RALEIGH – When it comes to Roy Cooper and his first year in the Governor’s mansion on Blount Street, the phrase ‘fake it ’til you make it’ comes to mind.
Cooper is out with a note boasting about all the ‘success’ he has had as governor in 2017:
“Moving North Carolina Forward — Our First Year in Office
My goals as governor are to help all North Carolinians be better educated, healthier and have more money in their pockets so that they can live more abundant, purposeful lives. Over the past year, we’ve had a good start as my administration has made working families a priority.
Recruiting Good-Paying Jobs
Our first goal has been bringing good-paying jobs to North Carolina.
CEOs and business owners want to come to North Carolina because they know about our state’s excellent quality of life and highly skilled workforce. Unfortunately, when I took office in January, House Bill 2 remained a major obstacle to bringing good-paying jobs to our state. By repealing this disastrous law and with my strong anti-discrimination Executive Order, we reopened the economic development pipeline to North Carolina. While more needs to be done to end discrimination, we took a major step in removing discrimination from our state’s reputation.
With that result, along with a precisely coordinated recruiting process, we announced more than 21,000 new jobs this year, the most recruited by the state in any one year since 2006.
So one of Cooper’s priorities is keeping more money in our pockets? That makes sense being that he enthusiastically signed this year’s budget bill from the Republican General Assembly that contained another round of tax cuts for North Carolinians. Oh…wait…he vetoed that.
The fact that Cooper leads off his accomplishments by touting job recruitment is Laugh-Out-Loud funny. He starts with the old saw (and myth) that House Bill 2 was absolutely detrimental for our economy before he came to save the day with a (quasi)repeal.
Actually, that is pretty much the entirety of Cooper’s justification – getting rid of H.B. 2. Then he sprinkles a little “precisely coordinated recruiting process” on top of it. Maybe he means the ‘corporate cash giveaways’ that he campaigned so hard against only to embrace once he was in office?
Whatever it is, he seems delusional, or, at least, attempting to delude the public. When talking up his jobs and business ‘wins’ he makes zero mention of our low and falling corporate and personal income taxes, repeatedly reformed regulatory regime, our top business friendliness rankings by Forbes and a dozen others. Nada. Zilch.
This may sound crazy; but maybe the low tax, business friendly environment ushered in by Republican majorities on Jones Street in past years, and a stiff tailwind from the post-election Trump Bump, had something to do with those jobs numbers? Nah, it was definitely getting rid (kinda…sorta) of H.B. 2!
Cooper then pivots to another mainstay of his: education, and how Republicans hate teachers and your children.
“I called for the largest teacher pay raise in a decade. We emphasized early childhood education by proposing to eliminate the Pre-K waitlist. And I made it a priority to focus on our strong community colleges and support workplace readiness with tuition-free scholarships.
While we took important steps, the budget passed by the legislature is short-changing our schools and our future. We must do better for our children.”
It’s all about the kids of course, and how Republicans ‘short-change’ them time after time. You know, like all the times over the past four years that the Republican General Assembly gave historic teacher raises and appropriated multi-year highs to education in the budget, after repairing the coffers that Democrats previously raided?
Oh, but Cooper ‘called for’ a bigger raise so he gets the credit there. Give me a break.
Next, Cooper toots his horn on renewable energy.
“I pushed for and signed a law that encourages lower cost solar energy for our state that continues to rank #2 in the country for solar. When the President said our country would pull out of the Paris Accords, I said not North Carolina! I will continue to fight offshore oil drilling that threatens our coastal economy and our clean beaches. Renewable energy means good paying jobs along with clean air and water.”
First of all, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate are the ones that did all the leg work on energy policy reform legislation. It just so happens that the final bill, with solar lobbyist fingerprints all over it, ended up being a watered down quasi-reform that baked the renewable energy mandate into law for several more years.
The mandate and some of the largest state subsidies in the country, kept alive by former Speaker, now U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and fellow RINOs, is what made our state #2 in solar. A horrible ranking because it represents a horribly wasteful economic policy that perpetuates Big Government and enriches crony solar corporatists at the expense of North Carolina tax and rate payers. Way to go Roy!
To close it out, Cooper goes back on the attack against Republicans with some class warfare language, as if they weren’t repeatedly elected to SUPER-MAJORITIES in the legislature by the good people of North Carolina.
“I remain concerned by the reckless budget legislative leaders passed. We’ve seen the consequences of unending tax giveaways for the wealthy while shortchanging our schools, healthcare and clean water.
I believe that middle class shouldn’t mean second class. I am honored to serve as Governor and proud of our accomplishments so far.”
You’re right, Roy. We have seen the consequences of Republican tax policies and fiscal conservatism – more money in our pockets, economic growth that is the envy of our peers, billions in debt elimination and billions more in rainy-day funds, multiple budget surpluses, flourishing charter schools, massive investments in education, and more accolades about our State’s economic direction than one can count.
In reality, Cooper’s 2017 is better summed up by the term ‘veto override’ and ‘lawsuit.’
Cooper used his pen to veto lots of bills, only to see those vetoes overridden time and time again. Recognizing his gubernatorial impotence early, he and Democrats sued the Republican legislative leadership repeatedly in the hopes that partisan judges would what they couldn’t – legislate to the Left.
Cooper had to come up with something to summarize his year, and instead of the politically disastrous truth, he chose to fake it. With any luck, he’ll be forced to fake until 2020.