Center for American Progress Action

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to North Carolina
Press Release

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to North Carolina

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump will once again forgo his responsibilities to respond to the growing coronavirus crisis. Instead, the president will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, for an event at Bojangles’ Coliseum, where he will likely distort his administration’s record on a variety of issues.

President Trump visited North Carolina last month to discuss his supposed economic revitalization program, or “opportunity zones,” which have been criticized by Charlotte activists and community leaders for displacing Black residents while offering multibillion-dollar tax incentives for redevelopment projects to wealthy investors—including some of Trump’s advisers and family members.

In previous visits to North Carolina, President Trump made sweeping promises to working families on kitchen-table issues such as health care and the economy. In reality, the administration has failed to deliver on Trump’s basic promises to working Americans. 

Learn more about how President Trump’s policies and broken promises have hurt North Carolina families here

Profits and wages

Promise: “I will [be] the greatest jobs president that God ever created. … [O]ur poorer citizens will get new jobs and higher pay and new hope for their life.” – Donald Trump, October 5, 2016


  • In January 2020, IBM announced that it would lay off more than 300 people in Research Triangle Park.
    • IBM paid zero dollars in federal income taxes in 2018 and took advantage of several new deductions and credits in the Trump administration’s tax law that allowed them to claim $342 million from the government in 2018. In other words, IBM had an effective tax rate of negative 68% after the new tax legislation came into effect.
  • The president threatened to veto the U.S. House of Representatives’ effort to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in 10 years. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.  
  • Currently, a student working full time at a minimum-wage job would have to devote their entire salary for two years to pay for a four-year degree at East Carolina University. In-state tuition for four years costs more than $28,000, not including books and room and board.
  • The Trump administration’s economic policies are delivering huge giveaways to the wealthy at the expense of North Carolina families.

Health care

Promise: “[W]e can repeal and replace Obamacare, and save health care for every family in North Carolina.” – Donald Trump in Raleigh, North Carolina, November 7, 2016

Reality: The Trump administration is trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the courts with no replacement.

  • 4.2 million North Carolinians with preexisting conditions will lose protections under ACA repeal.
  • 503,000 North Carolinians will lose their health coverage under ACA repeal.

Manufacturing jobs 

Promise: “We are going to start making things in North Carolina again.” – Donald Trump in Fletcher, North Carolina, October 21, 2016

Reality: Trump’s trade war-by-tweets is threatening North Carolina factories.

  • Experts predicted in 2018 that close to 180,000 American jobs will be lost—including close to 13,000 jobs in North Carolina and many more in the U.S. manufacturing sector—as a result of the Trump administration’s erratic steel and aluminum trade policies.
  • Three North Carolina manufacturing hubs—Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte—are among the top 50 hardest-hit communities from the Trump administration’s trade policies.
  • More than 400 workers were laid off at two manufacturing plants in the Charlotte region: one that makes fire extinguishers and another that makes flash drives.
  • The Trump administration’s tax law gave big corporations hundreds of billions in tax breaks, but it has had virtually no effect on hiring or investment in factories in North Carolina or across the country.

Student debt

Promise: “First, we will lower the cost of college and solve the student loan crisis. It’s a crisis.” – Donald Trump, October 13, 2016 

Reality: North Carolina student debt is skyrocketing under Trump. His administration’s inaction on the student loan debt crisis hurts North Carolina families.

  • 597,300 North Carolinians owe more than $20,000 in student loans.
  • 49.9 percent of borrowers in North Carolina owe more than $20,000.
  • 44.4 percent of borrowers in North Carolina are older than age 35. 

Despite the president’s promise to solve the student loan crisis, the administration has made things harder for borrowers by trying to cap the amount of loans they can take on as well as shrinking the number of repayment plans available to students.


Promise: “We will massively cut taxes for the middle class.” – Donald Trump in Wilmington, North Carolina, November 5, 2016

Reality: Eighty-three percent of the benefits from the Trump administration’s $2 trillion tax cut go to corporations and the top 1 percent. Many North Carolina families are getting stuck with the bill.

  • 361,520 North Carolina families paid more in taxes last year due to the 2017 tax bill.
  • $44,760 is the average tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent.
  • $573 is the average tax cut for the bottom 80 percent. 

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at 202-796-9712 or [email protected].