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Pat McCrory endorses devastating unemployment cuts

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Disappointing if not surprising

Recently Bob Geary, writing for Indy Week, asked where is Governor Pat McCrory on the plan to inflict permanent pain on jobless workers with devastating cuts to our unemployment insurance system. Would North Carolina's new governor back jobless workers or side with the Republicans on Jones Street pushing deep cuts at the behest of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce?

Now we know the answer on whether jobless workers can count on McCrory. Nope!

As the News & Observer reported yesterday:

In the metro area with the highest jobless rate in the state, Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday that he would support legislation to reduce benefit payments for unemployed workers to speed payment of the state's debt to the federal government.

McCrory acknowledged that it was "not an easy decision for me because there are people hurting right now." He made the announcement at an Rocky Mount Area Chamber event, where the unemployment rate is 12.5 percent, well above the state rate of 9.2 percent.

With the Governor's support, the Chamber's scheme to have unemployed workers pay the price for a deficit created by years of business tax cuts will become law.

What's worse is McCrory backs the plan knowing that its enactment will mean 80,000 jobless workers receiving federal emergency unemployment benefits under an extension approved by Congress in the deal to step away from the fiscal cliff will lose those benefits.

North Carolina's jobless workers and their families have no friend in Governor Pat McCrory.

McCrory challenged to live on $350/week

How out of touch is Gov. McCrory? Our friends at Action NC want to find out, the Associated Press reports:

Before telling the unemployed that they must live on $350 a week, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory should try doing it himself, advocates for the jobless said at a news conference Monday.

Advocates challenged McCrory and legislators — who will soon consider a bill to lower the maximum unemployment benefit to $350 weekly from about $535 — to live on that amount themselves for one week.

"On behalf of the over 400,000 North Carolinians currently unemployed, we dare him to make the same sacrifice for one week that he is asking the rest of us to make until he can turn this economy around," said Kevin Rogers, policy director for Action NC, the challenge sponsor. "Governor, the ball is in your court. This is your challenge."

Gov. McCrory has so far refused to take the 350 challenge.

Learn more or even take the 350 challenge yourself at