Our president, Francis De Luca, cuts to the heart of the matter in a newscast about unemployment benefits and Medicaid.
The news story reviews the plight of those covered by Medicaid and unemployment pay. But the basic truth is that neither the state or the federal government has the money to pay for the benefits people claim.
As for unemployment, the state went more than $2 billion in debt to the feds to pay unemployment benefits. And Medicaid has been blowing a hole in the state budget for years. The funding is so out of control that a recent audit found that over last three years, the state overspent its Medicaid budget by more than $1.4 billion.
By any measure of logic, that means North Carolina just doesn’t have enough money to pay for overgenerous funding for programs. It isn’t there. It doesn’t exist.
Forget about Washington bailing us out. Out of every $1 million federal government spends, it has to borrow $400,000. And that goes right on to the $16-plus trillion the government already owes.
There is no free lunch, De Luca reminds us in the story. “There is no federal money. The government is broke.”
There’s no money left for generous benefits. We’re broke, in Raleigh and in Washington. That’s the real bottom line.