Lies, damn lies, and Tim Moore: Rewriting history on unemployment cuts


Look up "disingenuous" in the dictionary, and it shows his picture in the margin:

By 2019, one in 10 unemployed workers in North Carolina was receiving benefits, the lowest share in the nation. But the state’s trust fund was in far better shape than when the legislature passed tighter restrictions in 2013.

“It was certainly a painful thing to do, and it was a tough vote,” said Tim Moore, now the Republican speaker of the North Carolina State House. “The balance that we had to strike was between making sure we’re taking care of somebody who truly can’t find a job, versus allowing in folks who simply did not want to work.”

If that was all it was about, giving benefits to those who truly needed them, you wouldn't have cut the maximum weekly benefit from $535 down to $350. And you wouldn't have reduced the duration of payments from 26 weeks down to 13. This was pure reverse Robin Hood; taking money from the neediest of families to help justify cutting taxes for the wealthy. And I am bone tired of Republicans bragging about that "trust fund," because it was a heinous violation of trust that fueled the $3+ Billion in blood money that filled it. I'll let Reverend Barber conclude this argument:

People who fiercely opposed the changes at the time counter that workers now face mass unemployment with weakened benefits.

“It’s now coming back to haunt us,” said the Rev. William J. Barber II, who led weekly protests against the legislature at the time. “What they did was terrible, immoral and bad. But now, with this pandemic on top of it, it’s going to be even greater in terms of its pain.”

Along with the cuts to unemployment benefits, Republican draconian qualification requirements have made our systems virtually unmanageable in disbursing pandemic relief:

The crush of claims has demanded of states not just more server capacity and call-center workers, but also an abrupt change in the premise of the safety net: Systems trained to treat each case as potentially fraudulent must now presume that millions have legitimately lost their jobs.

System crashes and website glitches are tied to this challenge, too. Requirements embedded in the architecture of unemployment must be turned off, worked around, or simply ignored.

“If after you submit your application, you receive a message that states you are not covered and your claim has been denied, please disregard,” Kentucky’s unemployment website reads.

In their desperation at the pending election, NC GOP operatives have been hammering Roy Cooper's administration over problems associated with filing unemployment claims. But as you can see from the above, the common element in this national problem is Red State austerity, not Democratic Governors. Republicans broke our system, and are now whining about Roy Cooper struggling to fix their mistakes.