North Carolina Takes A Turn As Mississippi
In our attention to what’s goin’ down in the several states, especially those several states where Republican governors have Republican state legislatures with which to play, we have been inexcusably neglectful in keeping an eye on North Carolina — aka The Smart Carolina. They had all that academia going on in the middle of the state, and all that medical smartitude breaking out all throughout the Research Triangle, and we were so dazzled that we didn’t notice that, politically, the people running the place were casting envious eyes southward toward The Dumbass Carolina and thinking, “We need to get us some of that!”
Oh, sure, there was the time when the Republicans in the legislature passed that bill that made it illegal for the oceans to rise in contradiction to Jesus’s expressed wishes, but we took that as a kind of prank, really. Now, though, Governor Pat McCrory has made it clear that, by cracky, he’s not going to be out-peckerwood-ed by those folks one state down 95.
The overhaul will allow North Carolina to repay $2.5 billion borrowed from the federal government for unemployment benefits at a quicker pace. The law, which takes effect on July 1, cuts maximum weekly benefits to $350 from $535 and caps benefits at 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate, instead of the current 26 weeks. McCrory said the measure “will protect our small businesses from continued over-taxation, ensure our citizens’ unemployment safety net is secure and financially sound for future generations, and help provide an economic climate that allows job creators to start hiring again.” Critics said the harsh nature of the cuts would harm some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. North Carolina has more than 400,000 jobless workers, making its 9.2 percent unemployment rate higher than the national average of 7.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.