McCrory: Energy can fuel NC jobs

Posted September 24, 2012

— Republican candidate for governor Pat McCrory spent a half hour fielding questions from anchor David Crabtree during our "On the Record" broadcast this weekend.

Crabtree interviewed Democrat Walter Dalton on last week's show.

During the show, McCrory pointed several times to energy exploration, both off-shore drilling and inland hydraulic fracturing, as potential sources of jobs and tax revenue for the state.

"We could be doing it right now had we not been sitting on the sidelines," McCrory said of fracking and off-shore drilling. He took a swipe a Dalton, who he says opposes fracking. For his part, Dalton said last week he was skeptical the potential payoff would be enough to attract investors and offset the potential environmental harm.

"I want the private sector to determine if there's gas here," McCrory said. 

Pat McCrory On the Record: Pat McCrory

On this coming weekend's show, Crabtree with speak with Libertarian candidate Barbara Howe.

Other topics covered with McCrory included:

  • Taxes: McCrory says he would like to lower corporate and individual income tax rates, but he does not say how would do that. "I'm not going to be pinned down on any one tax plan," he said.
  • Tax Returns: McCrory dismissed criticism that he has not released his tax returns, saying his Statement of Economic Interest filed with the ethics commission discloses where he gets all his income. 
  • Voter ID: McCrory says he endorses Voter ID.
  • Budget: McCrory says North Carolina needs to cut its budget further than even the Republican legislature did this past year. Asked for a specific example of somewhere to cut,  he pointed to the various boards and commissions the governor must appoint. 
  • 47 percent: McCrory called the flurry of stories over Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's 47 percent remark, "minutia." 

On the topic of the budget, McCrory said multiple times that the state owed more money than it was showing. He was specifically referring to money the state borrowed from the federal government to pay first time unemployment claims.

North Carolina is still borrowing $24 billion a week to pay claims. The state had an outstanding debt of $2.44 billion to the federal government as of Sept. 20. Right now, the only way for the state to repay this money is through an increase in unemployment insurance taxes charged to businesses in the state. Those taxes went up during the past year -- about $21 per worker -- due to federal rules regarding repayment requirements. Further tax increases could be triggered based on how long the state takes to pay back what it owes. 

"I'm not going to hide it and show that it's off the books," McCrory said. He called the fact that the debt doesn't show up in the state's main budget as "Greece-like accounting," referring to the troubled Mediterranean nation's finances that prompted a bailout of its government. 

States have dealt with similar debts in different ways. The system is designed so that money gathered during flush times repays money borrowed at the height of unemployment problems. Some states, such as Texas, have issued bonds to pay off the bills, shifting the burden from taxes on businesses to sales and income taxes paid into the general funds. Others, such as Indiana, have undertaken more comprehensive overhauls of the system that both cut benefits and raised revenue. 

McCrory has told reporters that he favors using bonds to pay down the UI debt. He told Crabtree that neither Republicans nor Democrats had accounted for it properly.

"We do not have a balanced budget," McCrory said. 



This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • trubtold Sep 24, 4:29 p.m.

    Definitely don't like any of McCrory's schemes and don't plan to vote for him! His plans benefit the energy companies, will make he and his political cronies rich and leave North carolina a "fracking mess!" Who are these characters in his new commercials? An ex teacher who says she'll spank him? Voters wake up before it's too late!

  • godnessgracious2 Sep 24, 4:23 p.m.

    Do you enjoy watching YOUR tax dollars go for bloated govt waste? I dont.

    So why do you vote for the people that think the $800 billion a year spent on security is not enough? We spend more than the rest of the world combined now. But you are upset with the glut of firefighters and community centers? Our bridges are collapsing around us, most are structurally deficient. Why do we need to give the pentagon more than even they had asked for? Why not use that money restoring our former glory right here at home?

  • Obamacare has risen Sep 24, 4:20 p.m.

    McCrory's making a living.....

  • godnessgracious2 Sep 24, 4:13 p.m.

    Those are all GREAT energy sources... too bad that without govt subsidizing... they are not sustainable nor can they compete in a conventional energy market.

    They could if FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES were repealed! They are way more sustainable than oil which is going to run completely out in a few decades. Agree with me now that fossil fuel subsidies should be repealed or your argument is completely bogus...

  • mep Sep 24, 4:08 p.m.

    So fabricating and installing solar panels and wind turbines won't create any jobs? Enjoy all those fracking jobs when you and you're family are fighting stage four cancer.

    Those are all GREAT energy sources... too bad that without govt subsidizing... they are not sustainable nor can they compete in a conventional energy market. The cancer you speak of may come from all those improperly recycled rare earth materials used by the green energy folks no one wants to discuss because they are so toxic.

    Road-wearier... so how much can a normal tax base afford? How many police, firefighters, roads, bridges to nowhere, community centers, free clinics, libraries, teachers, teachers aids, administrators, clerks, and (fill in the endless list) is ENOUGH? Really... how many do YOU want to pay for? How many before YOU believe its too many? Do you enjoy watching YOUR tax dollars go for bloated govt waste? I dont.

  • ss3510 Sep 24, 4:01 p.m.

    Energy companies are making record PROFITS
    so.....WHERE are the JOBS?

  • Road-wearier Sep 24, 3:50 p.m.

    "Dalton is obsessed with raising taxes."

    How'd that Republican inspired Wake County school bus cost cutting work out for us? Not too darn good by any account.

    Regressives are obsessed with not paying their fair share and sloughing off the responsibility on others. That's true right wing personal responsibility, isn't it? They want the roads, the police, the firefighters, clean air, safe water...but are utterly unwilling to pay for them or to realize that they all have a cost. Those people are the true welfare queens. No, Obama's a socialist, Romney's a genius and people who disagree are liberals...because thinking that way is much easier than actually thinking and doing the money.

  • godnessgracious2 Sep 24, 3:45 p.m.

    So fabricating and installing solar panels and wind turbines won't create any jobs? Enjoy all those fracking jobs when you and you're family are fighting stage four cancer.

  • mep Sep 24, 3:34 p.m.

    Funny how the same folks that drive their cars back and forth to work each day, simply flip a switch and their lights come on, and their homes are heated believe this energy to do all this just magically appears. And that extracting the natural energy resources along with all the jobs it will create are a bad thing. NC still owes the Federal govt quite a bit from when Bev decided to keep handing out unemployment checks... even to those that no longer deserved it. Worse, NC STILL has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.... and folks want to block creating more jobs here. Guess paying higher and higher prices for energy, while remaining unemployed is considered to be a better option? Enjoy all that clean fresh air while freezing to death....LOL.

  • carlostheass Sep 24, 3:32 p.m.

    "Typical of the GOP this year - no details, no substance." --yellow_hat

    The democrats, however, are just chock full of details and a well laid-out plan, right? Get real. And talk about substance? Oh yeah, that's all the cheerleader in chief has done for four years -- talk about jobs and party with Hollywood types and go on talk shows instead of doing the job the easily mislead sent him to do.