NC is positioned for a quicker recovery than many other states because of our freedom to work laws, strong higher education, relatively healthy natural environment, and lower taxes than much of US (though high for the Southeast).
Ruth has a strong vision for North Carolina economic development and a belief that the core principles of our American free enterprise system will once again bring new opportunity to those who find a need and work to fill it.
Attracting a good mix of industries with more and better job opportunities for our citizens is tied to the total quality of life we offer as a state. Although economic incentives may be part of the package, the most important components are good workers, a reliable transportation network, quality education at all levels, reasonable tax and regulatory burdens, effective public safety/criminal justice systems, healthy natural environments and recreational opportunities.
Without these basic components, North Carolina risks becoming a departure point rather than a desired destination.
Congestion relief and road maintenance need more attention and resources from the state. The safety and reliability of our transportation system is a serious issue affecting each of us. Individuals and businesses need a functional transportation infrastructure. A global economy based on imports and exports requires ease of access to and from coastal and inland ports.
It is critical that we stop the transfer of money out of the Highway Trust Fund and allow those funds to be used for projects that will reduce congestion and improve safety on North Carolina's most dangerous roads.
We will also benefit from reducing the bloated and inefficient DOT bureaucracy and increasing local control over transportation priorities. (removed setting)
Finally, we must ensure that the proceeds from the gasoline tax are used as intended for the maintenance and improvement of our highways and roads, not special projects.
The 21st Century Transportation Commission has made some excellent recommendations that I support.
-Taxes and spending
Taxes and spending are really two sides of the same coin. (The taxpayer's coin!)
High taxes are a disincentive for job creation and family preservation. They are the result of faulty prioritization within government leadership. Too many "wants" are funded before the essential "musts" are supplied.
Well funded essentials will often decrease expenses in other areas. (ex. maintenance is more cost efficient than construction. Jobs are cheaper than welfare. )
Government leaders should prioritize essentials and admit that most tax increases are funding the frills. As a member of the General Assembly, I will work to reduce the corporate income tax, repeal the state Gift Tax and expand the state child tax credit for families with dependent children.