On Saturday we brought you the news that Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey wants to cut unemployment and state Sen. Stacey Campfield wants to drug test the unemployed before they can receive state benefits, and we issued a challenge to Ramsey to live on $300 - slightly more than the average amount of unemployment - for just one week.
We have yet to hear anything from Ramey - although as Out of the Blue points out, "that would be just two days per diem during session if he was traveling from Blountville to Nashville" - but Campfield has volunteered to take us up on the offer and issued his own challenge in return. From his blog:
I'm game.The metro pulse has attacked Ron Ramsey and myself for trying to fix unemployment abuse. They challenge Ron...
Hell, this reporter will even pony up her own money if Ramsey takes us up on her challenge. PLEASE, Ron Ramsey, try living on $300 for just ONE week. But I bet a month's worth of unemployment wouldn't even cover your mortgage.
Tell you what. While Ron may be busy, I am up to it and not for just one week. I will do it for four weeks. I will take the $1,200.00 challenge (four weeks at $300.00 per week). While I can not get out of my mortgage, I will deduct $225.00 (the cost of rent for multiple rooms available for rent on craigslist in the Knoxville area) from the $1200.00. I will stay at my house and bet I can personally live on the rest ($975.00 or less) for a month. What I make from my life's work and investments will not go to any personal expenses, only to pay my business expenses. If I choose to work for extra money it will be in a completely new job.If the Metro Pulse will put up the $1,200.00 I will donate $225.00 to Habitat for humanity and live on the rest for 30 days. No problem. If I am right and I am successful the Metro Pulse will eat the $1,200.00 and throw another $500.00 to the charity of my choice. If I am wrong I will repay the $1,200.00 and throw another $500.00 to the non profit charity of their choice.I will also double down on them if they want. If I can apply for and be accepted to work full time (40 hours a week) in the 30 days they will double the $1,200.00 and $500.00 to a donation of my choice. If I fail I will pay an additional $1,200.00 and $500.00 to a non profit charity of their choice.Metro Pulse, Time to put your money where your mouth is. Put up or shut up.
This reporter has no authority to authorize that kind of spending - and no extra $1,200 in her personal budget - but trust us, Stacey, we'll be in touch soon - although are you sure you'll be able to make the payments on your new car on that money? And what about health insurance?
UPDATE: This reporter just looked up what she made while unemployed after being laid off - $235 a week, plus a bonus $25 in stimulus funds each week. Not even $285, much less $300.