The lead editorial in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer tells it like it is with respect to the issue of unemployment insurance and North Carolina’s harshest-in-the-nation decision to cut off benefits to folks in need:
“It was one of the more shameful moments in the not-exactly-illustrious rule of Republicans in the General Assembly and the governor’s mansion. Last summer, GOP lawmakers cut state unemployment benefits knowing it would mean that jobless North Carolinians, many of them innocent victims of the Great Recession, would lose emergency federal benefits.
North Carolina was the only state to reduce unemployment benefits even though federal law required states to maintain benefit amounts to qualify for the extended federal payments. Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican lawmakers justified leaving thousands and thousands of families in the cold by saying that extended unemployment benefits discouraged people from going back to work.
In fact, most of the beneficiaries have been looking for work in an economy with not enough jobs. They’re not, as the GOP implies, all lying around living large on the average $300 a week people get in unemployment payments….
McCrory has the opportunity now, should some form of unemployment help pass Congress, to do the right thing by saying the state will go along with the help. If he won’t do that because it’s right, he might consider it a politically savvy thing to do. Even some Republicans recognize that, flush with power, GOP leaders took things too far with their refusal to help the poor, the unemployed and teachers.
McCrory has a chance to redeem himself and the party. But first, let’s hope the unemployment bill passes the House. The jobless need it, and the country needs it because it will stimulate the overall economy. This is important for everyone.”
Read the entire editorial by clicking here.