Gov. Pat McCrory was in Asheville yesterday when he told the Council on Independent Business Owners that changes to the state’s tax and unemployment systems were being misunderstood by the state’s journalists.
From the Mountain XPress , Asheville’s weekly alternative newspaper:
“This is too complex for the journalists,” McCrory said, to laughter from the CIBO members. “They don’t have economics degrees, they’ve not been in business. I respect them greatly, but you get it. This is what we have to do to rebuild our economy. It’s not easy. I empathize with the people being impacted, but my goal is to get these people back into jobs.”
McCrory particularly defended a controversial cut in unemployment benefits. He said that the state asked to lower the benefits to the levels of surrounding states, but the federal government refused, as its commitment to backing and extending unemployment benefits during the financial crisis required states to keep their benefits the same.
He also told the crowd that he wanted to introduce performance pay for teachers but that “the unions are stopping us from doing that,” according to the Mountain Xpress article.
North Carolina, unlike many other states, doesn’t have teacher unions, and has laws  that prohibit collective bargaining in public sector jobs like teaching.
Mark Binker over at WRAL, in a post this afternoon , pointed out that McCrory, despite lodging criticism, doesn’t have an economics degree.
We here at N.C. Policy Watch have previously written about other misstatements McCrory has made about this year’s drastic changes to the state’s unemployment system. McCrory has (inaccurately) blamed the Obama Administration for not preventing the July 1 unemployment cliff that led to 70,000 people losing federal unemployment benefits.
Those changes were a result of legislation passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed into law by McCrory. (Click here  to read more.)