RALEIGH – First in Freedom Daily had the exclusive privilege to sit down with current lieutenant governor and likely 2020 Republican nominee for governor Dan Forest and get his take on the most important issues facing North Carolina and the nation.
From the success and continued merit of Republican tax cuts on the state and federal levels, Roy Cooper’s misguided opposition to sensible policies like school choice and energy exploration, to judicial tyranny, Rule of Law, and immigration, and how he views President’s Trump first year – Forest shared his thoughts and previewed how conservative policy and leadership like his will be a welcome choice when North Carolinian’s head to the polls in 2020 to elect a governor and president.
The lieutenant governor has just finished a traveling tour that took him across the state to take the pulse of North Carolina people and spread the message of the benefits of limited government. What follows is the first in a two part series presenting Dan Forest in his own words on the issues you care about.
Talking to the People
“It’s all over the place…meeting with different companies, businesses, manufacturing plants, you name it we do that on a regular basis just to see what’s going on. That’s more of a listening tour.
We like to do Q&A with folks as we’re doing it, so they can ask us questions, because as you know the ‘media’ doesn’t always tell our side of the story so we have to still continue to get our message out there that way.
“I think people are pretty pleased with where things are right now. The state’s doing pretty well fiscally, and we’re in pretty good shape. You always wait until April 16 to see what’s going on, so then your able to see what the numbers look like from a tax perspective. […] we’ve been doing pretty good year-over-year, and in the past we’ve had surpluses in the $500 million range at times, so that’s good.
“I usually just talk to people about the business-minded approach that we [Republicans] have here in Raleigh of cutting their taxes and continuing regulatory reform like we do year-over-year.”
On Tax Cuts, Economy
“They’re doing the same thing we’ve been doing. We cut taxes in North Carolina and the Left starting screaming, ‘oh! We’re not going to have any money to do anything, we got even more money
“Case in point; we cut personal income tax and put more money back in people’s pockets – giving them their money back – and what happened with state revenue? Income tax revenues actually went up. You’re going to see the same thing on a federal level [with tax cuts.] We’re already seeing that; all these companies are saying they’re going to build more manufacturing plants here.
Businesses are rewarding their employees with $1000 bonuses, up to $5000 bonuses, and that’s real money. All that money goes back into the economy.
What the Democrats act like is, people are going to stick all that money into their mattress and it ha no impact. That’s just not the way it works.
You’re going to see a phenomenal explosion at the national level over the next few years with jobs and new GDP growth, because of the things that were going to be making here that we were making overseas. That then turns into tax revenues to the federal government.
The goal is not to increase the revenues for the government. That’s a byproduct of doing good things that that kind of happens. Now they should say ‘Ah! We just got more revenue, now we can out more back in your pocket.’ The government doesn’t get anything it doesn’t take from you first.
It took Reagan his entire eight years to see it build up slowly after the first four years and then in that second term it really started to build up significantly. And I think what you’re seeing Trump doing now is going to have exponential impact right way.”
On Energy Exploration, Cooper’s ‘Not Off Our Coast’ Call, Environmental Regulation
“Opening up ANWAR for oil exploration, the clean Power Plan executive order. Here in North Carolina getting ready to be forced by the Obama administration with new rules for clean power after North Carolina had about the cleanest power in the country, we had already gone through all the rules, had already spent billions of dollars to upgrade all of our systems and our power-plants and all this, and they came back with new rules on top of that holding us to a level of accountability that was far greater than the rest of the country and was going to cost billions of dollars in power.
Trump said ‘No, that’s foolishness. Why are we doing that?’ That alone saved North Carolinians billions of dollars.
“Water of the U.S., too. […] Both of those have cost North Carolinians jobs and a whole bunch of money and they have almost zero impact.
“It’s just foolishness. People don’t think about the long term impacts, the personal impacts, really – what it’s doing to the average person out there.”
OCS Oil Exploration
“I want it opened up to exploration. I’ve been saying that for years now, for five years. I think that there’s no harm in exploring. I think that our data that we have is 40 years old sitting out there. We can do better on the data. A lot of people in the Environmentalist world say ‘well, that kills fish’and that sort of thing. There are all kinds of protection out there, and, plus, where they’re exploring is off the continental shelf on the other side in really deep water where the mammals don’t live anyway.
What they do is they go out to the deep water and they have technology to remove the mammals and fish out of that deep water and then they do their sonar testing out there. So, they have protection after protection. It’s actually the federal government that makes them have that protection.
Let’s go explore. It’s the responsible thing to do. What if we got out there and the oil companies discovered that what was out there the oil companies didn’t want to pursue, that is wasn’t worth it financially for them to do, Why wouldn’t we see first? What if we got out there and find the largest oil reserve in the world and it’s worth pursuing and this is going to make America more energy independent than we already are.
These are big conversations. All we do is keep punting on even exploration – why? Let’s go and explore and then let’s make the determination based on what we know what we have out there. It’s my understanding that we know we have methane out there that sits along the floor of the ocean.
That’s lots of things we can do, and I think financially it’s a massive boon to the state I think the coastal communities would be very successful with the financial resources they would get.
I think we should have a plan in place that really talks about what we do with the resources that are out there. So, I’m hoping the governor doesn’t decide to sue the Federal Government over this, but it looks like that’s the way it’s headed.
There are a lot of places that need it. Those economies are so dependent on tourism that if you have a bad summer season the economy’s bad and we shouldn’t base any part of our state off of one industry.
The safety procedures that are in place for drilling are significantly different than even the BP oil spill now. That was 56 year old technology when that spill happened and now e’re light-years ahead. Allow these companies to come in and explain very clearly to the people on the coast what are the risks, and what are the rewards. They may choose the rewards over the risks.
There’s always risk; there’s no doubt about that, but I think the rewards far outweigh the risks today. Who knows what that’s going to be 10-15 years from now when you can actually get in there and extract anything. This is a long time down the road before you can even pull any these resources out of the ocean. So, we need to continue to explore.”
“We are large proponents of school choice. We believe that parents and students should be deciding the type of education they get. They should be able to make those decisions for themselves. We don’t believe the government can decide better than the parent or the student – that’s just a fallacy. There are parents out there that care very much about where their kid goes to school and what kind of education they get.
Things like Opportunity Scholarships – Democrats have fought these for years. Giving a scholarship to the poorest of the poor students who have no choice about where to send their kids to school. Why would you not give them a choice if they had one? Allow them the financial ability to have the same opportunity the presidents of the United States have to send their kids to the best private schools in America.
That’s shameful that anyone would stand against that. I’m in favor of education savings accounts, letting parents save up for their kids education and using it as they see fit to educate their kids.
The governor stands against charter schools, he stands against school choice. He has a one size fits all approach to how we deliver education. I have four kids – they all learn very differently. We have the blessing to be able to teach them all very differently and use very different curriculum for each one of them in subjects like math for instance. In a standard, traditional public school you have one choice, and I don’t think that’s right.”
“We will be the first state in country to have every classroom int he state connected to broadband. That will happen in June, and that’s a huge feat. We’re the second most rural state and the first state to do that, and I believe we’ll be the first state to have last mile connected as well. “
North Carolina is the leader. No one else in the country is as far along as we are. They know that. We;re an example to them.”
“[Ajit Pai] knows something that we know as conservatives: don’t let the government get their dirty little fingers on things they shouldn’t have their dirty little fingers on. If there’e a reason for the government to regulate something, even something related to the internet, determine what that is first.
What the government does is say ‘Hey we want to come in and take this over because we know better than private industry how these things run.’ The internet has been doing pretty good on it’s own. We don’t need to regulate things that don’t need to be regulated. Government is there to regulate things that do, if they’re causing harm then, yes, that’s a good place for us to come in. The internet is not one of those things.”
Refreshing isn’t it? How nice would it be to have a strong conservative voice of reason like that leading the State of North Carolina instead of the Democrat that caters to the social justice warriors and environmentalist whackos?
Be sure to check back with First in Freedom Daily for Part II of Dan Forest in his own words, where he unleashes on the rise of judicial tyranny, the dangers of illegal immigration on the state and national level, the importance of the rule of law, and the Leftist Media’s latest smear practices as they team up with their media pals to prevent a conservative from moving into the Governor’s Mansion.