Monday, March 23, 2009

New York Times Editorial Pleads with Perry to Accept Stimulus Funding

Yesterday's editorial in the New York Times sharply criticized Governor Perry:

The unemployment portion of the federal stimulus package offers generous support to the states. To accept it, these states must make two reasonable changes in their unemployment insurance law. They must expand eligibility requirements that bar too many low-income workers from receiving compensation. And they must choose from a menu of options that include extending benefits to part-time workers and those who leave jobs because of family emergencies.

The claim by some governors that the unemployment aid would lead directly to tax increases has also been discredited. New taxes are triggered automatically when unemployment trust funds fall below specified levels. In many cases, filling their coffers with stimulus aid would actually postpone tax increases. When the stimulus money is spent, states would also be free to revert to the old unemployment insurance laws.

In Texas, Governor Perry’s decision to reject the money has sown considerable anger in the State Legislature. A House committee urged the full Legislature to overturn the governor’s decision. Lawmakers acted after seeing projections that the state unemployment fund was on track to run out of money in the fall, which would drive up taxes. Meanwhile, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina now says that he won’t accept $700 million in education money unless he can use it to pay down debt.

The time has clearly passed for posturing. With large numbers of people losing their jobs, Mr. Jindal and Mr. Perry need to do what is best for their states and their struggling workers.

1 comment:

Haole Wahine said...

I believe both Gov Jindal and Gov Perry are doing what is best for THEIR STATES, and THEIR workers.