The continued extension of unemployment benefits bill will come to a vote in the senate again this week. This bill is estimated to cost $33.9 billion over ten years. It currently contains three elements:
1. Extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program - The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program phased-out at the end of May 2010. This program provides (depending on a State’s unemployment rate) up to fifty-three (53) weeks of extended benefits. The bill would extend the EUC program through November 2010 and is retroactive.
2. Extension of Extended Benefits (EB) program - 100% Federal funding for the Extended Benefits (EB) program phased-out at the end of May 2010. This program provides up to an additional 13 to 20 weeks of benefits in certain States (i.e., 13 weeks for States at or above 6.5% unemployment and another 7 weeks for States at or above 8% unemployment). The bill would extend full funding for the EB program through November 2010.
3. Eliminating the penalty for part-time employment in the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program - The legislation coordinates EUC Benefits with regular Benefits by providing States with a number of options to allow EUC claimants to remain eligible for the EUC program when they become newly entitled to State unemployment compensation if switching to State benefits would reduce their weekly UI check by at least $100 or 25 percent.
(The above points taken from Examiner.com)
I believe the third element is what stretches this to ten years as the first two are only effective until November of this year.
Unfortunately, Mr. Reid and his democratic cohorts have kept the actual bill from the eyes of those who will be required to vote on it when it comes up on Tuesday. This tactic is typical politics as usual and is exactly why he and others like him must not be reelected. More often than not, this hiding is to pad the bill with more pork and unnecessary policy. This is a crucial bill. We have been lead into a financial crisis by the socialist and Marxist policies of the current administration and legislature and the wild spending of the previous ones.
Please understand, virtually no one on unemployment is there because he was fired or quit his job. Virtually everyone on unemployment was either laid off or worked for a company that closed during this crisis. They are required to aggressively seek employment to remain eligible. That is applying to at least five positions a week. There are at least five qualified unemployed for every open position. In my line of work, every posting will receive 200 to 400 resumes the first day of the posting. Many of the unemployed are requiring over a year to find suitable employment because of the lack of available jobs. The current administration does magical things with the jobs numbers. For example, it counted the census jobs as jobs created and apparently, counted them multiple times. In reality, they only lasted three or four months. This is not a solution to the jobs crisis.
We have seen three million people lose their assistance since June 1 and they are dropping off at a rate of 200,000 per week. This will mean millions will end up in foreclosure, bankruptcy, and homeless. That is not a recipe for moving this country to prosperity.
What is the prescription for our prosperity is jobs. We must see that new businesses in the private sector are created, existing businesses are stimulated and the current strategy of creating more control and bureaucratic positions reversed. This will take some time to enact and bring the unemployment numbers back to a reasonable level of around 4% and duration of unemployment back to no more than 6 months.
Bottom line: supporting the unemployed with financial assistance during this period is fiscally responsible economic policy.