Extended Unemployment Benefits, A Band-Aid for Mr. Obama’s Jobs Failure
“Republicans should join Democrats to pass one of these two measures to help those struggling to make ends meet,” said Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 13%Friday, in reference to two upcoming cloture votes on a bill extending emergency unemployment benefits.
Ostensibly all members of Congress want to help Americans “make ends meet” and more than that, to prosper. Sadly, liberal policies have failed to facilitate job creation. Look no further for proof of this than last month’s abysmal jobs report showing more and more Americans are giving up the job search altogether. In December, a mere 74,000 jobs were added to the economy.
Today, the Senate is still grappling over extending emergency unemployment benefits. But conservatives and Republicans are more concerned with real job creation, which Speaker John Boehner articulated on Friday:
There are more families living in poverty today than there were before the president took office, and instead of making it easier to find a good-paying job, Washington has been more focused on making it less difficult to live without one.
The liberals in the Senate and President Obama have refused to cooperate with the House in their effort to enact pro-growth policies. Now, they’re focused on the proverbial band-aid that is an emergency unemployment benefits extension. Their mentality is echoed by some in academia.
“A Band-Aid doesn’t heal a serious wound, but that isn’t much of a reason not to use one,” said Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California who has studied the long-term unemployed and found that extended benefits help both the recipients and the economy by fueling consumer spending.
Historical trends do not support the claim that consumer spending fuels the economy, as the Heritage Foundation demonstrates in this graphic:
The more the unemployed receive in government-benefits, the more they themselves will pay for them, either in lengthened unemployment or a spike in taxes, or both. A benefits extension is bad for the unemployed. Economists say so, history says so, logic says so.
The federal emergency unemployment benefits – benefits that extend beyond the traditional 26-week program that is primarily a state function – have been in effect since 2008. Clearly something isn’t working.