April 2011

Unpublished Letter to the Editor in response to this Editorial by Celia Murray

Celia Murray’s characterization of federal money for extended jobless benefits as “free” is incorrect. Nothing is free. That money comes from somewhere; either through current taxes or borrowing (which is simply taxing our children and grandchildren). She does not mention what this “small, technical” change needed in state law to get this money is. Indeed, I scoured the web and can’t find any clear description of what it is. This odd lack of information suggests this issue may not be as simple as it has been made out to be. But, is it really wise to borrow another $175 million when we already owe the feds $672 million for previously borrowed unemployment payments? Apparently the Georgia legislature is already scrambling to come up with just the first interest payment of $24 million. If we just keep piling on more debt it will only get that much harder to repay. Further, characterizing the reapportioning of funds to pay the interest as being done on the “backs of the poor” is misleading. Giving someone less than what you used to give them is not an act of “taking” from them (as “backs of the poor” implies) unless you are suggesting that they are more entitled to what you were giving them then those that you originally took it from.



Gregory Morin