M. Lee Stephenson: Workers earn unemployment benefits

May 14, 2014 

Regarding the May 13 news article “ McCrory endorses GOP jobless legislation”: Republican state legislators are once again considering “reforming” (read: attacking) the employment security benefits program to ensure that the unemployed are “really serious” about finding a job.

If there is any fraud, let’s see the numbers. If people are collecting benefits without doing the required work search, let’s hear how they are doing that. More power to anyone who can live on his or her current unemployment pittance, which is less now than it was years ago and is now subject to federal and state income tax.

Apparently our leaders persist in thinking of unemployment as a “government handout” program, which it is most emphatically not. Unemployment benefits are part of the compensation every worker in this state earns working a job. It is an insurance program paid by the employer on behalf of the employee.

It would be interesting to see if litigation were to be brought what the courts would say about the governor and the legislature changing the rules after the fact on something people have already earned. Once again the GOP is using the working class and the unemployed as scapegoats to excuse its failure to implement ideas which really benefit our economy and the public welfare.

M. Lee Stephenson


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