The existence of unemployment insurance payments means, especially for the low-skilled, that the change in income for taking a job ranges from slightly negative to slightly positive. This is what underlies much of the argument against unemployment insurance payments of any duration.
That’s only background to the present situation, though. There are two more, and more important, considerations surrounding the present push by President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) to extend emergency unemployment insurance payments.
One is these Democrats’ refusal to allow job training requirements to be attached to any such emergency unemployment insurance payment extension. This criterion would cull those who are just using the payments to live on. See the work requirement attachments and their results during/after the Clinton years. Seethe work requirement attached to TANF when it replaced AFDC. But the work training requirement has an additional direct benefit. The training will help these low-skilled workers get better jobs, not just return, of necessity, to the same type of job.
One is these Democrats’ refusal to pay for this extension with spending cuts anywhere else, but only with continued borrowing: this is an emergency, and “we’ve never paid for emergencies.” Actually, we do pay for emergencies, if only by borrowing against our children’s and their children’s futures. Which we’ve already done, to the tune of $17+ trillion. And this sort of unending wealth redistribution is exactly the sort of thing against which Madison warned us in the 3rd Congress.
Which brings up a third consideration. This “emergency” has been going on for five years. The demand to extend emergency unemployment insurance payments in this emergency situation is a clear admission that the economic policies of Obama and his Senate cronies are a dismal failure, even if none of them have the integrity or courage to say so out loud.
Plainly, this is just crassly naked vote pandering and an attempt to distract honest Americans from the disaster of Obamacare and Obama’s failed economic and jobs policies. And from his failed, retreat-oriented foreign “policies.”
It’s also insulting to honest Americans.