That "Rainy Day Fund" is dripping with blood:
A 2013 state law cut both the size and duration of unemployment benefits in North Carolina. Lawmakers said they made the change because the trust fund that pays for the program had a $2 billion deficit.
The fund has recovered and had $3.17 billion in the bank as of December, but that was a result of “a radical reduction in the generosity of your program to the claimants,” said Wayne Vroman of The Urban Institute, a Washington-based economic think tank that studied the state’s unemployment insurance program.
That's actually a $5 billion dollar swing, generated on the backs of those already struggling to survive. Five billion that would have been almost exclusively injected back into the economy, helping untold others laboring on the margins. More depressing and infuriating numbers:
Unemployed North Carolinians received an average of 9.3 weeks of benefits in 2016, which was the second shortest period in the country. That was down from 16.2 weeks in 2012, which was the 24th longest period at the time, according to The Urban Institute. In 2016, the national average length of unemployment benefits was 14.7 weeks.
The unemployment checks are smaller, too. North Carolina’s average weekly benefit in 2016 was $247, down from $298 in 2012 and ranked lowest in the country. The national average in 2016 was $332.
Legislators on the committee did not express any concerns about The Urban Institute’s findings. “I think where we are is a good thing,” said Rep. Dana Bumgardner, a Gaston County Republican. “What is the point of your presentation?”
What's the point? The point is glaringly obvious, you moron. North Carolina is treating its recently unemployed workers worse than any other state in the Union. The fact you think that's a "good thing" simply shows how detached you are from the people you're supposed to be representing, the people. Bumgardner is the worst of the worst, a factory owner who profits from the labors of his employees, while supporting laws that will shield he and his fellow businessmen from paying their fair share when they decide to start handing out pink slips. It doesn't get much more shallow than that.