I did not get it. I get it now. Do you get it? I guess I was not paying attention all the while state government promises to be paying our bills. Amidst this lockdown that the average American family or business is compelled to suffer through, people have been prevented from working by government edict and are not earning any income. Here is the deal.
During this protracted Wuhan virus crisis, President Trump continues to get paid. All of the federal legislators and federal judges continue to get paid. The legions of federal employees that work in the courts, as legislative staff, in agencies and bureaucracies, and all the way down to Capitol dog catcher continue to get paid. But now it looks as if federal contracted employees may begin to get laid off!
State legislators and employees continue to get paid. Let’s pick Maryland. Governor Hogan continues to get paid. Those employees in the Department of Social Services continue to get paid. The Attorney General and those employees in the Consumer Protection Division continue to get paid. The Comptroller and those employees continue to get paid.
The biggest problem in Maryland is with citizens attempting to file for unemployment insurance. The Unemployment website hosted by the Labor Department kept malfunctioning and taxpayers were frustrated at not being able to file unemployment claims. But all of the state employees that work at the Maryland Workforce Exchange or Department of Labor continue to get paid.
The mayor of Baltimore and municipal employees continue to get paid. After two months of unwelcome quarantine, Governor Hogan has finally begun to relax public restrictions within the state of Maryland, but with a caveat that subdivisions may decide individually on how to proceed with opening up their counties.
Out Of Business
Maryland’s largest city is not open for business. Interim mayor Jack Young has decried that Baltimore shall remain in lockdown indefinitely. This is not related to the crime spree or murder rate that rages within city limits. It has more to do with a defiant mayor struggling to remain relevant while he is going to be turned out of office soon enough.
But we must remove President Trump from the problems plaguing Maryland citizens dealing with the Unemployment Insurance Claim website and the Maryland Workforce Exchange website. The responsibility to make these websites function and be responsive to Maryland constituents rests with Governor Hogan.
We have established the fact that all government employees are receiving income on schedule during this fancy schmancy lockdown. What we have not established is a chain of command accepting responsibility for state departments and agencies failing to respond to the needs of Marylanders on a timely basis.
This is unacceptable. It appears Maryland government infiltrated on all levels by democrats cannot handle the overload in constituent complaints or is simply going about business as usual and ignoring the difficulties being experienced by Marylanders.
Out Of Work
Marylander workers are out of work. Businesses are going out of business. Granted, citizens have been swarming to file an unemployment claim overloading and crashing the system. Yes, there is fraud. Yes, some people are lazy. Yes, some people have a cash reserve that they can weather the storm. But then, there are those who are in need of immediate unemployment assistance.
Unemployment claims have been held up by bandwidth saturation, website glitches, cyber traffic jams, and other pesky delays creating havoc while filling out an unemployment claim profile. But the end result is this: citizens, constituents, the electorate are unable to complete and file an unemployment claim. This causes the approval process to screech to a halt.
This is unacceptable. If government shuts down businesses and shutters the economy to prevent the spread of an invisible enemy, then they must honor their promise to permit people to file for unemployment insurance in a reasonable amount of time. Each week that goes by wherein the individual fails to file, there is NO payment disbursed for that week.
Associated with this issue is compounded by the fact that nobody can get through on the published telephone numbers for Marylanders to call who are experiencing problems online to complete their profiles. This further delays their ability to file timely and receive payments. Again, the website has issues that impede its function and the phone lines are constantly busy.
Knock, Knock? The Buck Stops Nowhere
This is unacceptable. Furthermore if you make any mistakes online while filing, forget it. Your profile is suspended. Yes, this is correct – your profile is suspended. But you cannot all anyone. You cannot complain and receive a swift response or action to rectify the problem. Maryland government leaves problem cases stranded online in limbo. Not cool.
All of these unemployment imbroglios come to roost on the doorstep of Government House in Annapolis. It is an inconvenient embarrassment for the governor. You could say that this is unenjoyment for Maryland citizens. Something needs to be done about this. There is no timetable projecting when any of this will be addressed or corrected. Not cool.
Fortunately, Governor Hogan can rest easy. 2020 is a presidential election year, not a gubernatorial election year. Otherwise, all of the goodwill that Hogan has been able to generate would not retain any value for a reelection bid. Larry is safe. However you can be assured, there are thousands of Marylanders who are having trouble sleeping over how they are going to pay their outstanding and mounting bills.
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Timothy Tilghman is a Columnist for NRN. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Tilghman earned a Master of Arts degree in verbal and visual communications in December 2002. He has hosted a weekly radio program since June 2010. He has been a contributing Reporter to the Northern News since July 2013, which publishes weekly in Carroll County. Tilghman has written for two collegiate campus newspapers and published several independent newsletters.