In politics, if you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. There is no fear that when you put forth an idea, a policy, there will be criticism and there will be encouragement. But to those predisposed to criticism, I say put forth a plan and then we can talk.
Public employees have lost their jobs and for those who still have their jobs, the lack of salary increases are increasingly causing families distress. From the university housekeeper to the Corrections Officer to the retiree to the clerk at DMV to your local educators, our public employees are falling behind as food costs increase, gas prices increase and their salary dollars do not stretch as far. In local communities, public employees’ inability to put money in the local economy is having devastating effects on small cities and rural areas which rely on this cycle. There is no doubt that smaller communities, some inner cities and rural areas are suffering from higher unemployment.
I encourage you to read the jobs plan at http://bit.ly/nYpmYG
SEANC’s report, "Save our State" called for closing loopholes and keeping the penny tax. I was at the Raleigh Rally where public employees called on legislators to do that. This plan says the same. Will it be heard? Will it pass? Likely no, unless you motivate people to tell them to hear it. The current leadership has said that in a year, we will be better off – just wait and see. Well, I say, I have seen enough. Unemployment is rising and many families don’t have a year of savings to "wait and see" if it gets better. If there is enough public outcry about the economy, the issue will rise to the top. And for those who say "but government doesn’t create jobs," I say government is an intricate part of the economy; government makes policies that affect the economy. So, while it does not create jobs, it has a significant impact on the entities that do. So, why are we not discussing economic policy? Why are we discussing social policy?
The budget attack on education has now led elected officials to call for suggestions to sell University assets to pay for the cuts that were made. For example, sell Rex Hospital, owned by UNC Health Systems, to pay for the cuts made to K to 12 education in the state budget. This is after-the-thought policy-making.
We need a new process. One whereby leaders evaluate and analyze decisions before they make them so we can be assured that they make sound decisions based on the long-term and not the short term. Hear this plan in the November session; don’t spend money on amending our Constitution. If you don’t like this plan, offer another one. But don’t just say we "promised our base no penny sales tax" and not look at any alternatives.
This is about people with jobs who are struggling, people without jobs who are growing more and more concerned, and our children who are wondering if there will be jobs when it is time for them to work.
by Jeanne Milliken Bonds on Facebook