May 1, 2020
Share wrote an opinion piece yesterday criticizing the state’s unemployment benefits system and past changes brought about by our conservative reform majority.  Here are some thoughts to consider.

The North Carolina Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is financed with a payroll tax on employers so employees can have some cash coming in during an economic downturn. That prepared-for downturn is here now because of the deadly Chinese virus that has swept our state and nation.

The good news is North Carolina is ready.

For background, remember that by 2012, years of body-slamming tax increases from governors Mike Easley and Bev Perdue had triggered a recession which put our Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund into a $2.8 billion deficit.  The program was in desperate need of repair.

Thankfully, the reform majority’s tax cuts, regulatory reforms, work requirements and tighter standards helped produce a strong economy that dried up the red ink – generating a healthy balance of $3.6 billion. This did not just happen. It took discipline, determination and courage to weather the volumes of criticism that spewed from liberals across the state when the reformers took action to reform the program.

But it paid off. The reform majority’s fiscal responsibility helped create three quarters of a million new jobs and now we are better prepared for the time when those benefits are needed. 

The leftist voices now cry for change to unemployment policy. The truth is the track record for putting that policy on the right course has worked and put us in a strong financial position to help unemployed workers. Because of the reform majority, we are prepared to use the built-up surplus to cushion the blow the Chinese virus has delivered and help workers get through this storm.