest incentive deal in
state history — $260 million in incentives for the Google data center in
Lenoir. The largest component of the Spirit package was a $100 million
grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the nonprofit grant-making agency
that handles North Carolina’s tobacco settlement funds. Spirit also
received Job Development Investment Grant and One North Carolina Fund
awards from the state.

In addition, state officials built a six-mile-long railroad spur line
connecting the Spirit plant to a main rail line, saying the $24 million
project was essential to closing the deal with Spirit. Even so, the
company hasn’t used the rail spur, saying it was less expensive to
transport components from the port at Morehead City to the GTP by truck.

Because Spirit hasn’t employed as many people as promised, the company
won’t get all the incentives that were available. State officials say
such targets and “claw back” provisions are a reason to continue
offering taxpayer incentives to attract businesses, because companies
that don’t meet their goals won’t drain state coffers.

Critics of the incentives say any purported “savings” are beside the
point, and that it’s impossible to predict how well a company will
perform. “The job numbers have always been an issue of concern,” said
Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, one of the General Assembly’s most
outspoken opponents of business incentives. “Rarely does someone go back
and check. Under the circumstances, this brings into question if
incentives work at all.”

You can read the rest of this Carolina Journal story here.

News Features

CJ: Bill would move presidential primary to March
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s presidential preference primary would be held March 8, 2016, under House Bill 457,
filed by Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, in a move intended to prevent the
state from losing delegates in the presidential nominating process.

CJ: Tax preparer exposes rampant refund fraud
RALEIGH — A Charlotte-area tax preparer who contacted Carolina Journal last year about an illegal tax-refund scheme involving tax preparers
who cater to Hispanic clients has conducted her own undercover operation
to show that the scam is continuing.

CJ Video: Right-of-center thinkers split on constitutional issues
RALEIGH — Debates about U.S. Supreme Court
politics often involve competing blocs of conservative and liberal
justices. But that focus on left versus right misses an important
constitutional debate among right-of-center thinkers.

CJ Video: ‘Emergency room’ economics leads to long-term
RALEIGH — Politicians sacrifice long-term growth
when they pursue short-term policies based on “emergency room”
economics. A George Mason University economist made that argument Monday
during a presentation to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury

CJ Parody: New GOP incentive plan to feature Welfare Wednesdays
RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory will propose $1
billion in bonding authority to fund a Division of Corporate Welfare
based on a model concluding that, when properly administered, business
incentives pay for themselves. At the core of the Welfare Wednesday
initiative is the theory that, when properly administered, incentives
pay for themselves.

Upcoming Events

Monday, April 06, 2015 at 12:00 Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Jay Schalin
“Saving Higher Education”

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
A Headliner Luncheon
with our special guest The Honorable Ted Cruz
Hear His Compelling Defense of Freedom

Friday, April 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm Noon
Special Shaftesbury Luncheon
with our special guest Jenna Ashley Robinson
Counterculture: How the Ivory Tower is Eroding American Values

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

This was a good report.
— N.C. State University economics professor Michael Walden, talking to the Winston-Salem Journal about the state’s unemployment figures for February.

I disagree with this type of class warfare… It’s almost John Edwards-type language being used by my own party.
— Gov. Pat McCrory, during an interview on WFAE-FM radio, on a proposal to shift how sales tax revenue is divided between counties throughout the state.

This tax credit is entirely consistent with our desire to create jobs and foster economic development. The purpose of tax reform is to spur economic development.
— Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, as quoted by WRAL-TV, on a proposal to renew the historic preservation tax credit.

Why do we have North Carolina Final Exams? Maybe I’m asking a question I shouldn’t ask.
— State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, on the exams given in most classes that don’t have state end-of-grade or end-of-course test.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Terry Stoops discusses challenge of finding innovative school superintendents; property owners explain how N.C.’s Map Act infringes on their rights; former state Sen. Thom Goolsby voices concern about potential law enforcement abuse of surveillance technology; distillery owner Scott Maitland calls for reform of ABC laws that restrict his industry; JLF’s Katherine Restrepo looks at efforts to provide more medical care choices and lower costs by paring back an anti-competitive state law.

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell
for another week of political discussion and debate on the most
intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Tax reform; religious freedom or freedom to discriminate?; and more Medicaid measures. This week’s panelists: John Hood and Becki Gray from the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; and political consultant Brad Crone.


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