10/01/10 — A no-brainer: Jobless should not pay for stupid bureaucratic mistake.

View Archive

A no-brainer: Jobless should not pay for stupid bureaucratic mistake.

There is really no decision to be made in the case of the overpayment of benefits to thousands of North Carolina's jobless residents.

The bottom line is you don't ask those who are unemployed and struggling to get their bills paid and to keep food on their tables to pay for what was a stupid, bureaucratic mistake.

So the fact that the Employment Security Commission is looking for ways to avoid asking residents to pay back money they have already spent is not just something that is expected -- it is a moral imperative.

Here's the deal: This is a perfect opportunity for state leaders to start paring down some of the waste in state government. The goal should be to come up with $28 million in savings to make up for the error.

It is unbelievable that anyone would consider inflicting the stress and hardship of this sort of bill on families who are already trying to keep their lives together under very difficult circumstances.

Those who made the mistake should fix it.

Perhaps if bureaucrats were forced to be a little more accountable and if there were real consequences for those who do not perform up to par, there would be fewer and fewer mistakes like these.

It is a shame that at a time when so many are suffering that a bureaucrat with a cushy job and a pretty nice salary and benefits would get away with such a monumental mistake. Still think we need to put more of our lives in the hands of government agencies?

Published in Editorials on October 1, 2010 11:06 AM