On top of already gloomy budget projections, the state could owe $2 billion to Uncle Sam by year's end and a like amount in 2010 to cover the record amount it's been shelling out in unemployment benefits.
So far, a workable solution on how to pay it back isn't on the horizon, other than to ask Congress for a break.
…The saving grace may be that North Carolina isn't alone. A total of 24 states have borrowed large amounts of money from the federal government to help distribute jobless benefits. Even so, only five have borrowed more.
In line with its expanded role of trying to stimulate a lagging economy, the federal government also should help states defray persistent unemployment expenses.
…Gov. Bev Perdue has said, "We'll play the hand we're dealt.'' In all probability, that means North Carolina and other hard-hit states will just bide their time and patiently await a congressional bailout.
Yet in the end, someone always has to pay the freight. [Our Kids]