FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 November 2013
RALEIGH--It is regrettable that Gov. McCrory's "I-don't-care, let-them-eat-cookies" attitude appears to extend even further to the families of North Carolina's hundreds of thousands of long-term unemployed. Gov. McCrory evidently intended his other comment--"I don't care, I felt like doing it. Who cares?"--as a response to critics who thought he was being dismissive and sarcastic to hand a plate of cookies to women who disagreed with his policies. More and more, however, "I don't care" seems to be his posture towards the poor, the unemployed, and those without healthcare.
"The seemingly 'I don't care' attitude and doing what he feels has been the prevailing posture of his administration and the leadership of Speaker Thom Tillis, President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Budget Director Art Pope that has led their extreme efforts in making policies that are morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent, economically insane," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, NC NAACP President.
Certainly it was legal for the Governor to refuse $700 million in federal unemployment money, even though North Carolina was the only state in the nation to do so. But that does not make it moral. And Gov. McCrory compounds his apparent opinion of our working and jobless families with his assertion on WFAE's "Charlotte Talks" program on Monday that "we didn't take away unemployment benefits. We just didn't extend them." Hungry children can't eat semantics.
Gov. McCrory cannot deny his signature on House Bill 4 that cuts the time a worker can collect unemployment from 24 to as few as 12 weeks and cuts the maximum payment from $535 to $350. He cannot deny that he pushed through and signed this measure cutting off $700 million from our local economies--money that would have been spent locally on rent, food, car repairs and Christmas presents. It may be convenient to claim that this bill "keeps the rules intact" but it will not help keep North Carolina's families intact.
We urge the Governor to be more careful about what he says and more caring about what he does. We hope he will join us in the coming Season of Redemption and reverse his refusal to take federal funds for the families of the unemployed and Medicaid for low-income families. We pray for a new vision to take hold in Raleigh and in all of our hearts in this Season of Light.