The Questionable Logic of Extended Unemployment Benefits
Congress has again extended unemployment benefits, this time June 2. I’ve lost count of the number of extensions that have been passed and the billions that have been spent. This won’t be the last. Our President wants to extend them through the end of the year. He really means through Election Day but he can’t say that for public consumption. Besides, what’s a few billion here and there when votes are at stake?
Does this mean that the chronically unemployed in 2010 are more important than the chronically unemployed of 2007? Should we go back and even it out for everyone who ran out of benefits in earlier years?
I can determine only one reason that today’s unemployed receive treatment than those of prior years. Higher unemployment means more votes are at stake. Can you think of another reason?
Here’s an amusing but sad consequence of never-ending extensions of unemployment benefits: Payday loans. That’s right – the unemployed are using their benefit checks as collateral for payday loans! Benefit check day is now “payday.” Everyone assumes that the unemployment benefits will keep on coming, at least through the November elections. Congress is creating that expectation.
I would love to see statistics correlating the end of unemployment benefits to the time required to find a job.
Now that tax day round 1 has passed, have a look at the articles in the Carnival of Taxes to get you in the right post-tax day mood.