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January 4, 2022 11:23 am
This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family President John L. Rustin sits down with North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell to discuss our state’s economic landscape as we look forward to 2022. Treasurer Folwell addresses healthcare, the employment crisis, and North Carolina’s budget surplus.
Policy matters and engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will flow better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation. Thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. As we begin a new year.
Many families are setting budgets and try to get a handle on what the economic landscape is going to look like in the coming months. Clearly the coronavirus pandemic continues to play havoc with the economy both nationally and internationally, impacting production and manufacturing. The supply chain, employment and consumer spending and purchasing habits. Despite all of this, North Carolina continues to rank as one of the best states in the nation to do business and to live, work and raise a family were excited to be joined by North Carolina State Treas. Dale Falwell to explore some of these issues. One North Carolina such a great place to live and work and what some of the biggest opportunities and challenges facing our state and nation will be in the year to come.
Treasure Falwell, who was serving in his second term as state treasurer has been a longtime friend of the family policy Council during his four terms in the state House of Representatives. One of those as speaker pro tem.
He is always been a strong ally and someone with whom we have worked closely on a host of family-friendly policies. Treasure Falwell welcome to family policy matters really write me back with you and happy new year will thank you and happy new year to you as well know treasure Falwell is said you were formerly a member of the Gen. assembly, and certainly our listeners are pretty familiar with what the legislature is, but they may be less familiar with the position of state treasurer. So if you would take a minute, we'd appreciate if you'd briefly explain what the role of the state treasurer is in North Carolina. I'll be glad to do that I consider myself and our staff to be the keepers of the public first, and what that really should made your listeners is that starting with the fact that the culture that we said here is based on the blood that runs through me, which is quicker, and one of the Quaker religion.
This is to be fair and just and what that should mean when you're mad you want the largest pools of public money in the world is that we don't pick and choose which laws to apply our who does not intrude. We treat everybody and genuinely and barely with everything is about our society right now. Political persuasion and gender in color and none of that exist in the treasurer's office since all GR PEN which is green that's a great explanation and a good start to our conversation, so treasure Falwell looking at the economy in general.
As we begin 2022 were to think stand and what do you consider to be some of the greatest challenges facing North Carolina families.
I think the biggest challenge number one is that we have public servants who tend to talk about something that they don't let anything about an image they did they could do anything about it.
That's one of our biggest challenges and that leads into our second biggest challenges is that people want to be affirmed about what they feel about a topic that will be informed that. Thirdly, what I'm deeply concerned about right now stable losing confidence in government because that is. See note 1 of the linchpins of our society and course. We can talk about the employment crisis they were facing. We can talk about job healthcare and educational insecurity and uncertainty. We can talk about the fact that inflation is a thief that disproportionately hurts our lower fixed income people so we can unpack all that over the next few minutes we do hear a lot about family policies affecting the economy, especially with with respect to inflation, which you just mentioned how have federal policies during the pandemic helped or hurt the economy and families here in North Carolina. From your standpoint I think that North Carolina is especially lower fixed income individuals, many of whom don't have an opportunity work remotely.
I think they've been disproportionally and negatively affected.
This virus has created death is created. Illness is created poverty and is rated in literacy and no one who flies under the banner of family policy Council would be in favor of any of those three things treasure Falwell one area that has been dramatically impacted by federal policies is in the arena of employment in the labor market. It seems like more and more small businesses are having difficulty finding workers and or having to either limit hours of operation or even in some cases shut down altogether gives a sense of where you think things stand with respect to unemployment and jobs and where you see things going in 2022. Let me let me start by dancing with anyone who is employer of people in the difficulty that they're facing right now in and actually finding people to do the jobs is ironic.
I'm 63 years old of the labor market for 53 years in the state and it's ironic that as I was going down the road that this letter on my motorcycle I would see signs like apply inside that we hire immediately.
I would see other signs instead.
If your service is slow. Please don't blame the people who chose to show for almost a year and I sound the alarm and stay North Carolina about what I saw coming it with the employment crisis of the state that the unemployment crisis.
The employment crisis and as I was trying to explain this to folks in Raleigh. I had to remind people that this is about the fact that the biggest employer. North Carolina is the state of North Carolina.
Second are the school systems. John III of the counties in the four cities so we talk about employment crisis and the inability were not talking about people serving food or doing other important jobs which are not essential services of state and local government. So this is affecting everyone and the reason why is going on for two reasons and one is is a very positive reason we you and I and others have always known the importance of women in our society, but not until: do we actually put everything together as women have in common. They are in our workforce of the fact that when they did that they didn't leave their other jobs as mothers and as people who are glue the teeth or their family units together as I think it's been a great positive spotlight on on the impact that women have in our world, and in general the second part of the of all this is that it's also more sunshine on the fact that as far as the employment crisis is concerned, you cannot have a system where people who chose show up for work are paying into a system to reward people more per hour for not showing up to work. These businesses cannot compete against her own government that they're paying unemployment taxes into treasure follow.
Despite these national economic challenges in in some cases, the responses of the federal government to that North Carolina has remained on strong financial footing with budget surpluses driven by sound budgeting, lower taxes, controlled spending and record-setting savings to what do you credit North Carolina's continued strong performance economically to your point, what is happened before. It was an error code for 10 years.
Stay North Carolina had been balancing its budget building surpluses building Rainy Day funds that I was a player party and was paying out $2.7 billion of unemployment that that ultimately built up to $4 million to request that for billion-dollar unemployment surplus is desperately needed as we have nearly a million people unemployed North Carolina. So what happened during the semester that North Carolina integrative physician financial certainty for handling this deadly quiz color-coded and so all the credit goes not only to the Gen. assembly was lived in its names but also the taxpayers who pay these taxes no doubt about the head.
On another topic, health insurance, particularly Medicare and Medicaid.
This is always a big subject of conversation in the halls of the legislature and among leaders of our state like yourself from your perspective were things currently stand as far as access to healthcare in North Carolina, especially for the elderly and economically disadvantaged. We are seeing and experiencing the cartel authorization of healthcare North Carolina.
If you go to Webster dictionary cartel is defined as associations which are formed to restrict competition, raise prices, we all love computer research and Johns Hopkins and other think tanks around the world at any time that you have the concentration of healthcare into the hands of multimillion dollar executives you run these multibillion-dollar nonprofits.
These nonprofits have billions and billions of dollars in the bank on the backs sick people. They are allowed to call themselves nonprofits would have been the result of that is lower quality, lower access and higher cost. The chair of the state health plan board which we are the largest purchaser of healthcare North Carolina and I'm in favor of higher quality higher access and lower costs. What's happening is that when you have a cartel authorization of healthcare never product that people would rather not consume because that would mean a healthy when they tried to inquire as to what is going on calls. Toddlers know their business and then when they don't pay for something they didn't want consume and would not know what it would cost. Then their credit rating is destroyed when people have their credit rating destroyed by consuming a product they would rather not consume will. No one would tell him what it cost is something this work getting mad about this is far different job than when I was growing up in credit scores mattered but not like it does today.
Credit scores determine what you pay for the basic liability insurance that gives you the upward mobility. Credit scores determine when you get the benefit of the doubt when you need your rent shelter and obviously credit scores matter when you want to borrow money to buy a house, we just had an article last year from the Wall Street Journal that says that one procedure and one hospital in Northern California one procedure at the same hospital can cost between six and $60,000. Think of the discrimination that goes on. If you in our walk into a dollars doing the exact same menu items need to be charged a different price than I would. Based on what type of credit card. We present while he would not tolerate that. Why we tolerate that in healthcare, and this is as I said earlier, is disproportionally impactful from lower income and fixed income individuals. We state health plan denies that you the other person is not to be on the wrong side of history and continue to take advantage of people price something to them that they don't know the cost of the bed would rather not consume well clearly we could do an entire show or two about that because it's such a critical issue for our state and for individuals and families in North Carolina now this may come as a bit of a surprise to some of our listeners, but throughout your tenure. Treasure Falwell as the state treasurer. You have been committed to actually returning money to the citizens of North Carolina talk for a minute if you would about unclaimed property and what the treasurer's office is doing to try to return property and cash. In some cases to the citizens of North Carolina. Welding is so we spent about $800 million every 30 days of pigeon healthcare, restricting drug benefits about the way we talk about healthcare long ago as the clear were not, they will actually do the work of healthcare, the multimillion dollar executives working multibillion-dollar nonprofits are what we do is we have a program called NC cash.com it's very simple way, your chances are better playing the lottery, be it simply were some my child and there you a check that you did not receive but you did not cash. Ultimately, that has to be sent to us last year you gave us $75 million to individuals, churches, nonprofits and businesses of my the city of the treasurer's office so they will get instant cash.com because it is public record if it's over $50. We just say it's over $50. But I want to report that just in the last few weeks we were able to find somebody who had $248,000 dated, NC cash.com life insurance policy so I left them this money over 10 years ago, mostly treasure deal follow. Thank you so much for your time. That's great information and I do want to encourage our listeners go to NC cash.com again that's NC cash.com to check and see if you might have any unclaimed property but also visit the website of the North Carolina Treas.'s email@example.com again that's NC treasurer.com to learn more about the treasurer's office in the great work. Adele Falwell is doing is our state treasurer in North Carolina and without treasurer Adele Falwell. I want to thank you so much for your time and your participation with us on family policy matters and even listing the family policy matter.
We hope you enjoyed the program and plenitude in again next week to listen to the show online into learn more about NC families were to inform, encourage and inspire families across North Carolina go to our website it NC family.org that's NC family.org. Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family