Commentary, COVID-19

Editorial: Berger should apologize instead of issuing ultimatums on unemployment insurance

Sen. Phil Berger

Be sure to check out today’s lead Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com “Legislative bluster doesn’t help unemployed make ends meet.”

It offers a scathing takedown of North Carolina legislative leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore for their recent disingenuous effort to feign concern for the unemployed by purporting to demand that Gov. Roy Cooper get on board with President Trump’s half-baked unemployment insurance scheme. After rightfully dismissing recent Berger claims as “disingenuous partisan posturing” and evidencing a remarkable degree of “chutzpah,” the editorial puts it this way:

“Here are the facts. It wasn’t Roy Cooper who enacted the stingiest unemployment benefits in the nation. Phil Berger and his allies in the General Assembly did and it was signed into law by former Gov. Pat McCrory.

Roy Cooper didn’t enact the shortest duration of unemployment benefit payments in the nation. Phil Berger and his followers in the General Assembly did — with the giddy backing of the state Chamber of Commerce….

Instead of issuing ultimatums to the governor, Berger should be apologizing to the 854,000 workers who are out of jobs, have been receiving unemployment benefits and are desperate to figure out how to keep a roof over their families’ heads and struggling to put food on the dinner table.

Instead of pointless political posturing, he should be pledging to reform the unemployment system he created to provide benefits that at least match the national average – in addition to continuing the special $600-a-week pandemic payment, pending federal adoption.”

The editorial then goes on to document the numerous ways in which Berger, former Speaker Thom Tillis and Moore eviscerated the state’s once-middle-of-the-pack benefits system and made it the stingiest in the nation and to demand that the legislature repair the damage they inflicted.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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