Continuation in Unemployment Benefits Without Offsets

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

The vote has yet to be cast on the eighth extension of unemployment benefits. An extension  that will guarantee up to 99 weeks of benefits to unemployed workers at an additional cost of thirty three billion dollars. The progressive collectivist in congress have refused to yield to the fiscal conservatives rational demand to offset the additional coast by taking unused funds from the eight hundred and sixty billion dollar stimulus package.

The extension will be passed and the unemployed will receive what they need to survive for awhile longer. However, with the economy still not on solid footing and job creation continuing to lag, and I am speaking of real productive private sector jobs, what is likely to happen when this extension lapses?  

Here is HuffPo reporting on  Robert Gibb’s statement with respect to this question.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs strongly suggested on Monday that President Obama will request another extension of unemployment benefits following the ones that the Senate is set to vote and pass on Tuesday.

The comments came amidst a grilling of the press secretary over the president’s current support for extending unemployment benefits without offsetting the cost with spending cuts elsewhere. Gibbs defended the president’s approach, calling unemployment benefits “emergency spending” at a time when the unemployment rate is 9.5 percent. Asked whether that same mindset would hold true at the end of November, when the soon-to-be-passed round of unemployment benefits expire, Gibbs replied:

“I think it is fair and safe to assume that we are not going to wake up and find ourselves at the end of November at a rate of employment one would not consider to be an emergency.”

The press secretary did not offer a definitive number at which the employment situation in this country would suddenly become more tolerable. But he did arbitrarily note that a rate of 9 percent of 8.5 percent would not be “something at where [sic] you decide not to continue unemployment [insurance].”

It certainly can be anticipated that barring an unlikely and miraculous turnaround in the next three months another extension will be on it’s way, and will engender another fight between rational fiscal conservatives and their progressive collectivist brethren in congress. 

Sooner or later, and with the current administration it will likely be, the nation is simply going to need to determine how to pay it’s expenses. Remember… The more you subsidize something the more of it you get. This is true of the long term unemployed as well.

Cross Posted at Left Coast Rebel.


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