Long-Term Unemployed Losing a Lifeline

Jobless benefits set to expire Saturday

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Federal unemployment benefits are set to expire on Saturday for about 1.3 million long-term jobless Americans, cutting off a key economic lifeline after lawmakers failed to agree on an extension in the recent budget agreement.

The federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, an aid package enacted during the recession, pays an average of $300 a week to beneficiaries who have used up the roughly 26 weeks of unemployment insurance offered by most states. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the program would pay out $25 billion in 2014 if extended through next year.

President Barack Obama has signaled support for a proposal in the Democratic-controlled Senate to extend benefits for three months while a longer-term solution is brokered. Whether such a proposal stands a chance in the GOP-controlled House remains unclear.

The economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insights predicts the expiration of the benefits would take 0.2 percent off projected GDP growth of 2 percent to 2.5 percent. The program’s expiration has “a measurable impact in the first quarter,” IHS’ chief economist told the Wall Street Journal, “but not really a material impact unless you’re part of the 1.3 million.”

[WSJ]

74 comments
curt3rd
curt3rd

I dont understand why unemployment benifits need to be extended? Obama told me that the economy was doing better than ever.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

Politicians get paid whether they work or not .

Ceunei
Ceunei


How does removing money from the pockets of those who will spend it on basic necessities such as food and housing help the economy? No, not the Corporate Economy which is thriving right now, on its glut of sheeple, but the Human Economy.


Additionally, I wonder how many of these people now sans Federal Unemployment Insurance will also be pushed into foreclosure when their income drops even more. I have come to understand foreclosures must really help the economy since they are still being allowed by humans and government alike.


We the People have lost our humanity and have become and are raising our children to be ever more corporately droned...even to the removal of a living wage. But, who needs living wages and healthcare and retirement and sick days and extra money to save if they are a Corporate Citizen.



DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

The ironic part of this is that most of these chronically unemployed are in Red States and are likely Republicans.  The sad part is that this will be spun to them as something the Liberals did to them (Like saying Obama didn't fight for them, a majority of Democrats voted for the budget and it didn't include extending the benefits, suppressing or not mentioning any news of the democrats wanting to fix it, etc.), which it was not.

After all, all but ONE GOP senator facing re-election voted AGAINST the budget, so they'll say it was because they wanted the unemployment benefits, when records will show they likely were vocal opponents of including it.

This is how the rightists stay in power.  Half truths, lies and innuendo.

If you want change, vote for a moderate - one who has a track record of being a centrist.  You don't always get what you want, but you'll likely be able to get a job, put food on the table, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and, maybe, an education for yourself or kids.  You know - the things that people REALLY care about and not these BS policies that do NOTHING to impact the really important things in people's lives.

mys
mys

North Carolina Republicans dropped extended unemployment benefits July 1st, showing how 70,000 families can quietly be driven to poverty. Now the thinking is, hey, if they can do it and get away with it and sleep at night, why can't the rest of the country do it? I could see this coming a mile way.


The national outrage should've started before July, in NC. Where was the outrage, the myriad of stories, the national g*d-damned press then?

vortex100
vortex100

Let's get this straight right now. The right wing doesn't care about the economy or helping anyone who is not wealthy. They just don't care. There is no compassion for the poor or those without jobs. The Republicans are the Party of No. If it will help the middle class and the poor, the answer is always "NO!" There will be no extension of unemployment benefits, because they don't care that there are 4 unemployed people for every available job out there (see Bureau of Labor Statistics). If absolutely every job available were filled by the unemployed today, millions would still be out of work. But to conservative Republicans this doesn't matter. Cut them off, make their bad situation even worse and leave them no recourse. The War on the Poor must continue unabated. If these unemployed cannot get a job, it has nothing to do with the fact there aren't enough jobs to go around, it is because all these poor and middle class people are leaches and lazy! There is something wrong with them! This is their way of thinking, and it will not change. Again, they do not care about you. Get use to it.

UncleAl
UncleAl

Obamunism suckles disaster and criminality.  If you are not among those begging to be saved after (imposed) disaster, you are pursed as a criminal just in case.  A juicy 1.3 million job seekers will vanish from Official Truth jobless numbers, zooming the January 2014 stock market.  They can then apply for Welfare, Medicaid, or food stamps; or engage prosecutable behavior like withholding debt payments.  It's a vast job creator either way - for the deserving.



JackHudson
JackHudson

As much as I hate Obamacare, As much as I hate everything this president has done since his promise to transform our nation, I have to admit to not extend UI is heartless, and will not play well for Republicans if they don't get their Ass#s back to work and get it done immediately.


Lord, is there ANY hope for our nation? I see no good answers in any side of our current political parties.

BrianPiret
BrianPiret

This is the EFFECT. What is Congress doing today to address the CAUSE to reduce the probability of this happening to our children? How are WE THE PEOPLE holding the elected accountable?  Amendments to the Constitution must be added to enforce accountability and fiscal responsibility in Government and Corporate. 33 states must call for a Constitutional Convention. The time is NOW! The WORLD is watching this experiment in freedom FAIL! 


Bring the jobs back home.

mydads1st
mydads1st

What has your TEA-Republican Senator or Representative done for(to) you lately? If Americans think this 113th Congress, is a do nothing congress, they should translate that to votes in 2014! Not voting is like voting for the opposition! V.O.T.E.(Vote Out The Encumberance)

eagle11772
eagle11772

This is part of The Obamaniac's "Stimulus Plan".  By The Obamaniac refusing to provide more unemployment payments, the unemployed will be unable to afford their mandatory OBAMACARE payments.  After these people are arrested for not having health insurance, because they can't afford it, and they lost their doctors and health plans which The Obamaniac PROMISED that they could keep, hundreds of thousands of new jobs will be created to build prisons and staff these prisons with corrections officers to guard these dangerous criminals without OBAMACARE.  THAT is The Obamaniac's "Stimulus Plan" which he laid out in the Democratic Party Platform.  Didn't any of you guys READ The Obamacare bill before it was passed by congress ? !

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

There is a perception in our nation and among hard liners in our own government that says that those "on the dole" would rather stay that way.  These people seem to feel that the average $300/week takes care of the unemployed to the point where they don't have to work anymore.  They can just kick back and let the bucks roll in.

That is a disturbingly disjointed and utterly cynical viewpoint not based on the reality in the marketplace.  But it is one that, in my opinion, is driving this decision.

The Great Recession of 2008-09 changed the economic landscape on a fundamental level forever.  What once was is no longer.  Jobs vanished with startling speed and was so pervasive that today, fully 5 years later, the unemployment picture indicates that for the average working man and women the much hailed "recovery" hovers around 70%.  Meanwhile, corporations, the Too-Big-To-Fail investment companies and Wall St. have not only recovered they have realized record profits.  This just a year or two after the recession hit.  And for them the recovery looks rosier every day.  Wealth inequality is reaching record levels.  The money is going up not down and out.

Part of their profits come on the backs of the average working man and woman.  Companies today can demand much more from their employees than they ever have before and pay them less in compensation and benefits.  The average production per employee has increased which means companies and corporations don't need to hire more people.  This situation and trend results in long term unemployment.  Long time unemployment has yet to catch up to the wonderful recovery enjoyed by Big Business and Wall St. 

Consider too the misconception that those "on the dole" would rather stay that way.  For most of these people unemployment benefits only keep them going on a shoe string.  Typical is the fact that in order to meet their monthly obligations they have maxed out their credit cards, gone through their savings accounts and have tapped their retirement accounts.  When one is on unemployment one's hold on the American Dream slips.  There is no incentive to stay on unemployment.  There is, however, a huge incentive to find a good paying job.  The term "good paying" being relative these days.

Part of the problem resides with our elected representatives whose failure to work for the common good has resulted in a loss of confidence in the business sector. The partisan bickering and obstructive behaviors of the Tea Party in particular have hurt this nation which manifests itself in the business sector.   Passage of the recent budget compromise restored some of that confidence.  However, the threats emanating from D.C. by the hard liners is dampening that confidence now. 

So, bottom line here for We the People, in order to cut spending, our elected officials are willing to cut loose a huge sector of our population because they think they are lazy while the reality is that the jobs market lags far behind the recovery.  The picture is getting better but we aren't there yet. 

reallife
reallife

@curt3rd more unemployment benefits mean more government jobs - that's good in obamanomics - krugman says so - 


LOL


roknsteve
roknsteve

@curt3rd GOP platform for 2014.  No jobs, no health care, no food stamps, no police, no firefighters, no tax deductions, no minority voting, no benefits.  Oh. and free money for Big Corp.    

reallife
reallife

@SallySnyder 22 million gov jobs? that means there are at least 10 million that need to be cut.


vortex100
vortex100

@UncleAlTypical Republican response. The War on the Poor continues, with no compassion from the right wing. Social darwinism at its finest. The lack of a soul can do that to you Uncle Al. Karma will even things out.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@JackHudson

On the issue of UI benefits I couldn't agree more Mr. Jack.

Here are my predictions;

For those who rent they will not be able to continue payments.

For those who own homes they will not be able to meet mortgage payments.

For those who have already maxed out their credit cards in order to keep up they will no longer be able to make minimum payments.

Many families will not be able to adequately feed and clothe themselves or family members.

We will see an increase in bankruptcies.

We will see an increase in people applying for welfare.

We will see an increase in those opting for early retirement.

Overall, this is a very short sighted decision on the part of our elected representatives.

Just my humble opinion.

reallife
reallife

@BrianPiret  "The WORLD is watching this experiment in freedom FAIL! "


freedom? this "obama experiment" has NOTHING to do with freedom

it will fail because socialism does not and has never work, period

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@BrianPiret

Here's what We the People can do.  Next year in in the 2014 mid term elections we can throw the bums out!  We can vote OUT those people responsible for the gridlock in government.

This will require that we each do our homework and find out who would be a better representative and vote them IN.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@mydads1stRemember is far more important you vote in primaries.  That is where the real decisions are being made now days.

reallife
reallife

@mydads1st  "What has your TEA-Republican Senator or Representative done for(to) you lately?"


They have stopped Obama. That's plenty to be grateful for in this New Year.


Thank you Tea Party





Flalora
Flalora

@eagle117721) The president didn't refuse to extend unemployment benefits, the Congressional Republicans did. 2) If the unemployed don't have health insurance, it's probably because they live in a red state that refused federal funding for Medicaid expansion. 3) If someone is unemployed and uninsured, they don't HAVE a doctor or a health plan already (that's what uninsured means), so they aren't losing anything. 4) Nobody is getting arrested for not having health insurance. The penalty is a fine. People with financial hardships (like unemployed people, perhaps?) can get exemptions.


Would you like to have a discussion based on facts now?

manlyman
manlyman

@AlphaJuliette The picture is getting better but we aren't there yet...

No it's not getting better. Ask the people. When things get better, you feel it and see it. Sorry.

JackHudson
JackHudson

@AlphaJulietteI couldn't have said it better myself, You nailed it right to the core. 


Now I have an opinion if you would indulge me just a little. I don't believe there would ever be a tea party or whatever you want to call the extreme right unless there was not first an extreme left. Extremism only breeds more extremism, and that's what we got with this President.






















































































































































Matt43
Matt43

@AlphaJuliette I disagree.  I am against extending the benefits not because I believe the unemployed want to stay at home, but rather because it allows them to wait until something better comes along which may never happen.  Why should I settle for a lower paying job (which if I accepted would turn into a better paying job in a few months or at least give or renew job skills which could turn into a better job) when long term extended benefits allows me to wait.  Or if there are no lower paying jobs where I live, allow me to wait longer rather than having to relocate to where the jobs are.  For example, there are very available high paying, low skilled jobs in and around the oil industry in the upper western states.  As the great Sam Kinison said, if you live in a desert, move.  Long term unemployment benefits discourages this type of difficult decision.

UncleAl
UncleAl

@barneydidit @UncleAl  

Empirical observation.  Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing it.  "Pursed" or "pursued," I'm good either way.  What in the Obama Administration is not an irremediable disaster:  Fed looting of the Treasury, QE1,2,3 plus ZIRP to bankrupt retirees; IRS political targeting of Conservative non-profits; $1.2 trillion/year burned in Middle East adventurism, US soldiers parading through lush Afghani poppy fields and the War on Drugs knows not wherefrom opiates originate; Secretary of State Clitler and Secretary of Crap Kerry; our southern borders wide open to anything wishing to cross carrying anything; every marriageable sexual perversion encouraged while Mormons are prohibited from plural heterosexual marriage;


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal


in which ATF sold and gave some 2000 high-powered firearms to the bad guys who then used them to slaughter our own uniformed police and Federal officers.  It goes on and on.  Oh yeah, OBAMACARE.  You can keep your own doctor and healhcare plan, and you will pay less for healthcare coverage.


What about compulsory degradative egalitarianism appeals to you?  Christmas 2014 will be the Affordable Christmas Gift Act if the Affordable Life Insurance Act and the Affordable College Tuition Act don't beat it out..  


manlyman
manlyman

@AlphaJuliette @JackHudson In other words we will see pretty much what we've been seeing. Obama has 2 of the 3 branches of government, but he has nothing to do with anything, anytime.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@reallife

Neither does hostage taking by the extreme conservative elements in our government.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@JackHudson

Again I find that I agree with you.  Extremism begets extremism.  While we both seem to see this as the underlying and fundamental problem in D.C. I can't say who moved to the left or right first.  What I can say is that this schism has been years in the making and has culminated in the worst possible situation we have experienced in our modern history.  And it is doing a lot of damage to this nation both internally and to our image abroad.

Take a look at the overview in Richard Haas' commentary on "Foreign Policy begins at Home" - http://www.cfr.org/politics-and-strategy/foreign-policy-begins-home/p29767

Also, take a look at No Labels which is a growing group of representatives who recognize the fundamental problem of ideological political decisions - http://www.nolabels.org/ 

Our elected representatives need to start working together for the general welfare and prosperity of this nation.

vortex100
vortex100

@Matt43@AlphaJuliette I suppose you might have a point about the moving thing, if moving was free and did not have any costs associated with it. Many people are trapped in their current location because it takes thousands of dollars, especially for an entire family, to move. If you don't think so, you are being obtuse and have no idea what you are talking about.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@Matt43

I see your point and respect it.  Certainly there are those who are taking advantage of their unemployment status as you describe.  But in my opinion the vast majority are simply unable to find work in their particular trade or education.  And, no one but the very unskilled and uneducated actually do well on unemployment benefits.

Many have opted for lower paying jobs in areas outside of their expertise.  And many more have had to hold down multiple part time jobs to make ends meet.  

At the same time employers can demand more in the way of qualifications, demand more productivity from their employees, demand that they take on more responsibilities, work longer hours, pay them less and offer little or no benefits.

While I see the job market improving I also believe the timing on this pull back on UI benefits is horrible.  I believe it's going to result in an upsurge in bankruptcies, more people on welfare (which is worse here?) and more people opting for early retirement. 

Why couldn't our elected representatives have waited even six months to do this?  Merry Christmas! 

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@reallife@Paul,nnto@barneydidit@SallySnyder 

So, since you aren't going to dazzle us with the MSU formula you created, we know you're just blowing LOL smoke up your own butt.  Tell you what...  Let's cut YOUR job first, make sure you won't get hired by anyone else again (because you're an annoying, little sod) and then see who's laughing about unemployment benefits getting cut.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@manlyman@AlphaJuliette@JackHudsonClearly they don't control the legislative branch since the republicans control the house.  


I would like to hear your case for the democrats controlling the judicial branch.  I think it would be a tough sell considering the supreme court tends to lean right.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@BruceStrong

Yes sir, there are plenty of people who not only think about working for a living but are trying very hard to find jobs so they can.

No one makes money on unemployment.  They lose money.  It's a life line for the short term.  Short term these days can stretch for a long term, unfortunately, due to the current job market forces. 

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@reallife

I would say I have real world supporting facts that back up my predictions while you just have your lousy attitude.

Take a look.  Read it if you can. - http://news.msn.com/us/high-stakes-for-us-families-losing-jobless-benefit

There are lots of honest hard working people that are going to be "thrown out on the street" just because hard core conservatives think it's just too much to help them anymore.  Too bad We the People aren't considered Too Big To Fail. 

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@manlyman@barneydidit@reallife@BrianPiret 

In as much as you may think it "works", free market capitalism ONLY increases the number of poor because it only ever facilitates movement of capital UP the food chain.

Here's how it works.

In a capitalist economy, under ideal conditions, money circulates up through spending, and then back down through jobs.  Spending creates demand, which generates jobs.  Decreased spending means jobs creation or existence drops.  Increased spending means job creation or retention increases.

The fly in the ointment is human nature - the same problem with communism and socialism, in fact.  Humans, in general, are lazy and greedy.  They will try to take more than they need.  They will try to do as little as possible to get what they want.  This is why capitalism, and socialism/communism, fail.

What we have today is a triangle of dysfunction between business, the wealthy and the poor.  The wealthy have more than recovered their losses in the recession - and have actually increased their cut of the nation's total wealth by at least 1%-2% (that is to say, in 2010, they controlled 93% of the nation's total private wealth.  Today, that number is between 94% and 95%.)  The poor have only gotten poorer.  Businesses have been sharing wealth with the wealthy in a kind of circle jerk of investment, efficiency improvement (or moving their production overseas), firing and profit-taking, which is paid back to investors.  Businesses have tons of cash.  The wealthy do as well.  But no one is spending because, although the wealthy DO spend a LOT, they lock the vast majority of their wealth and income up in investments and  accounts that do nothing to help stimulate job creation.  They don't spend ENOUGH MONEY in enough places in enough amounts to stimulate demand and new job growth.

The fallacy of "supply side economics" is that people will buy the cheaper goods.  The truth is that they have to have the disposable income to spend in the first place, and the poor basically don't.  Furthermore, the wealthy and businesses are doing what they can to keep competition and others from getting ahead as well.  Small business loans aren't being handed out.  The wealthy are hiding their wealth and not spending most of it like most Americans end up having to do to get by.

The banks and most businesses are deregulated (with few exceptions), and what we have today, economically speaking, is the direct result of "Free Market Capitalism".

Now, unless you're in the upper 20% of Americans who own 95% of America, the current economy pretty much sucks.  Cutting unemployment benefits means there's going to be LESS SPENDING, which means less demand, which means less job creation.  Austerity in a depressed economy in a free market capitalist economy guarantees a surfeit of victims.

I'd suggest you actually take classes, read a book and stop relying on rightist propaganda for your lessons in the reality of economics.  Even my red-flag-waving, hard-right, close-minded economist father agrees with my assessment, because he HAS taken economics classes.

This isn't a political ideology.  It's economic reality.  It woudl be good if you learned the difference.

manlyman
manlyman

@barneydidit @reallife @BrianPiret Free market capitalism ALWAYS works. That's why  "compassionate" liberals hate it so much. It greatly reduces the number of "victims" that need a handout.

Matt43
Matt43

@tom.litton @Matt43 @AlphaJuliette We need long term solutions, not short term ones.  We need people to get into jobs.  There are parts of the country screaming for help.  People need to move to where the jobs are.  UI is not helping.

Matt43
Matt43

@vortex100 That's a rather blanket statement about conservatives.  Remember Bush was the one who increased aids medication spending in Africa.  I'm a third way moderate kind of guy and the way to engage conservatives is engage them with their language.  Stop thinking that UI benefits are universally good or bad, but rather in terms of what parts of it is good or bad and how can it be taylored to do what it is supposed to be i.e. as a very temporary stop gap for someone between jobs, not as a method of someone being able to wait and pick and choose what job they want to have.  Forget liberal or conservative, how do we support the first and reduce the second?

vortex100
vortex100

Matt, you're concept may be fine, as far as it goes, but it would never go over with conservatives anyway. Conservatives don't want anyone to have any help...ever, or for any reason. They only want the poor, the destitute, and unemployed to die and/or go away in some other manner. There is no heart or soul, or any sense of compassion, in these people. You don't seem to understand that. No help for anyone, ever, and especially if it might cost them any money. Can you not comprehend how these people think?

Matt43
Matt43

@vortex100 @Matt43 @AlphaJuliette Would you be OK with the concept of eliminating long term unemployment benefits and instead using that money on providing a U-haul voucher?

Matt43
Matt43

@AlphaJuliette @Matt43 The economy is improving and jobs are plentiful in some areas of the country and less so in others.  When would the timing be better?  3 months from now? 6 months from now?


The problem is that there are some jobs which are not coming back.  For example, coal miners in West Virginia.  Power plants are converting to natural gas for the long term and there are now plenty of jobs in North Dakota.


If people are unwilling to settle for a lesser paying job or unable to create their own small business where they are, then they need to move where the jobs are.  Long term UI benefits are not helping with this tough decision.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@Matt43

Generally speaking I would agree with you on long term UI benefits.  But the times are different and the timing is just so wrong.  There are other ways to reduce spending at the Federal level other than simply eliminating unemployment benefits when they are so obviously still needed.

From my perch to shift money from one benefit program to another while at the same time using that benefit to allow people to get jobs outside of their respective specialties isn't very smart.  These people are already trained and experienced and would be more of an asset if they were to find work in their respective areas of expertise.

A much better solution that satisfies both short term and long term is for our elected representatives to work together and come up with much better solutions.  The options and opportunities are there.  But the bitter bi-partisanship that exists shuts off all avenues of effective communication.

Just my humble opinion.

Matt43
Matt43

@AlphaJuliette @Matt43  RE:Many have opted for lower paying jobs in areas outside of their expertise.  And many more have had to hold down multiple part time jobs to make ends meet.


I agree and these are the very people that extending long term unemployment will not help as they are not eligible for unemployment since they are working.  I would rather get rid of long term unemployment benefits and instead use that same money to provide additional free or reduced day care costs for the working poor.