NC Unemployment problems

DAG McCrory continues to lie about unemployed workers

And it's time somebody started asking him for some proof:

McCrory said his administration had to make some tough decisions. Unlike previous Democratic administrations, he said he was committed to lowering the state’s debt, not increasing it by taking federal handouts. He said the state owed the U.S. government over $3 billion in unemployment aid when he came to office. Now, he said, that debt is on track to be paid off three years early.

McCrory said the decision to cut unemployment benefits served to encourage people to get back to work earlier. He said before the reduction, company owners told him they couldn’t fill jobs because people were waiting until their benefits had completely expired before accepting an offered position.

Bolding mine. Once again, before you can receive your weekly benefit payment, you have to answer a questionnaire. One of the questions is "During the week ending mm/dd/yy, did you refuse an offer for work?" If you have, they can suspend your benefits, and if you lie about it, they can lock your ass up. If McCrory did have a company owner tell him this (which I seriously doubt), that employer would also know which potential worker had refused the job, and that person could have been dealt with. So McCrory's argument is completely flawed. And worse than that, it's an attempt to blame the victims for the crime against them. It's long past time for the media to set the record straight on this and expose the lie for what it is.

Unemployment benefit delays cruel and unnecessary

Once gain, the people who can least afford it are shouldering the burden of a flawed system:

The number of unemployed North Carolina workers who waited longer than three weeks for their initial benefit check increased after a new unemployment insurance law took effect last summer.

Leaders with the North Carolina Commerce Department's Division of Employment Security say the delays are largely due to new procedures put in place to cut down on millions of dollars in over-payments to unemployed workers who are ineligible for benefits or are trying to game the system.

"The last thing an unemployed worker needs is for us to send them a letter asking for money back," said Dale Folwell, a former lawmaker who now heads the division.

No, the last thing an unemployed worker needs is to receive no money at all to feed his or her family. You may be making your job easier by cutting down on future appeals for a small percent of those claimants, but you're punishing a large percent of families to achieve that. That's not "reform", it's gross mismanagement and a failure to provide a statutory requirement:

What happens when a WONKBLOGGER tries to pass off a bogus theory about unemployment benefits in NC

Brad Plumer of Wonkblog has a really hard time supporting the theory of one of his sources in his ostensibly well meaning look at the problems associated with the slashing of unemployment benefits in NC.

1) Many workers may have dropped out of the labor force.
2) ...or perhaps employment actually increased.

His problems arise big time when he is taken to task by an unusually large number of unusually well informed readers concerning theory 2. The backpedaling begins almost immediately with the first couple of comments. The article and most importantly the comments are well worth a read. See link below to connect.

Another idiotic appointment by the NC GOP

And the forehead smacks continue:

NCCapitol 4:52pm via Web
Former Rep. Dale Folwell, R-Forsyth, to lead Employment Security under Sec. Sharon Decker. #ncga #ncpol

This is beginning to look like a sitcom or a really irritating reality show. You hate children? How about a job running a day-care center! Can't swim? Lifeguard! Allergic to peanuts? A taste-tester at a nut-cluster factory! (Yes, there is such a place, I saw it on PBS the other day). You are ideologically opposed to laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits? You can run the Employment Security Commission!

NC GOP garners more embarassing national attention

Not that NC Republicans read Esquire Magazine, but still:

Naturally, if you make the unemployed even more desperate more quickly, the "job creators" will respond by hiring all of them at the same wages they were being paid before they were laid off, or even perhaps at a higher wage, because that is the way "job creators" always have operated in this exceptional country of ours. Otherwise, one might suggest that the governor has decided that it's North Carolina's turn to prance around in Mississippi drag.

As much as I hate to say it, I think we can expect much more negative national attention, and probably more than our fair share of negative international attention. But I doubt it will have much impact on the behavior of Republicans here, as reality isn't their strong suit.

The NCDP's persistent DINO problem

Siding with Republicans to punish the jobless:

The bill, which is up for its final vote in the Senate today, passed 36-13 on Tuesday. Joining the Republicans were Democrats: Ben Clark of Cumberland County, Clark Jenkins of Bertie County, Gene McLaurin of Anson County and Michael Walters of Columbus County.

When the bill passed the House last week, it also received support from Democrats — three to be exact: William Brisson of Bladen County, Ken Goodman of Hoke County and Paul Tine of Beaufort County.

And they should have received an immediate phone call (or face-to-face) with our new Chairman, and be forced to explain why they would take part in such a horrible action. As far as I'm concerned, they should be forced out of the Party. Somebody needs to stand up for not only those families but the integrity of the Party itself.

DAG McCrory throws 81,000 unemployed under the bus

And deals a blow to the state's economy in the process:

At present, about 81,000 people are receiving those benefits, which bring about $100 million into the state's economy every month. Despite that impact, House and Senate leaders say they won't delay the overhaul. McCrory said he won't delay it, either. "I refuse to let us continue to live off of a credit card. We're going to pay off the credit card. We're going to change the rules and policies," he said.

You mean, you refuse to let families of the unemployed live off a credit card. And when those home foreclosure notices start rolling in, where will McCrory and other Republican leaders be? Probably at some fundraising function in a McMansion or four-star restaurant, talking about how people "need to live within their means." They couldn't be more removed from reality if they tried.

Challenge to McCrory and NCGA: $350 a week

Unless you're too afraid to walk in another man's shoes:

Community leaders and advocates for the unemployed are calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to live for one week on the maximum employment benefit of $350 weekly that lawmakers are considering. Challenge sponsor Action NC will hold a news conference Monday in Raleigh. Action NC policy director Kevin Rogers says McCrory doesn't understand what it's like to live on so little money.

And for those who are so removed from reality they have their accountant balance their checkbook: if your monthly mortgage is $1,050, your light bill is $200, your cable bill is $100, and your cell phone costs $50, well. You better hope you're invited to a dinner party every night, 'cause you got nothin' left for groceries.

Unemployed facing perfect storm

And most of it can be traced back to the GOP:

If the expiration occurs, North Carolinians would receive up to 26 weeks of regular state benefits rather than what had been up to 99 weeks of state and federal benefits. This means anyone whose job was terminated or ended after June 30 will not get any more federal unemployment benefits.

Leaving them to rely exclusively on the absent sympathy of NC Republicans:

Berger backs incentives in his own District

While blocking those that won't help him get votes:

“This economic expansion is certainly a welcome announcement, but it is a slap in the face for (Sen.) Phil Berger to support job creation in his own district but block jobs for people elsewhere in the state,” state Democratic Party Chairman David Parker said before the announcement.

And in response to his weak argument trying to justify his actions:

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