Gov.-elect Pat McCrory is not ruling out having the state pay up to 25 percent of the multi-billion dollar price tag on a light rail system for the Raleigh area. This comes a matter of days after McCrory offered a “bleak assessment of [the] state economy.”
Let’s see. We’ve STILL got record unemployment that is STILL exceeding the national average. The GOP leadership on Jones Street is pitching the idea of raising the unemployment tax rate in order to help pay off the state’s $3 BILLION-and-climbing debt to the federal government. We’re talking about putting people back to work, but the NCGA’s majority is getting behind legislation to make it more expensive to hire — or even retain — employees. On one day we’re talking about getting the state’s financial house in order, but now our governor-elect is talking about shelling out a huge chunk of change for something — light rail — that is clearly a luxury expense.
McCrory’s support for light rail — and specifically The Red Line project — in Charlotte was a source of serious friction between the then-mayor and Charlotte-area conservatives. The DC-based Cato Institute labeled the McCrory-backed Red Line as “an expensive, risky project that is likely to produce few benefits for anyone other than the contractors who build it.”