Lawmaker who once depended on unemployment benefits leads charge to cut them for others

Rep. Jason Saine

GOP bill is premised on notion that unemployed North Carolinians don’t want to work

The capacity of North Carolina Republican legislative leaders for myopic, can’t-make-this-stuff-up cruelty continues to know no bounds. The latest truly outrageous example: a new plan to slash unemployment insurance benefits for North Carolina workers still struggling to find decent work.

As WRAL.com reported yesterday:

North Carolina House leaders are backing a bill to cut off the $300 federal jobless checks some believe are causing a labor shortage in North Carolina.

It’s not clear yet how many of the roughly 240,000 people on NC’s unemployment rolls would lose that support. At a hastily called meeting of the House Finance committee late Wednesday, bill sponsor Rep. Jason Saine couldn’t say.

The checks are currently scheduled to end September 6th, but this bill would cut them off early – 30 days after it becomes law.

…Saine, R-Lincoln, said the checks are contributing to a “harnessed economy” and a slower post-pandemic recovery. He said the bill is an attempt “to get us back to a somewhat normal economy, a normal way of doing business, a normal way of existing.”

Translation: “North Carolinians are mooching off these princely $300 checks and are too lazy to get back to work, so we’re gonna crack the whip and make them.”

It’s hard to wrap one’s harms around such callous contempt for one’s fellow humans.

But wait, Rep. Jason Saine…doesn’t that name sound familiar?

Oh, that’s right — Saine is the same individual who, himself, collected North Carolina unemployment insurance benefits during the Great Recession before finding work as a state legislator.

Click here to read former Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska’s story from a time during which Saine was helping to lead another GOP charge to cut unemployment benefits.

What makes this all the more outrageous, of course, is that Saine knows — or at least knew in 2013 (perhaps he’s forgotten now that he’s spent a decade collecting public checks of another kind) — how tough it is to be unemployed.

This is from Ovaska’s 2013 report:

Saine said he lost his job in May of 2010, before he served with the N.C. General Assembly. He had been in sales with Helms Security, Inc., a small security and burglar company in Lincolnton that scaled back its operations when revenue dropped for the company as a result of the recession.

For the next approximately 15 months, he remained unemployed while looking for work. His weekly benefits were around $300 a week, and Saine said was looking for jobs every day in addition to the occasionally consulting job, but couldn’t find anyone to hire him. The job loss was emotional, he said, for someone like himself who took pride in working and wanted to work.

“I don’t think you truly know until you’ve been there,” Saine said. “I would go to interviews begging for work and get told I was overqualified.”

Amazingly, however, this experience isn’t stopping Saine from now helping to spearhead the new planned cuts.

In short, Saine’s contemptibly hypocritical actions are completely in sync with with the guiding ethic of the modern Trumpist GOP: “I’ve got mine — get your own, suckers.”

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Challenger says Democratic incumbent is behind the times on issues like the death penalty and mariju [...]

It’s now been nearly a quarter-century since the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in the landmark [...]

The mega-donor's 'hush-hush homecoming' reignites concern among faculty When Walter H [...]

When former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck in [...]

Veteran Triangle-area Congressman David Price called it a career yesterday and revealed that he will [...]

Mail delivery under Louis DeJoy's USPS ain't what it used to be TALLAHASSEE, FL. – For mor [...]

The post NC redistricting: Easy as 1,2,3 appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Why the onus is now on the state Utilities Commission to protect ratepayers and the environment Nort [...]

A Clear and Present Danger

 

NC’s Tarheel Army Missile Plant is a toxic disgrace
Read the two-part story about the Army’s failure to clean up hazardous chemicals, which have contaminated a Black and Hispanic neighborhood for 30 years.

Read in English.


Haga clic aquí para leer: Peligro inminente
Una antigua planta de misiles del Ejército ha contaminado un vecindario negro y latino durante 30 años.

Leer en español.