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Lower Jobless Rate Is Killing Extended Benefits

From an irony proof Associated Press:

Democrats want extension of unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans as part of fiscal cliff deal

Jobless benefits for 2.1 million people who have been out of work for more than six months will stop four days after Christmas

December 8, 2012

WASHINGTON — Hovering in the background of the "fiscal cliff" debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas.

Isn’t it amazing how these heartbreaking ‘cuts’ always happen right at Christmas? It’s almost as if the politicians schedule things that way.

"This is the real cliff," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. He’s been leading the effort to include another extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed in any deal to avert looming tax increases and massive spending cuts in January…

Lest we forget, the states provide 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. When those are exhausted, federal benefits last another 47 weeks. That is a total of 73 weeks. (It used to be 99 weeks.)

That is not quite a "cliff."

Emergency jobless benefits for about 2.1 million people out of work more than six months will cease Dec. 29, and 1 million more will lose them over the next three months if Congress doesn’t extend the assistance again.

That is because the length of the federal benefits is determined by the unemployment rate. States with jobless rates below 9% are losing their extended benefits.

This is the downside of the Department Of Labor fudging the unemployment rate to get Obama re-elected. But we’re sure the denizens of those states will realize it was worth it.

Since the collapse of the economy in 2008, the government has poured $520 billion — an amount equal to about half its annual deficit in recent years — into unemployment benefit extensions.

But it’s not enough. We have to give more. After all, the recession has only been since July 2009.

White House officials have assured Democrats that Obama is committed to extending them another year, at a cost of about $30 billion, as part of an agreement for sidestepping the fiscal cliff and reducing the size of annual increases in the federal debt.

"The White House has made it clear that it wants an extension," said Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Of course, they do. Jobs lift people out poverty and keep them out of poverty. Unemployment benefits keep people in poverty and dependent on the government.

Republicans have been relatively quiet on the issue lately. They demanded and won savings elsewhere to offset the cost of this year’s extension…

Sure they did.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent, the lowest in nearly four years. But much of the decline was due to people so discouraged about finding a job that they quit looking for one.

Much of the decline was due to Obama needing to be re-elected. But it’s too late now. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

Democrats have tried to keep a flame burning under the issue. Ending the extended benefits would "deal a devastating blow to our economy," 42 Democratic senators wrote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., this past week.

The Congressional Budget Office said in a study last month that extending the current level of long-term unemployment benefits another year would add 300,000 jobs to the economy. The average benefit of about $300 a week tends to get spent quickly for food, rent and other basic necessities, the report said, stimulating the economy…

Absolutely. That is why the record unemployment we have had under Obama has generated such a high GDP. We need more and more unemployment.

By the way, this is the same administration that likes to lecture us about ‘math.’

Opponents of benefit extensions argue that they can be a disincentive for taking a job.

"Prolonged benefits lead some unemployed workers to spend too much time looking for jobs that they would prefer to find, rather than focusing on jobs that they are more likely to find," said James Sherk [sic], a labor policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

But Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, noted that unemployment checks add up to about $15,000 a year. "That’s poverty level," he said. "This is not something people just want to continue on, they want to get jobs."

Maybe Sen. Harkin is unaware that when you are on unemployment you automatically qualify for other welfare benefits, including food stamps, subsidized housing and Obama-phones.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, December 10th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Lower Jobless Rate Is Killing Extended Benefits”

  1. Enthalpy

    Our alleged representatives continue to aid and abet Progressives’ constituency building policy.

  2. GetBackJack

    Well, then … borrow some more money. Geez, what’s so hard about that?


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