Congress Approves Unemployment Extension...But Does It Make Sense?
We all heard about it on Thursday: by a vote of 272 to 152, the House of Representatives sent the proposal to extend unemployment benefits, already approved by the Senate, to the Oval Office. This means that those who previously exhausted their unemployment after 26 weeks will now be able to continue receiving payments through November.
Much has been made of the debate over whether to extend unemployment at all, with Congressional Democrats arguing that the over $30 billion legislation is simply needed to aid the nation's jobless and Republicans stating that they are not necessarily against extending unemployment benefits; rather, they feel that the cost of such an extension should at least be half paid using unused money allocated from last year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), better known as the stimulus bill.
For the sake of full disclosure, I'll very simply state that I am not a registered Republican, but I'm also not a Democrat, which should be more obvious than a fart in church if you've read any of my previous political diatribes. Most of my belief system, however, is rooted in conservatism intertwined with aspects of libertarianism. Having said that, I have mixed emotions when it comes to the unemployment extension, because I have many friends who have collected it in the past or are currently collecting it due to layoffs, reorganizations, or whatever you want to call it. The truth is that I can easily see both sides of the coin in this debate.
On one hand, you have Democrats stating that out-of-work Americans who have repeatedly been unable to acquire a new job will need these benefits to be able to survive day-to-day. As the president indicated after he signed the legislation, "Americans who are fighting to find a good job and support their families will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times."Continued on the next page