Morning Action: Senate’s Bipartisan Unemployment Benefit Extension is Harmful, Ineffective

UI.  Alex Brill writes in National Review that “the recent Senate agreement on unemployment benefits is a reminder that bipartisan cooperation isn’t always a good thing.”

The deal combines two big policy mistakes that I have criticized before: a corporate welfare provision that lets employers underfund their workers’ pensions and a (largely retroactive) extension of unemployment benefits that does nothing to cure the long-term unemployment crisis.

He explains the pay for is a gimmick and the extension of unemployment benefits is inherently ineffective at actually helping people find work.  He continues:

But the recent bipartisanship on unemployment benefits is tenuous. While some Republicans may see Friday’s deal as a way to disarm one of the Democrats’ easiest campaign talking points — the GOP does not care about the struggling worker — any Republican victory on this front will likely be short-lived. Agreeing to extend unemployment benefits before the campaign season is in full-swing will not ultimately deflect Democrats’ criticism, but rather allow Democrats to sharpen their focus on another faulty populist policy, raising the minimum wage.

TRANSPORTATION.  New projections show highway levels of Trust Fund are worse than was believed (sub. req’d):

The Highway Trust Fund may fall below critical levels as soon as July, forcing the Department of Transportation to delay payments for state highway and transit projects in order to maintain a positive balance.

The DOT updated its Highway Trust Fund ticker March 16 showing that the highway account will likely dip below $4 billion—the amount needed to meet funding obligations as they are due—in July with insolvency possible in August.

OBAMACARE.  In two weeks, Obamacare’s individual mandate kicks in, and the Heritage Foundation explains what that means for many Americans:

In two weeks, Obamacare’s centerpiece—the individual mandate to purchase government-approved health insurance—kicks in.

Are you “covered,” as the White House keeps asking in its endless advertising? Because if you don’t have health insurance by March 31, you will have to pay a penalty on your income tax form next year.

For 2014, the penalty for not purchasing insurance will be either $95 or 1 percent of your annual income (whichever is greater). But as Heritage expert Alyene Senger explains, “Very few, if any, people will end up paying just $95, because individuals with an annual income of only $9,500 or less would likely qualify for Medicaid or a hardship exemption from the mandate.”

IMF.  The Heritage Foundation has a Q&A on the International Monetary Fund and U.S. Aid to Ukraine, and they explain the IMF package and aid to Ukraine are in the same legislation due to “corruption in the congressional process”:

The IMF reform package will have no impact whatsoever on the eventual level of U.S. bilateral aid to Ukraine, nor will it have much impact overall on total IMF lending to Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration, along with members of Congress from both parties, are exploiting the urgent need to help Ukraine by seeking to attach to the Ukraine legislation the broader and unrelated IMF reform package.

The actions by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Senate to connect these unrelated issues in one piece of legislation represents a corruption of the congressional process, and that legislative body’s failure to deal with the Ukraine issue on its own merits.


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5 thoughts on “Morning Action: Senate’s Bipartisan Unemployment Benefit Extension is Harmful, Ineffective

  1. I dont understand how its wrong are harmful to help American people that are veterans or got fired wrongfully. But when we wanna go kill people in other places the money flows like water are when countrys are in need they give it and ask us to pitch in. To be real its only inked paper anyway. Like toilet paper with fine writing and a barcode. Can we get help before others do..jus asking..

  2. For all you who think its easy to get a job its not even if your qualified. And it takes money to get a job, im talking gas, suits and clean close for those with out a washer and dryer.. plus for 2 weeks you dont get paid so how do you get to work broke til the 1st check. We are broke now so who cares about the future if we barely make it threw the week..

  3. this is a five month extension so quit whining.. extended unemployment has been going on for years.. And the retroactive payment is to pay off bills and loans people and there children who havent became homeless have fallen behind on during this childish debate. This article should crush your rep. People who have never been dollars away from being homeless and arent having trouble finding a job because of age and poor education have no clue how unemployment feels. You act like it makes lazy people have plenty of money. Well guess what.. your still completely broke with unemployment. All it does is feeds you and maybe your children and gives you gas money. No extra money for food, a beer, drugs, fun activities. It sickens me when people act like we get a ton of money. I cant even afford my car note or insurance. I cant afford to lose my phone so every dime goes to my phone and children and gas. You people are sickening. Go live in uganda if you think thats how life should be. Keep acting that way and thats how life will be in America. The pay should actually go up if anything, not away. I got paid less than 150 a week in Mississippi and the only way I didnt get more is because they based it off my last few checks which were obviously going to get lower since our hours were being cut till we got laid off. SICKENING!

  4. I think stupid bitches like this Katherine Rosario needs to lose her job suddenly without ANY cause. And spend the next year looking for works with her attitude. Something tells me she would be living with the first guy that looked at her. So tired of these assholes that think they know what they are talking about judge those of us on UEI. We have EARNED the help by paying into the very system that is ignoring us. Or is government help only reserved for minorities and women? You want to attack welfare? FINE, lets look at all the women who refuse to work, have children with 5 different men, and spend their support checks on smoking and booze, and stuff for the mothers and not the children they were meant to support? THEY paid nothing into the system they are taking advantage of. Glad you have your priorities straight. Im glad you can see justification in sending 52BILLION to Isreal so they can cause more issues in the middle east, money that will never be repaid, but 14 billion of OUR tax money to help our own people is wrong? Our country is failing because of people that have lost touch with reality like you Ms. Rosario. But that is ok, Your wake up call is coming soon.

    • I completely agree with Hereticzen. Katherine Rosario needs to go without her job for a while. I can’t believe she is so gullible to have written this article, she was probably brainwashed or just sucking up to her boss. It is a shame that more women journalists like her just can’t think for themselves.

      I pray for all those that are out of work and can’t find anything, believe me I’ve been there. All we can do at this point is to sign the petitions, call or email our house representatives and urge them to do the right thing. In the meantime, our women’s health clinics and pre-k programs close down further expanding the income inequality gap. She is obviously out of touch with exactly how oppression works.

      Karma is a bitch Ms. Rosario and I pray for your misguided soul.

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