Today, on Fox News Sunday, Senator Rand Paul was asked about whether unemployment benefits should be extended for the long-term unemployed.  Here is his answer:

I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers.

There was a study that came out a few months ago, and it said, if you have a worker that's been unemployed for four weeks and on unemployment insurance and one that's on 99 weeks, which would you hire? Every employer, nearly 100 percent, said they will always hire the person who's been out of work four weeks.

When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy. And it really -- while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help.

You know, I don't doubt the president's motives. But black unemployment in America is double white unemployment. And it hasn't budged under this president.


It is amazing to me that Senator Paul (or anyone else) believes this.  His answer is based on a false underlying assumption--that the long-term unemployed are not trying hard enough to find work, and that by denying them help, they will be more motivated to find work.

This is insulting to the many unemployed people who look for work day after day without success, and who constantly worry about how they are going to keep a roof over their head and feed their children.

There is a good reason why we have so many long-term unemployed in this country.  The economic policies of the Republican Party ruined the economy, which meant that many employers were not hiring.  And as the economy has improved, those employers who are hiring are flooded with job applications, which means that they have their pick of who they want to hire, and as Senator Paul acknowledges, they are less likely to pick the long-term unemployed applicants.  

Because it is harder for the long-term unemployed to find a job, it means that they need more help, and not less, something which Senator Paul apparently does not understand.

I only hope that the voters in Kentucky will make sure that Senator Rand Paul joins the unemployed in 2016.

Originally posted to night cat on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:17 PM PST.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos.

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