02/19/13 — Better plan: State shouldn't want more people on jobless benefits.

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Better plan: State shouldn't want more people on jobless benefits.

It is a hard decision to understand if you just look at its surface.

Why in the world would a governor want to put people who are struggling to find jobs in even more peril by cutting their jobless benefits?

There are the usual arguments -- the massive debt incurred the last time the state made a deal with the devil and took loan money from the federal government and the resulting hit on the budget that has done more to harm than to help the economy.

And then there is the theory that people who receive big jobless benefits checks for large amounts of time simply cannot make the choice to give up those dollars to take the risk to seek employment they are not sure is out there or that might not pay them what they would be giving up.

Either way, your heart hurts for the families who are dealing with a lost job and this putrid excuse for an economy.

But think about it another way.

What if we could create a booming North Carolina economy that attracted business investment and created an environment where businesses could thrive?

What if we removed some of the tax burden from our residents and our businesses and gave them the confidence they needed to spend and invest?

What would the result be? You guessed it, more jobs.

The problem with any government program that gets out of control is that it is, by definition a Catch 22 -- it is supposed to be a temporary aid, but it can easily turn into a hamster wheel that does not allow the recipient to escape.

What we should strive for in North Carolina is more jobs, not more jobless benefits.

Most people who are seeking jobs would much prefer to go to work than to wait for a check. And we should do everything possible to make that happen.

Getting the state's budget in line and setting the stage for that growth is the first step.

Published in Editorials on February 19, 2013 1:15 PM