The absurd demise of unemployment benefits

Another good editorial from Raleigh’s N&O on the scandalous end of unemployment benefits that commences today:

“Reflecting little more than their distaste for federal safety net programs and their lack of care for the unemployed in North Carolina, Republicans in the General Assembly cut the maximum unemployment benefit to $350 from $535 and curbed the length of time people are eligible. The reason? To pay back more quickly the $2 billion the state owes the federal government for money borrowed to cover benefits following the Bush recession.

But the GOP knew that if the state rules were changed, federal benefits for the long-term unemployed, which might have continued, would be cut off. They didn’t care, and nor were they concerned that tens of millions of dollars would be lost to the state’s economy. Some 70,000 North Carolinians will be hurt.

Republicans say that by cutting benefits, the state will be encouraging the unemployed to find work. That’s insulting, of course, because the vast majority of the jobless have been trying to find employment. The average benefit check of about $300 a week doesn’t exactly provide for a take-it-easy lifestyle. And GOP lawmakers don’t care to consider what happens to people when their benefits are cut off and they are still without work. Homes will be lost. Medicine will go unbought. Kids will go hungry. That’s the reality, as opposed to the rhetoric.”

3 Comments

  1. david esmay

    July 1, 2013 at 10:39 am

  2. Doug

    July 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

    If the dems had not spent so much time paying off their political cronies and mismanaging the state then we would not have had to take these steps. You call it the “Bush recession” but in this state Sleazley, Black, and Co. were setting the state up for this. The seeds for this were planted by robbing the insurance fund and poor funding decisions many years before the recession. You guys need to look in your own house for the reasons the current legislature has to clean this up.

  3. Doug Gibson

    July 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Doug,

    Right. Because the GOP is saving so much money by pushing this through on June 30th.

    They won the election. Fine. They may feel they were then given the power to decide how to deal with the unemployment fund shortfall. Fine. But what nobody understands is why they decided to forego federal unemployment assistance. $600 million. And it’s not money that isn’t going to get spent otherwise—it’ll get spent regardless, it just won’t go into the pockets of unemployed North Carolinians.

    That’s all on the GOP. 100%. But nice try changing the subject.