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The “Recovery” Rolls On

More than 1.3 million Americans will lose extended unemployment benefits this week – more than five years after former U.S. President George W. Bush approved this “emergency” measure.  Hundreds of thousands more will lose these benefits during the first half of 2014. Ironically, the curtailing of these benefits will likely…

More than 1.3 million Americans will lose extended unemployment benefits this week – more than five years after former U.S. President George W. Bush approved this “emergency” measure.  Hundreds of thousands more will lose these benefits during the first half of 2014.

Ironically, the curtailing of these benefits will likely result in a massive drop in the size of the U.S. labor pool (these workers are counted as part of America’s workforce) – creating another artificial drop in unemployment.  For those of you keeping score at home, America’s workforce has been hovering at or near 35-year lows for months.

And the smaller the labor force, the lower the unemployment rate goes … (like we said, ironic).

Pre-recession, the typical duration of unemployment benefits was six months – but the “emergency” extension approved in 2008 nearly quadrupled this time period to 99 weeks (although it was recently scaled back to 73 weeks).

Supporters of the program say the extended benefits are still necessary.

“The evidence is that people who want work can’t find it,” one liberal Washington, D.C. think tank leader told Bloomberg.

Wait … what about the “recovery?”  Aren’t happy days here again?

Eh … apparently not.

Opponents of the extended benefits – including this website – argue they incentivize joblessness, keeping workers on the government dole as opposed to applying for one of America’s estimated four million available jobs.

The far left?  They’re apoplectic.

“Neglecting to extend this vital lifeline to millions of workers is simply immoral – an abdication of our obligation to do what we can to support those who worked hard, played by the rules, and lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” former U.S. Speaker and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said.

U.S. President Barack Obama has also called for the extended benefits – which range between $500-$1,200 a month – to be restored as soon as Congress returns from its Christmas break.  More than $225 billion has been spent on this program over the last five years – and Pelosi and Obama want to add another $19 billion to the pile.

Enough is enough …

Taxpayers cannot perpetually subsidize dependency with borrowed money. And while anti-free market policy makers like to cite studies showing the positive economic impact of extending these subsidies, they neglect to factor in the long-term costs of such unsustainable borrowing.

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12 comments

Jackie Chiles December 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

Out of one mouth, they scream they’ve done a great job and our economy is recovered. Out of the other, they scream that we’re in dire straits and must extend unemployment insurance benefits for unending lengths of time.

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein December 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

A very astute observation, Sir.

Ever moving forward. One Five Year Plan away from Paradise, eh comrades?

Reply
Slartibartfast December 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm

?? ????? ???????! ?? ?????????, ??? ..

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Jan December 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Who is they?

Reply
Jackie Chiles December 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Indeed.

Reply
MarilynTrailerParkMonroe December 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Ending unemployment benefits is an austerity measure that harms South Carolinians and will thwart the recovery effort.

The fiscal doom predicted by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson 3 years ago never materialized. We need more spending, not less.

The UE benefits would have trickled into the economy, to the local hardware store or BiLO, immediately. Cutting money off from people hurts the economy.

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Frank Pytel December 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Yeah, I say take a play from OWS and OAD. XP

Reply
Smirks December 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Ending unemployment benefits is an austerity measure that harms South Carolinians and will thwart the recovery effort.

There’s a lot of things wrong with this statement.

1) No one is ending unemployment benefits.

2) The unemployment extension expiring is not a cut or an austerity measure, it is simply a response to the recession that was set to, and allowed to, expire. Any temporary measure brought on by the recession is meant to be temporary.

3) 99 weeks is ridiculous no matter what anyone says. Even during the core of the recession it was a bit excessive. If an expansion should have been kept, it should have been a lot more reasonable.

4) South Carolina does not suffer so much from temporary unemployment as it does long term unemployment, especially in rural areas. In many parts of the state, the economy is either stalled or fairly dead. Indefinite unemployment is a waste if SC can’t fix its own economy, which is pretty bad off since the recession, but has always been pretty crappy.

5) Democrats as a whole did not seriously seek the extension being kept. Those Dems who did didn’t see fit to shorten the length of it to something they could theoretically win.

I agree that people on hard times should receive some help (that’s what safety net programs are specifically designed for, after all), but there’s no reason to continue the expanded unemployment protection, at the very least not for the length it was set at.

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Slartibartfast December 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Well put.

Reply
scotty December 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Just think when they get all of the illegals on unemployment comp and the great health care plan aka Medicaid. We will run out of tax payers very rapidly then how will the libturds finance there socialist Eurocentric plan?

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Megan December 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Joe Wilson was right.

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Frank Pytel December 31, 2013 at 5:32 am

Quite the change from Riverside, Hmmm?? I grew up in CommieFornication

Reply

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