Obama: Renewing Benefits for Long-Term Unemployed Is Priority

The president urged lawmakers to make it their "first order of business"

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Jonathan J. Cooper / ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this hursday Dec. 26, 2013 file photo, Richard Mattos, 59, looks for jobs at a state-run employment center in Salem, Ore.

President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to extend an emergency unemployment program during his weekly address Saturday.

Obama, on the heels of his two-week vacation in Hawaii, insisted both parties should focus on passing a three-month extension to providing benefits to the 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans. The program expired when Congress failed to include an extension in a two-year budget deal passed before the holiday break.

“We’re a better country than that. We don’t abandon our fellow Americans when times get tough; we keep the faith with them until they start that new job.”

GOP members, including Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, have said they’re open to extending the benefits as long as costs are balanced.

[The New York Times]

90 comments
lagrace.cosmetics2013
lagrace.cosmetics2013

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NTupper
NTupper

I am not sure if people are commenting on this, but there is no money left in the overinflated budget to cover the cost.  Lets way the two options in my opinion.

First, borrow the 6.4 billion to extend the Unemployment for three months.  During that time it will place SOME money back into the market as the unemployed use the money.  Then after three months at maybe 200,000 job creation rate you will be able to send back 600,000 out of 10.9 million. 
Also remember that this number is not guaranteed since..
"The civilian labor force rose by 455,000 in November, after declining by 720,000 in October." US Department of Labor.  Remember also that they are not contributing, in the long run, to the economy with a job.

Second, use the 6.4 billion, that it is estimated cost to extend for 3 months, to invest is the areas of the country with the highest unemployment rate.  Start large projects in the areas of renewable energy, refining, production and create many jobs during the development of these projects as well as after these projects are done.  Not only does the initial investment go into the economy, but also the new employment on top of the current monthly job creation rate.

For me the republican and democrat argument is old, and is used as a distraction stop people from thinking creatively to stimulate an economy.  The "yeah well your party did this, therefore we need to listen to my party" argument does not help create more jobs in the market.  And getting money for nothing might be nice but it is not what the USA was founded upon.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

Just read the comments below.  It seems inconceivable that these people say what they say: the venom just drips from their posts.  


Unemployed people are people who have worked and who (for whatever reason) have been out of work.  How they don't qualify for our help and support in their time of need, and how people can't see their ways clear to that is a mystery to me.  


What better investment can we make than to help someone who is struggling to make ends meet after having been thrown out of work?  Another aircraft carrier?  More F-35s?  Or, maybe, another Middle East war?


What system of values do these people have, anyway?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Amazing the GOP which has done so much to hamper the recovery in the first place now wants to hamper it even more by taking 1.3 Million consumers out of our marketplace.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

Restoring unemployment benefits?  


The GOP is unlikely to treat kindly those people who were thrown out of work by the Republican recession and kept out of work by the Republicans' refusal to approve an economic package that would allow the economy to grow more rapidly than it has.  They are the worthless, freeloading parasites that the Republicans so vociferously despise.  


(Nobody does hate quite as well as the Republicans.)


Don't expect either humanity or cooperation from the Republicans any time soon.  The facts that they own the recession, that they engineered the slow recovery to handicap Obama, that they lost the election in 2012, that they have nothing to offer the country and no interest in representing the interests of anyone but the wealthiest and most intolerant Americans -- all these facts describe and define today's GOP.  


Humanity isn't on that list.

SteveFolino
SteveFolino

Wouldn't a better, long-term solution to unemployment be to create more jobs rather than to simply pay those who are out of work?  Why doesn't the current administration focus on creating an environment that promotes the growth of business right here in America.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

One thing you got to hand to this man. He speaks in soaring rhetoric, but the problem is if he knows what he is talking about. Superficiality your name is Obama.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

Politicians are alright : they get paid whether they work or not .

joethenobody
joethenobody

We can start by getting all the illegal immigrants out of this country or get them signed up for citizenship. They work for half of minimum wage, out work ANY American and not bitch, their making some money. Living 7,8,9 to a single hotel room, work 10,12 hour days. I wouldn't be surprised if most politicians will hire them ( if they haven't already) over any American.Hell we even educate them, ask for nothing in return and send them on their way.

EdWapole
EdWapole

As a proven serial liar, who's only trade-craft is lying, Obama needs to resign.  Nobody believes anything he says any more.  Anyone who believes the statistics put out by his administration is probably too stupid to vote.

TerryClifton02
TerryClifton02

This welfare president is all about keeping the poor even poorer, and his friends at Google, Facebook, Microsoft even richer!!! He wants to throw those who lost jobs under his watch yet another bone, to keep them on the dole, to keep them starving.

jprowan08
jprowan08

everyone should be paid for quality and amount  produced, and yes , it CAN be applied across the board !!

DamienAnderson
DamienAnderson

Put a temporary hold on legal, card carrying, guest workers that are taking high-tech jobs, sending the existing ones home and accepting no new ones along with kicking out illegal immigrants taking up manual labor work and viola, the jobs problem solved overnight!


Want an alternative?  Temporarily raise cooperate tax HOWEVER at the very same time, offer tax breaks to those same cooperation who create X amount of new jobs that must go to unemployed American workers and instead of paying an increased tax, the taxes instead becomes lower than they were before.  Same incentive to be applied to raising salaries for the underpaid.  New jobs will get created and the incentive will be to train and hire the out of work and get the economy rolling in top gear fashion.  Again problem solved.


How hard is this really if your priorities are straight?

WilliamHuesmann
WilliamHuesmann

Maybe I'm not understanding the definition of "emergency" unemployment assistance.  I can see it for up to six months; after that it's time to get back to work -- even if it means making less initially (or making less, period).  So long as I am seeing help wanted ads, something tells me that the work's out there -- the will to work is not.  I just spent 16 weeks in a industrial skills class where we had everything from the unemployed to those working Mickey D's and pizza delivery in the day and taking class at night.  Every one of those who completed the class had a job at the end.  But "ya gotta have the wanna", folks.  And two years on "emergency compensation" is NOT the answer -- sorry.  Oh..and by the way....fully half of the class could have qualified as "minorities"....so don't make it about race.  It's about will...and those kids (some in their 40's) were committed to WORKING at the end of the training pipeline. 

nigelcairns51
nigelcairns51

do politicians and economists have NO IDEA what caused the recession?  If they don't it's not surprising that they have no ideas how to fix it.

I thought it was the bankers, but as long as Holder refuses to prosecute them, I presume the cycle will continue (despite the new 'toothless' Volcker act).

We need a government in which the politicians care about others and not just themselves. 

nookly23
nookly23

He is right, 26 weeks worked for other presidents, but under the welfare king's "welfare creates jobs" economic policy, 2 years is not going to cover it. Maybe if the child had not run up the largest debt in US history while pushing millions of people from middle class into poverty, he would have more credibility, but telling lies constantly just is not going to get it done anymore.

When the GOP takes the senate next year, the jobs bills that passed the house will get pulled from Harry's dead hands and senators will get a chance to read them and decide if any are as workable as economists have claimed.

When Obama tries to threaten veto, he gets impeached for his numerous crimes.

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

The conservative view is we don't help Americans who are struggling. We are better off if they suffer. It''s good for them

I believe that Americans can afford to help other Americans without it costing our nation much.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@DavidStrayerAlso, it's one of the more efficient forms of stimulus for the economy.  


It should be approved for that reason alone.

WalsheDoug
WalsheDoug

@mantisdragon91 Finally. someone who thinks like me! WELL SAID. Pretty soon we will no longer have a 'middle-class' either, thanks in part to the GOP.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@SteveFolinoIt's one of the more efficient forms of stimulus.  So unemployment benefits and job creation go hand in hand. 

Besides Republicans have blocked all democrats attempts to pass jobs bills.  They might not have agreed with them, but they also knew that not passing them would result in doing nothing. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@SteveFolinoSeeing as the GOP obstructionist policies have cost us 2.1 Million Jobs since 2011 alone, perhaps you should take it up with them instead.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@joethenobody Nobody is even talking about this.  Nobody will ever do this.  If they did, the legal immigrants would ensure they would never win an election again. 

I'm afraid those people are here to stay, along with all the others that cross the borders between now and when it is secured. 

WalsheDoug
WalsheDoug

@joethenobody ....and immigrants collecting Social Security benefits without working a day in their life in the U.S. Yes, it's true people -I know a few and it really, really pisses me off!! Hell, the way the immigrants think is "let's go to the U.S. so we can get this and that for free"... and people want to know WHY some of us are racist! DAH!!!!!!!! I know I am and willing to admit it. I have worked since the age of 15, and here I am, 52 years of age and never once needed government assistant and have paid into it all these years and suddenly get cut-off? Really, is that fair???? Yet the immigrants get EVERYTHING. WTF!!! I did not ask to be unemployed, nor do I enjoy staying home daily, it's DEGRADING as a father not to be able to provide for his family. If you're not a CEO or an Attorney (upper-class) or leaving in a tent out in desert (lower-class) then we as 'middle-class are basically SCREWED and will not see the day of light in our future!! Who's to blame, GOP, period. I hate knowing my tax money is paying these assholes saleries.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@EdWapole But we should take everything Sarah Palin tells us as the gospel truth?

LLG
LLG

@FeudiPandola....dahhhhhh.....what about well educated people (such as my husband) who was a teacher for 26 years....WELL liked, always a great review....5 years away from retiring....and BOOM....laid off....try finding a job at 51 years old with benefits....NOT EASY TO DO....he has paid into the system and DESERVES Government help (unemployment benefits)....he is not a lazy ass that lays around collecting...he is on the computer EVERYDAY looking for a job.....Jobs....yes, jobs with benefits......  but, the people who have paid into the system for years upon years deserve unemployment until he can find a decent job again.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@FeudiPandolaunemployment insurance creates jobs.  It's one of the more efficient stimuluses (stimuli?  whatever).  Look up the economic studies about it.

demz.taters
demz.taters

@DamienAndersonTell it to the "Job creators" who are being defended in their race to the bottom by a fair amount of commenters here.

ObstacleCR
ObstacleCR

@WilliamHuesmann

Are you referring to an industrial skills class that is available nationwide? Were you one of the students? What were the wages for the jobs obtained after the class you mentioned?  Are your personal observations narrow, based on where you live (and/or your job)? What is this "something" that is telling you there is work "out there"? Is it the listing of a few jobs? What prompted your notion that "the will to work is not present"?

If someone can afford to pay for, and attend a class (for 4 months?), then survive until their first paycheck, that's amazing. Millions of former workers cannot afford this. Also, you mentioned wages (making less)--while prices skyrocket. One is working, yes, but basic expenses out-strip after-tax pay. This person still may need, and qualify for, public assistance. Evidently, existing in a less-shallow hole (than the unemployment hole) is an improvement in life.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@WilliamHuesmann I'm fairly Liberal in my political slant, but for the most part I agree with you. I can see taking 6 months to a year to attempt to find a job in the same general classification as the one they lost. After a year, I wouldn't mind seeing unemployment benefits begin to taper off, which would allow these people to go another direction without being completely cut off. My wife was downsized from a upper management position with a large pharmaceutical company, and after 10 months on unemployment, she took what is essentially a sales position with another one. She's planning on returning to management with this company, but in the mean time, she's making a living. 

Diecash1
Diecash1

@nookly23 "but telling lies constantly just is not going to get it done anymore."

Neither will spewing stupidity but that hasn't stopped you.  

They don't call it the "Great Recession" for nothing.  It left a huge hole in the economy that has yet to be filled as the jobs market has not recovered, largely due to Republican obstruction.  BTW, precisely how many jobs did your precious Repubs create under W?  Approximately 1.3 million in 8 years.  More than twice as many jobs (>3 million) have been created under Obama in just under 5 years.


"Maybe if the child had not run up the largest debt in US history"


Wrong again.  The debt on 1/20/09 was $10.626T.  Add W's 2009 budget deficit of $1.3T to that and you have a debt of $12.929T when Obama took office.  Given that the debt is now approximately $17T, that means that just over $4T has been added under Obama, significantly less than W added (more than $7T) in his two terms.


Next time, try learning the facts before spouting off.  You'll save me the time of schooling you in the facts.

JamesHuffine
JamesHuffine

@nookly23 sort worked like the RICH are Job Creators...huh? Oh yeah they create jobs at 7.25 for 20 hours a week. 

Belarusa
Belarusa

@JoeSmythe As opposed to the liberal view of "Give everyone free handouts and keep promising them the moon so they become dependent on us for everything and will keep voting for us just to keep the gravy train a' chugging!" right?

I believe that Americans should be given the opportunity to win or lose on their own merits, not become lazy and dependent on an all powerful, corrupt government.

GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK AND OFF THE DAMN LIBERAL WELFARE DEPENDENCY!

jprowan08
jprowan08

@JoeSmythe  we can do it if we cut out all the SSI from the money sucking bums

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@DavidStrayer@ReneDemonteverdeAgreed, except that if you ask any of them to provide academic records, they will. Except for Ted Cruz. The testimonial of Alan Dershowitz alone suffices. Obama on the other hand had his records sealed and funny that you would take at face value that what he said is true. From your avatar you dont look like anybody`s fool. Surely you were not born yesterday.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@barneydidit@EdWapoleHere is a test for you genius. Without making it up which lie did Palin tell ? Come on. Just dont make things up. For one perceived Palin lie, Obama has ten actual lies spoken before cameras.

EdWapole
EdWapole

@barneydidit@EdWapole  Barney - when a person's mind cannot comprehend simple truths and as a result resorts to reversal reductio ad absurdum for a lame response, the person is pretty well proved to be too stupid to vote.  Please try again to make a cogent rebuttal to the stated thesis.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@barneydidit@WilliamHuesmannFrom another article:


"According to a report generated last month by the Department of Labor and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, 1.3 million Americans would be affected immediately by Congress’ failure to extend jobless benefits, with another 3.6 million Americans set to lose benefits by the end of 2014. The report also projected that the reduction in job seekers’ incomes would lead to a fall in economic demand, which would cost 240,000 jobs this year."

So to pull benefits from these people would cause another 240k people to gain them instead.  

That's the way to save money!

tom.litton
tom.litton

@barneydidit@WilliamHuesmannWhen there are jobs, i would agree with you.  But when there are a lot of applicants for every opening, then someone is going to be left without a job, and that is more likely people that have been unemployed a long time.  


Cutting unemployment not only hurts the families that depend on it, but also hurts the economy overall.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Belarusa@JoeSmytheThe entire system works better if almost everyone "wins", even if a few don't win quite as much.


That is what the inequality problem is about. 

demz.taters
demz.taters

@Belarusa@JoeSmytheAnd the conservative view is to give the top quintile handouts and if we're really nice they might create some jobs. How has that worked out the past decade or so?

Diecash1
Diecash1

@ReneDemonteverde@Diecash1 While you're at it, explain to all of us why it's so important for Obama to release his academic records to the public.  What purpose would that serve?

Diecash1
Diecash1

Look jacka$$, I've proved your talking point to be false. Unless you have something substantive to contribute, p!ss off. You're no better than the average birther.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@Diecash1@ReneDemonteverdeHere we go again, moron, stupid. I never used those words not unless somebody uses it first. Much as your post confirm your mental competence I will refrain from calling you idiot although obviously you are one. And stop waving those unsealed academic records reports. Have you seen it ? And if you have seen it can you kindly furnish it here. Bush refused to released it and you used Wapo as a source.

Diecash1
Diecash1

@ReneDemonteverdeAt what point will you stop making yourself look stupid by purveying falsehoods?  I've seen you assert that Obama "had his records sealed" numerous time and it's a lie.  Only birther morons still attempt to make such assertions.


  • Claims #1, 2 and 4, college records. Obama’s college records are not “sealed” by a court order, as this graphic would have you believe. It would be illegal under federal law (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) for Occidental, Columbia or Harvard Law School to give any former student’s records to reporters or members of the public without that person’s specific, written permission. Obama hasn’t released them, but neither have other presidential candidates released their college records. George W. Bush’s grades at Yale eventually became public, but only because somebody leaked them to the New Yorker magazine. Bush himself refused to release them, according to a 1999 profile in the Washington Post.
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/07/obamas-sealed-records/

barneydidit
barneydidit

@ReneDemonteverde @barneydidit @EdWapole OMG Rene...really? Sarah started lying when she told us the investigation on her abuse of power "cleared her". It kept going with "thanks but no thanks" for the bridge to nowhere, she told us polar bears were not endangered, Ronald Reagan's recession was worse than the one Obama inherited, she couldn't take stimulus money because it required "universal building codes", wind turbines from the stimulus package built in China...the list goes on.  Do you have a more difficult task for me?