Archive for May, 2011

As the economy slowly begins to pull itself up out of the doldrums of recession, the unemployment rate in many states hovers around 10 percent. In an effort to combat this, President Barack Obama successful negotiated with Republicans to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 20 weeks for individuals who had been unemployed for more than 79 weeks.

In mid-April, however, member’s of the Republican-led North Carolina legislature decided to play political games with money from the Federal Government. They attatched a bill extending the benefits to a budget that cut 13 percent of the current budget, including a severe cut in educational spending.  Governer Beverly Purdue, a Democrat, vetoed the bill and in effect cut benefits for over 37,000 individuals across the state.

As you can imagine, there has been lots of outrage as well as protests and demonstrations. There has been alot of talk in the past few weeks over which party shares the blame for dropping the ball. The Republicans, who would love nothing better than to get rid of unemployment all together, are blaming Purdue. Purdue says she could not consent to such drastic cuts for education.

The bottom line is this: While the two sides are playing political hot potato in Raleigh, thousands around the state have no clue where their next month’s rent or food will come from. Or where they will find the money to pay for gas or internet service as they look for the jobs that Republicans think seem to be just waiting to be filled?

I guess it’s too much to ask for politicians to act in the best interest of the people of North Carolina and stop trying to one-up each other. I believe The Last Poets said it best in E Pluribus Unum their razor sharp assesment of America’s love affair with money: The power’s in the fate of ruling classes/Playing god with the fate of the masses/So the people don’t get any in the land of the plenty/Because E Pluribus Unum means “one out of many.”