A week after S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley's jobs-recruitment victory lap through York and Chester counties just south of Charlotte, N.C. Republican leaders are pointing to a new CNBC study as evidence that the Tar Heel State isn't getting crushed by the Palmetto State or other economic development rivals on their watch. The study ranked North Carolina No. 5 (Georgia was No. 1, followed by perennial development powerhouse Texas). The study measured a range of factors; North Carolina ranked most strongly on the health of its economy and the quality of its workforce.
South Carolina ranked a distant 24th, earning its strongest ranking for its low cost of doing business. N.C. Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope issued a statement calling the study proof that the GOP's legislative agenda, which includes rolling back tax rates and revamping job recruitment, is working. "North Carolina is getting back to work," he said.
|Gov. Pat McCrory and his GOP allies have rewritten|
the state's job-recruitment playbook
Republicans, the critics say, "fixed" a job-recruitment system that wasn't broken. Democrats, powerless in Raleigh after decades of wielding legislative power, say the tax cuts have benefitted the wealthy while weakening funding for schools and universities, traditionally areas of competitive advantage for North Carolina relative to its Southern neighbors. With such high political stakes riding on job production numbers in an election year, we're sure to hear plenty more of this debate in the months ahead.