Yesterday the Senate moved forward with a bill to spend $6.4 Billion to extend the Emergency Unemployment Program by 3 months. This will ensure that the program will stay in action until April of 2014.
This week, President Obama said that it would be “just plain cruel” if Congress didn’t extend long-term unemployment benefits. The Democrats are now making an emotional appeal, hoping that you will support their plan without really diving into what it is. That’s why they are rushing to pass it. They want you to figure out what is in the bill after it is passed (sound familiar?).
Here at Conservative Daily, we don’t like it when Democrats, or any politicians for that matter, try to trick the American people. That’s why we want everyone to understand this unemployment bill before forming an opinion about it. This is everything the Democrats aren’t telling you about their plan to extend unemployment benefits.
First of all, we need to understand what the Democrats ARE NOT proposing. This current bill DOES NOT extend how many weeks of unemployment benefits people receive. NOR does it give more assistance to people who have already exhausted their benefits. This Senate bill would ONLY renew the Emergency Unemployment Program enacted in 2008.
When the economy crashed in 2008, both parties agreed that the country needed more extended unemployment benefits to weather the Great Recession. The temporary Emergency Unemployment Program gave everyone at least an additional 14 weeks of Federal unemployment benefits.
Here’s how it worked: The state-unemployment benefits people can receive lasts, at most, 26 weeks. After that, the amount of Federal benefits an individual received would depend on how high their state’s unemployment rate was. So someone living in North Dakota (where unemployment is 2.6%) would only receive 14 weeks of Federal benefits once their State unemployment ran out. But someone living in Nevada (where unemployment is 9%) would receive a whopping total of 99 WEEKS of unemployment benefits!
Now you see why Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is so determined to ram this bill through the Senate! His constituents stand to lose a year and a half of Federal unemployment benefits!
But Democrats have also said they want to make this program permanent so that almost everyone can get 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, regardless of how high or low unemployment rate is!
At what point are we going to take a look at the economy and agree that handing out close to two years of unemployment benefits is too much? This is not to insult anyone who has struggled to find work in this economy. The job market is absolutely brutal, and I hope that everybody can find a job quickly. But at what point are we, as a country, going to accept that an emergency program developed to respond to the recession is no longer needed? How much does the economy need to improve before we can say goodbye to this “temporary” program?
Second of all, we have to ask ourselves why the Democrats are pushing to extend the Emergency Unemployment Program now. The answer seems pretty simple: Unemployment is still too high. But in fact, the unemployment rate has technically been dropping ever since the recession ended in mid-2009. We’ve all seen the monthly announcements touting the progress.
Well, I know this is going to come as a surprise… but Barack Obama and the Democrats lied to you.
Think back to all the times during the 2012 election that Barack Obama and the Democrats touted the month’s unemployment numbers to show how the economy was improving. The American people were so conditioned to believe that the unemployment rate was a significant metric that when it finally dipped below 8% for the first time just before the election, an Obama victory was seemingly inevitable.
You were lied to by every politician who used the unemployment index as an indicator of the job market and the economy!
There are a number of factors that go into determining the unemployment rate, and none of them are particularly accurate. You see, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is only able to count the unemployed people that are known to exist: either those receiving unemployment benefits or those who have actively searched for a job in the last four weeks. Any other data it uses is based on sample surveys. So if your unemployment benefits expire and you just stop looking for work, chances are that you are not counted in the government’s unemployment numbers because they don’t know you exist. That has led experts to conservatively estimate that the real unemployment rate is 3-5% higher than what the BLS puts out every month.
So if you come into this understanding that the unemployment numbers are a sham, allow me to show you why the Democrats are really trying to renew this program…
A favorite among economists to gauge the job market is the Employment-to-Population Ratio. This metric measures the total percentage of able-bodied citizens who are currently in the work force and is widely believed to be the most accurate metric to measure the job market.
The graph above lays the unemployment rate on top of the employment-to-population ratio.
See the disparity? You can see that while the unemployment rate (in red) has been gradually decreasing since the recession ended, the overall employment rate (in orange) remains stagnant at around 58.6% (and it has been stuck there since the Great Recession technically ended).
It doesn’t take an economics professor to understand what these numbers mean. The Great Recession ended midway through 2009. Ever since then, the unemployment rate has slowly dropped. Democrats touted this as a success, but the reality is that the people leaving the unemployment pool are not re-entering the work force! And anyone who does re-enter the work force is just off-set by more people getting their pink slips…
The Democrats aren’t trying to renew the Emergency Unemployment Program because unemployment is rising. They are pushing to extend it because their attempts to get people back to work have completely failed!
Right now, the “official” Unemployment Rate is only 1% higher than it was when the Emergency Unemployment Program was signed into law by President George W. Bush in July of 2008. The bipartisan program was designed as a temporary solution to the jobs lost by the Great Recession and it increased how long people could claim unemployment benefits. Once someone exhausted their in-state unemployment benefits, they would get more benefits from the Federal Government based on how high the unemployment rate is in their state.
No one is talking about getting rid of unemployment benefits! That already happens at the state-level and people will continue to receive upwards of 26 weeks of unemployment benefits if they get laid off. This whole fight in the Senate is over whether an emergency, long-term program that was put into motion while the stock market was crashing is still necessary now that the sky is no longer falling…
At what point does a temporary program become permanent? It becomes permanent once people are conditioned to just expect government assistance!
The Senate has moved forward with a bill to extend the program for 3 more months. But what is going to happen in 3 months? Do the Democrats just expect that everyone will have a job by April? While that would be excellent, I think we can all agree that unemployment will probably be just as high. In three months’ time the Democrats will be at it again, giving more reasons why people need 23 months of unemployment benefits.
Cutting this program is going to hurt no matter what. There are always going to be millions of anecdotal stories to encourage us to keep the program alive. But all we need is one reason to cut the program: We cannot afford it. It costs American taxpayers $26 Billion dollars each year to keep this “temporary” program going.
Barack Obama and the Democrats claim that the long-term unemployment program is necessary to help the economy. And they are partially right: the money given out ultimately ends up back in the economy.
But you know what would really help the economy? More jobs! The Democrats have always tried to slander the programs initiated by Ronald Reagan. They claim that Trickle-Down Economics is a sham and could never work.
OPEN YOUR EYES! The Democrats have perverted Reagan’s programs and created Trickle-Down Welfare! Think about it… The stimulus, food stamps, unemployment… Democrats constantly pervert Ronald Reagan’s reasoning to support all of their entitlement programs!
Enough is enough! Both the Democrats and RINOs must admit that their policies have failed to give Americans the economic recovery they deserve, OR they have to admit that there is no longer a need for a temporary program born out of the Great Recession. They can’t have it both ways. They can’t brag that they fixed the economy while simultaneously saying that an emergency unemployment program is still necessary!
You are a brave patriot who has answered the call to protect this great country in the past. I am asking that you do these two things:
To extend the emergency unemployment benefits would be to give up on fixing the economy, plain and simple! If the Democrats, or any politicians for that matter, believe that the economy can actually be fixed, then there is no reason to extend this program and make it permanent. The sky is no longer falling and the stock market isn’t crashing!
Americans need jobs, not more entitlement programs. If the Democrats have finally accepted the idea of trickle-down economics, then they should spend money creating jobs, not fostering more government dependency.
You need to tell you congressman and EVERY elected official to spend less time encouraging dependency and more time lowering the tax and regulatory burdens on companies so they can start hiring people again!