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Unemployed challenge state leaders to live off $350 a week

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Some political activists want some state leaders to put their money where their mouth is. At a rally in Wilmington today the group said the governor and other Republican leaders should try to live on the amount they want the state to pay the unemployed.

The challenge comes after a bill filed in the legislature that would cut North Carolina unemployment benefits as much as 60 percent.

Action NC and its members are upset about the bill that cuts the maximum benefits paid to unemployed workers from $535 a week to $350. It would also reduce the maximum weeks of benefits from 26 to a sliding scale of between 12 and 20 weeks.

Action NC's Kevin Rogers says these are drastic cuts for those who need the money to survive.

"The governor gave his cabinet secretaries huge pay raises so they could 'afford to live.' Governor, if your cabinet can't afford to live on more than $120,000 a year, how the heck are the rest of us supposed to live on less than $15,000 a year?" Rogers said.

Protestor Patrick Varnam has his own challenge for Gov. McCrory and lawmakers who support the bill.

"I challenge them not for a week. Every one of them that voted for it, they need to freeze their assets," Varnam said. "Make sure their buddies can't give them no backdoor money and make them live on $350 a week for six months. They'll lose everything they got."

Among the group's targets is Sen. Thom Goolsby. The New Hanover County Republican says the change is needed because of the state needs to repay $2.5 billion it borrowed from the federal government.

"I would ask the people to please read the law and see the condition that the Democrats left us in after not funding unemployment insurance adequately, and this has left us in a crisis in the state," Goolsby said in a phone interview from Raleigh.

Goolsby says the cuts will help pay that debt off by 2015 instead of 2018.

The bill has passed through committee and is headed for the full Senate.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Maybe we should spend $350 a

Maybe we should spend $350 a week and get Varnam an education.

Unemployment

There is another alternative...

Find a job.

Even if it is a job you don't "want" to work.

I guess it is too much to

I guess it is too much to ask to have some money saved up to fall back on if you do lose your job, rather than relying solely on unemployment compensation. Unemployment is not there to pay for all your bills should you lose your job, it is meant to assist.
But instead everyone has to have that brand new car, flat screen tv's, iphone's etc....rather than putting a few bucks aside. Instead we rely on the government to bail us out whenever the going gets tough. Its sad really. There is no more personal responsibility in our society anymore. Everything is always someone elses fault and then when something goes wrong we depend on someone else to bail us out.

Excellent Points

ABC News had a piece on the 7:00 AM portion noting that 49% of working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

I guess they would Blame Bush for that.

A person can look in the mirror and identify the starting point for personal responsibility.

But the majority will not.

No not Bush

Its us pure and simple.
Of course businesses do NOT want to discourage this type of non saving behavior. As I stated to Tom and has been pointed out repeatedly here we are a debt based society/economy and 70% of our economy is dependent upon consumer spending.
When consumers stop spending the economy goes in the toilet, and American businesses, along with State and Federal budgets - suffer. This is why I'm leery of basing our state budget on consumption tax(s). It's also why I'm against the cuts to the UI program for now.
Businesses (for the most part) count on us spending - if we don't, they don't either.
We can blame ourselves and should but don't forget - then you have the political class at all levels of government who:
A - Never met a program they didn't want to spend money on and
B - Never saw a tax cut they didn't like.....

Vog

John

At maximum benefit ($522 or so) an unmployed worker can also work part time and make up to $106/week without affecting their benefit.
They are reducing max benny to $350, a different of $172 per week. I suggested to my Rep/St Sen that the allowable earnings be raised to ($106 + $172 or $278). I explained that this would KEEP $225M in the state economy AND allow those employers needing part timers to fill those jobs with the unemployed. This would FILL part time job slots that don't have medical benefits which would be beneficial to businesses. The wages earned ($278) would be UI taxed as all wages are which would help the UI Trust fund.
My Rep thought that this might be beneficial but obviously it was not considered. It is helpful when talking to your State Rep and Senator to have ideas to share not just gripes and moaning and groaning.
Like Tom, I wish that more people would contact their reps in the State House.

Vog

Have the GOP lost their minds?

Hey Thom, you are a attorney, sue the dems that screwed us. I got layed off last month and I shouldnt have to loose my home because of a bunch of lying , theifing politicians. I will reconsider my conservitive voting history if it really doesnt make a differance, and apparently it doesnt. I might not have gas mney to look for a job after this wonderful decision you all have made, but I have a large friends list on the internet and I will use whatever means nessasary to punish those that failed to keep our best interest first. I am ashamed at this point that I am a registered republican. But unlike the recent decisions by you and your co-hearts, I can change that. Now, go eat a big steak for dinner and I'll open a can of pork and beans.

Ed, you may be interested in

Ed, you may be interested in this page seeing that you have a large internet friends following: US Uncut https://www.facebook.com/usauncut

I am very sorry about your job loss and wish you well in your search.

How about the other way around

How about we challenge them to get a job and quit living off of us. If they have enough gumption to make this an issue, then put that effort to good use and GET A JOB!

We are not living off you

We have contributed to unemployment while working and we pay taxes too. So quit the we are living off you stuff. We aren't. Maybe you will lose your job someday and if you do perhaps you should refuse unemployment insurance since you are so against it.