Unemployment has reached 11% in North Carolina.  Despite that, our esteemed government officials continue to  feed at the federal trough in order to pay people not to work and they resort to accounting gimmicks as they try to mask the problem.

In the past year, North Carolina has paid out $4.3 Billion in unemployment benefits.   And since businesses have not ‘contributed’ enough to cover all those benefits, the State has had to borrow the difference.  The NC Employment Security Commission has borrowed $1.4Billion from the federal government since February so that the State of North Carolina can pay people to continue not to work.  Our clever legislators hope that the federal government will forgive the debt. It seems that the folks in Raleigh don’t realize who funds the federal government.   Either way, we are left holding the bag.

One neat trick offered by the NCESC to hide the magnitude of the problem is to ask employers to voluntarily ‘contribute’ money before year end in exchange for a lower tax rate next year.  Sort of like Wimpy in the Popeye cartoons who will ‘gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today’.

Unemployment is a most insidious invention.  It saps people’s initiative as it creates dependence.  What is needed are policies that promote growth:  lower taxes, less regulation and fewer government programs.  In the NC Observer post linked to above, it is clear that our state legislators have a basic understanding about how higher taxes drive businesses out of business and put people out of work.  Why can’t they see the next logical step?  If high taxes and regulation are a burden, it stands to reason that low taxes and less regulation must be……GOOD for the economy.