Gov. Cooper suddenly sounds like … us on corporate tax rates

Earlier this year I struggled to find consistency in Gov. Roy Cooper’s position on corporate tax cuts and giveaways:

In his 2017 State of the State address, he made them sound like an occult ritual: “We cannot sacrifice education at the altar of even more corporate tax cuts or giveaways that are mostly for the wealthiest.”

But does Cooper actually oppose them or not? The end of June would have confused anyone looking for consistency.

At the end of June, you see, the governor had already praised himself for directing nearly $70 million in three months to 35 different companies. Meanwhile, he was vetoing the budget because it included a corporate franchise tax cut. During this time, he was deliberately ducking media inquiries into just how much in incentives his administration had promised Apple.

But for confusion, the end of June doesn’t have anything on the end of September.

The governor’s office sent out a press release for “N.C. Manufacturing Week.” In it, Cooper touts his leadership in making the state great for manufacturers. It contains this:

Since Governor Cooper took office, North Carolina has added 22,210 manufacturing jobs with $6.44 billion investment, growing our manufacturing workforce to more than 470,000 people for 10,219 manufacturers.

North Carolina manufacturers have benefited from an excellent business climate with low costs and the nation’s lowest corporate income tax rate of 2.5%.

Hm. You got me. But I’m glad to see the governor swerve onto our side of the discussion on low tax rates, which is the empirically sound side of the argument.

Maybe he’ll figure out the proper combination of corporate taxes and corporate welfare after all.

I hope he sticks around long enough to pick up on keeping regulations and spending in check as well.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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