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Surprising no one, but brutalizing hundreds of thousands of people, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed major unemployment insurance cuts into law Tuesday. Under the new law, the maximum unemployment benefit is cut from $535 to $350, and the maximum weeks of eligibility are cut from 26 to 20, which cuts jobless North Carolinians off from the federal emergency unemployment compensation program.

The cutoff from federal benefits alone affects 170,000 people; overall, there are 400,000 unemployed North Carolinians.

The kicker is that this was done to protect businesses from having to pay higher unemployment taxes. But a big part of the reason it needed to be done was that North Carolina went into the recession with an underfunded unemployment insurance trust fund because of cuts to employer unemployment taxes. Now, with an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, the fifth-highest in the country, the state is cutting the benefits that jobless people use to buy groceries and pay the rent and put gas in their cars to go to any job interviews they may be lucky enough to get.

Republican governance, y'all.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hit the streets! (7+ / 0-)

    The whole sum of North Carolina’s unemployed need to be organizing, marching, protesting, and campaigning to bring an end to austerity in that state.  The Democratic Party needs to bang the progressive anti-austerity drum loudly and continuously until the 2014 mid-term elections and then again in 2016. This garbage will only stop if enough people work actively to end it.

    •  It is eerie that your plea is falling on deaf ears (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26, Rogneid

      especially when it comes to Democrats and progressives.  With what's going on nationwide there should have been ongoing stop-the-machine type of uprising/protests, nonstop, in multiple cities, months ago.

    •  In case you missed it: we are marching (6+ / 0-)

      http://www.youtube.com/...

      I am in there somewhere. Of course, Rev. Barber is called a race-baiter and radical agitator by the right.

      It's not just unemployment cuts that are the headlines here in NC. The Republican-led legislature and Governor are also rejecting the Medicaid expansion that would cover over 500,000 North Carolinians and bring jobs and up to 1.4 billion dollars to the state. They refuse to establish a healthcare exchange program.

      They denied young DREAMers a driving license until our AG Roy Cooper (D) instructed the DMV that those who qualify for deferred action status fulfill NC's requirements for a driver's license.    

      They are also poised to reduce the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers while repealing the estate tax for the wealthy. School vouchers, Voter ID, early voting cutbacks, stacking commissions with corporate cronies, putting fracking on fast track and eliminating the position of state geologist from the mining commission, restricting unions (as if they had so much power in this right-to-work state to start with), replacing the state income tax with a sales tax increase, and akkowing concealed weapons in restaurants and bars (alcohol and guns: what could possibly go wrong).

      And, let's not forget last year's folly, making it illegal to consider sea levels rising due to climate change.

      http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/...

      If money is speech, then speech is money and I should be able to pay my bills with witty social commentary, astute political analysis or good old blarney

      by heiderose1 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:00:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They Also... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, SteelerGrrl, bear83, UnionMade

        ...have a proposal that has passed the NC Senate (after 15 minutes of "debate") that would fire all members of state commissions and advisory boards and have McCrory appoint all their replacements.

        This would include the Utilities Commission which will soon be acting on a request by Duke Power for a rate increase.  It should be noted that McCrory worked for Duke Power for 29 years.

        There is also a proposal to add two members to the NC Supreme Court which, unlike the current members, will NOT be elected by the people but appointed by McCrory.  Republicans already have a majority on the NC Supreme Court.

        “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

        by RoIn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:25:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The NC Utilities Commission (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LamontCranston, UnionMade

          is considering both a Duke Energy 10% rate increase (aren't coal and gas dirt cheap right now?) and a 20-year generation plan that would require the building of new coal and nuke plants - and a 400% rate increase to pay for it all.

          Meanwhile, Mccrory holds at least $10,000 in Duke Energy stock - and likely holds $100,000+. Of course, that's just a coincidence...

          Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

          by bear83 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:00:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Keep up the fight (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SteelerGrrl

        And I hope your numbers grow!

  •  Reminds me of the conversations I had with NC (10+ / 0-)

    voters.

    "Yeah, I voted for McCrory because he was a moderate when he was in Charlotte."

    The only reason he was a moderate was because he was working with a democratic city council. Give him a Republican Legislature and what do you think will happen?

    This shit.

    I had voters who voted for Obama on the top of the ticket vote for McCrory for Governor.

    We reap what we sow, I guess.

    •  I recced you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83

      and also wanted to add a few thoughts. I've lived in Charlotte since 2004, when it was still a bank boom town. McCrory had already been Mayor for almost a decade.

      He was immensely popular, winning most of his re-elections with >60% of the vote. If he hadn't left office to run for Governor in 2008, he could have stayed Mayor as long as he wanted.

      The other dynamic is the long-standing economic rivalry between Charlotte and Raleigh. Especially in 2008, there was a perception that McCrory would "take care of Charlotte" should he become Governor.

      I got suckered into the above mentality and voted for him in 2008. I'd already voted for him as Mayor so it didn't seem so toxic to cross the aisle just that once. I am eternally grateful that Bev Perdue won, and voted enthusiastically for Walter Dalton this time around.

      I knew McCrory would be a snake and he hasn't disappointed yet. That shoutout in his speech about street lights on I-77 and I-85? That's the bone he threw to his supporters in Mecklenburg County.

      Now, let's gut unemployment and turn up the street lights because Duke Energy. He's a fucking disaster for North Carolina.

       I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by SteelerGrrl on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:17:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember (7+ / 0-)

    this is the face of the "family values" party. Apparently the only "family values' that matter are wealthy people.

  •  McCrory Gave His Cabinet Raises... (9+ / 0-)

    ...while cutting unemployment benefits.  

    http://www.newsobserver.com/...

    Let 2010 serve as a reminder of what happens when Democrats don't vote.

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:57:19 PM PST

  •  Don't forget the "Nipple Law." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranton, bear83

    I'm sure they have lots in store for the good women of NC.  One can only hope that once the rural voters get a taste of what they voted for, things may change. Everybody knows somebody who's unemployed or who has no health insurance. The implications for environmental regulation in the state are extremely depressing. Many years of progress are going to be lost. Overall, it's a nightmare for a state that was once quite progressive, for the South. So many people are completely brainwashed by talk radio, which is flat-out evil, my opinion.

    •  Don't forget the Possum law (0+ / 0-)

      Since the NC legislature has taken care of all the important stuff - jobs, education, transportation, health care, clean energy - they've clearly got time to deal with possums and boobs.

      Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

      by bear83 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:04:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. This will reverse the progress that this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wordwraith, UnionMade

      state made very quickly.  The rural voters here just don't "get it" and their "spiritual leaders" are not helping them at all.  What a shame for a state that was breaking the chains of ignorance and bigotry to fall back like this.  It's all about greed and power by a few (Art Pope and his millionaire buddies).  Elections do have consequences, but those that made the mistake of voting the Tea Bag/Republicans in to office will never figure out their mistake, even if they pay for it with their own suffering in the short term and long term. The TV and radio hate mongers and FOX news liars have their undivided attention:  Kansas isn't the only state that has citizens that vote against their own interests...

      Sigh....

      "The sun is shining........"

      by LamontCranston on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:37:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  GOP will transform NC into an Art Pope store: (0+ / 0-)

        dirty (up with fracking! down with regulations!)

        ugly (watch for local ordinances against electronic billboards to be overridden)

        lousy working  conditions (see diary, above)

        crummy merchandise (budget cuts will produce a generation of poorly-educated young people).

        (Art Pope, the Governor's newly-appointed deputy budget director--as well as big GOP donor and ally of the Koch brothers--owns chains of cheap discount stores and dollar stores. Dirty, ugly stores with lousy working conditions and crummy merchandise have been very very good to Art Pope.)

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