Having spent the better part of the last four years ignoring or apologizing for the abysmal policies of President Obama, The New York Times Editorial Board apparently had nothing better to do Wednesday than trash North Carolina. (Via Rare)
In January, after the election of Pat McCrory as governor, Republicans took control of both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since Reconstruction. Since then, state government has become a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.
The cruelest decision by lawmakers went into effect last week: ending federal unemployment benefits for 70,000 residents. Another 100,000 will lose their checks in a few months. Those still receiving benefits will find that they have been cut by a third, to a maximum of $350 weekly from $535, and the length of time they can receive benefits has been slashed from 26 weeks to as few as 12 weeks.
In its usual lack of interest about the facts of its reporting, the NY Times ignores that NC applied for a waiver from the Federal Government in order to help manage state debt left by former Governor Bev Perdue.
Earlier this year, North Carolina changed the duration and generosity of state benefits. That, in turn, triggered federal provisions that ended federally funded long-term unemployment benefits, which up until July 1 provided help for those out of work longer than 26 weeks.
North Carolina is the only state in the nation to trigger this provision.
“The debt we owe the federal government, last I checked, has not been forgiven by the administration in Washington. Nor has the waiver been accepted that we requested many months ago,” McCrory said. “The waiver was not accepted by the Obama administration and, had it been, we most likely would be extending unemployment.
The NY Times editorial closes its North Carolina tirade with this cheap shot:
North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build.
I suppose the NY Times only liked North Carolina in 2008, the one time it voted for a Democrat President since 1976. Or maybe the Times is pining for the days when its last two Democrat Governors — Mike Easley and Bev Perdue — governed with corruption that would rival Chicago-style politics.
In 2010, Mike Easley became the first North Carolina Governor ever convicted of a felony connected to his conduct in public office.
At a Wake County Courthouse hearing, state and federal prosecutors agreed to drop their case against Easley when he pleaded guilty to a Class I felony for violating campaign finance laws.
Easley’s sentence could have included up to 15 months in prison. Instead, prosecutors agreed to no jail time and a $1,000 fine plus court costs. Wake County Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith approved the deal.
Easley’s handpicked successor, Bev Perdue, was so tainted with her own scandals that she didn’t even run for re-election after her first and only term. Voters handed the Governor’s Office easily to Republican Pat McCrory in 2012 who had been defeated by Purdue four years earlier. That is quite a verdict on Democrat Governors by the voters of North Carolina.
Results matter, though. Does the NY Times know that there continues to be a strong and increasing net influx of new residents to North Carolina? Most all of the net increase of residents comes from people moving from high-tax, liberal states in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and California. They are voting with their feet. And those few residents who do move from North Carolina are moving to lower-tax states like South Carolina and Texas.
Just because the Times doesn’t use its own drop in circulation to question its questionable business model and biased reporting, doesn’t mean North Carolina shouldn’t pay attention to why its new residents are moving into the Tar Heel State and continue to improve its quality of life.
In an era where many states are struggling under the weight of public union pension debt and the continuation of the Great Recession, North Carolina’s Republican majority is trying to get its fiscal house in order. As Barack Obama might point out, Pat McCrory inherited decades of misdeeds by his corrupt Democrat predecessors so it is going to take a while to get NC back on its feet again.
Finally, why should anyone listen to The New York Times, a company that itself can’t stay in the black, in a serious discussion about fiscal solvency issues?