TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey justifiably found itself on the bad end of many, MANY jokes this week, Save Jerseyans, when the Murphy Administration blamed COBOL (an antiquated pogramming language from the 50s/60s) for an unemployment system meltdown.
I want to be fair about this. Antiquated technology aside, there was no way 576,04 new claims in three weeks would NOT overwhelm the system. That much is undenible. Still, the unemployment subplot of this larger COVID-19 pandemic shitshow says everything about Trenton’s absurd priorities.
We’ve all heard the stories… on social media, on NJ 101.5, and from friends, family and coworkers.
New Jerseyans who applied for unemployment benefits in mid-to-late March are still waiting for approvals and/or checks:
— Italiana007 (@italiana_007) April 7, 2020
My girl applied for NJ Unemployment 3/15 and still not a single response to her claim, sent emails and etc.
Just keeps saying "Claim isn't payable" but let's put another 30-day quarantine in affect.
If Covid-19 don't kill most of us, the lack of medication and/or food will.
— NSFW (@Zeytahh) April 7, 2020
@GovMurphy I filed for unemployment on March 15th & still have not gotten a check. I was laid off as of 3/13.I was told to file and although NJ dept. of labor approved my claim, I have been certifying for benefits every week & they keep saying my claim is not payable at this time
— Lisa (@lpka3) April 7, 2020
@IngrahamAngle NJ Unemployment has completely failed its’ residents. Yet this issue isn’t getting press coverage. It’s been 3 weeks since I applied for unemployment. I can’t claim benefits & I can’t get help. The phone lines are down and there has been zero replies to emails.
— TinaB (@Tina10832771) April 8, 2020
Search “nj unemployment” on Twitter. It’s a serious, increasingly desperate situation, and predictably the Mainstream Media outlets are ignoring this angle.
People need to feed their families and purchase medicine. Even with a healthy economy before COVID-19 upended everything, a strong majority of New Jersey families get by paycheck to paycheck or, at best, month-to-month. Our state’s crazy cost of living doesn’t help.
If this ‘stay-in-place’ craziness continues for a few more weeks? And checks still haven’t arrived? The foodbanks won’t be able to help and civil unrest won’t be far behind.
The Murphy Administration should’ve invested in a better system.
It didn’t. And where did it invest our tax dollars instead? Just three quick examples:
- $3.8 million (as of last August) for illegal alien financial assistance.
- $2.1 million for illegal alien legal aid.
- $17 million for Planned Parenthood.
The Left’s predictable retort: several million dollars in a $41 billion budget is chump change!
I could give you a much longer list of wasteful nonsense (I have, of course, over the course of the years in individual Save Jersey posts), but all of these individual social justice warrior “priorities” add up when a crisis strikes and our already poorly-constructed state budget is stretched by plummeting tax revenues.
Cutting just those three “priorities” above would free up nearly $23 million to upgrade outmoded computer systems, ensure the unemployment offices are properly staffed, and guarantee that hard-working furloughed New Jersey can buy food and medicine this spring.
Unfortunately, as ever, Governor Murphy’s priorities aren’t YOUR priorities.
That disconnect might not offend you when times are good, unemployment is at historic lows and there aren’t long lines winding through supermarket parking lots. It should now; your fellow citizens are suffering for it.
Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, MATT ROONEY is a nationally-noted and respected New Jersey political commentator. When he’s not on-line, radio or television advocating for conservative reform and challenging N.J. power-brokers, Matt is a practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights (Camden County).