North Carolina state workers have had little choice but to accept a token 1.2 percent pay raise this year – their first since 2008 – because of revenue shortfalls and the end of funds provided by the federal stimulus package.
State lawmakers, meanwhile, are drastically cutting benefits for unemployed workers by 35 percent. The maximum amount someone who is out of work can receive would fall from $535 a week to $350 under the new plan.
But even as many of his constituents come to grips with those economic hardships, newly elected Gov. Pat McCrory has unilaterally raised the salaries of his new Cabinet members. In most cases, the Cabinet pay sailed from $121,807 annually to $128,000. But for three of his new appointees, the salaries have jumped from $121,807 to $135,000 per year – an 11 percent pay raise before they’ve worked even a month.
McCrory hardly did himself any favors in explaining the increases.
“I’m trying to make it at least where they can afford to live while running multimillion-dollar departments,” he told The (Raleigh) News & Observer.
It’s tempting to ask how he expects an unemployed person in Nash County to make ends meet while looking for work.
The governor promised smaller government, more jobs and a tough line on unnecessary spending.
That policy might be more palatable if he applied it to his own team, as well.