39,000 hostages in North Carolina

As of yesterday, 39,000 North Carolinians were cut off from unemployment benefits because the GOP-led legislature here tied extension of benefits to their disastrous budget.

The Republican majority agreed to extend jobless benefits ONLY if Gov. Bev Perdue would agree to their budget proposal, which isn’t even finished yet.

Most of the unemployed rely on those benefits to put food on the table. The average payout is $300 per week, and without it, people have nowhere to turn. Few have managed to put away enough savings to see them through until the economy turns around for those of us who have to work for a living.

There’s no excuse for this behavior; the budget should be debated on its own, not tied to the economic survival of 39,000 people who are victims of the economic ruin Wall Street perpetuated upon the country.

Other states have passed the technical language needed to continue benefits for up to 99 weeks, but not North Carolina. Our legislature takes the cynical approach, hoping people will blame the governor for vetoing the extension to unemployment.

I wrote to my representative, Republican Tim Moffitt, and told him I will remember this come Election Day, and I won’t blame Bev Perdue; I’ll blame the Republicans who held 39,000 people hostage.

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