An Interview with Rep. Carl Ford (R-76)

Posted on October 11, 2016

Steve Mensing, Editor

♦ Rep. Carl Ford and I go back quite a few years and a lot of conversations together. I recall when he was contemplating leaving the Rowan County Commission and running for a seat on the North Carolina State Legislature.  We also appeared together of the Ford Broadcasting radio show “The Week in Politics” broadcast on Saturdays on Carl’s Radio station and on the internet.

When Carl got to Raleigh, he was a steady source of information about what was going on in the legislature.  We know each other as friends.  He’s one of the rare breed of elected officials who is a straight shooter and truly cares about the folks who elected him.

Steve Mensing: I appreciate you taking the time from your busy schedule and interviewing with us.

Carl Ford: Well thank you Steve.  I appreciate the fact that whenever I’ve interviewed with you whether over email or over the phone you’ve never changed a word of what I’ve said.  That’s a rare thing in todays often slanted media.

Steve Mensing: As a rule I don’t want to burn my bridges with the folks I interview.  If somebody tells me something’s off the record–it stays off the record.  I shy from twisting and distorting folks words or putting words in their mouth they never said.  I’ve seen too much of that elsewhere.  That’s why a lot of people have a marked distrust of what they hear and read in the media.  But enough about that.  Today I’d like to focus on what you see happening economically in North Carolina.

Carl Ford: The Republicans inherited a state with the 5th highest unemployment rate in the nation, some of the highest individual and corporate tax rates in the Southeast, an employment insurance debt of 2.8 billion owed to the feds, and $500 million in annual Medicaid overspending.  I’m not afraid to toot our horn, but Republican reforms are working in North Carolina.

Steve Mensing: How about the N.C. tax code?  It’s got plenty of thumbs up reviews in the national media.

Carl Ford: North Carolina can boast one of the most pro-entrepreneur, pro-investment tax codes in the country.  We’ve helped create a tax-climate that is pro-small business.  Our ranking has climbed from 44th to 11th nationally.  And we’re fixing to do even better.

Steve Mensing:  In reading the most recent state budget (It’s huge) I noticed the folks putting that together created rainy day funds which is unusual.

Carl Ford: Yes the budget is fiscally responsible.  The Republicans planned a budget with a rainy day fund in mind.  $1.6 billion was earmarked of unexpected emergencies like Hurricane Matthew that just walloped our state.

Steve Mensing: A lot of folks are rightfully concerned about poor families in North Carolina.  What has our legislature and state senate done to create a climate so people can move on up?

Carl Ford: The number and percentage of families and children living in poverty decreased each year since 2013.  I believe Republicans helped create a state economy that works for everyone, getting people back to work and back on their feet.  North Carolina added more than 350,000 jobs and the number of unemployed in North Carolina is 45% lower.  We have the lowest unemployment rate in 9 years at just 4.6%.  That’s hundreds of thousands of our citizens relieved of the stress and anxiety of being out of work and now able to provide for their families.

Steve Mensing: How is North Carolina doing in the area of per capita income growth?  That’s an important marker.

Carl Ford: Our state experienced 10 consecutive quarters of per capita income growth equal to or greater than the national average, the best stretch of growth in 20 years.  Our economy is growing and so is personal income for our hardworking citizens.

Steve Mensing: I look forward to listening to “The Week in Politics” this Saturday.  I appreciate you taking the time today.

Carl Ford: Anytime Steve.

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