Ken Butler: Businesses also to blame for unemployment insurance

January 22, 2014 

While Lew Ebert’s Jan. 19 letter “Job success,” in which he lauded the “reforms” enacted by the General Assembly, purported to set out “facts” about unemployment insurance in North Carolina, he conveniently left out one very important fact.

While UI is paid for by a payroll tax, business interests have, on multiple occasions, sought and obtained reductions in the payroll tax amount that was supposed to be paid into the UI fund. Certainly, if UI had been properly funded over the years, the amount borrowed from the federal government would not have been as great.

However, the current situation now provides the business community an opportunity to play a “heads I win, tails you lose” game with North Carolina workers by cutting their benefits when they are most needed. I recognize that our business interests, aided and abetted by the Republican majority in the General Assembly, would love to turn our state into a Third World economy, where workers have to take whatever scraps are offered to them, but don’t call this “reform” or praise it as courageous action.

Ken Butler, Raleigh

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