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Seriously, WHY is Congress letting unemployment benefits lapse? Have they lost their minds?

On this day as Harry Potter premiers I would like to take the time to remind our elected leaders that although it’s on the big screen, magic is not real. 2 million people will lose their unemployment benefits on November 30th. The magic of the holiday season will not keep American families out of the cold December weather but congress should.  Unbelievably lawmakers are not reauthorizing federal unemployment benefits citing concerns about the deficit. I have wondered previously but now I am certain they have lost their minds.

There is only one job opening for every five unemployed Americans. Unemployment has kept over 3.3 million people out of poverty since 2009 and over 1 million children. We still have the worst job market since the great depression. Taking unemployment away will not magically create 4 million jobs.  Unemployment helps the economy and keeps people out of poverty.

This in no way is about adding to the time benefits are offered but only continuing what we already have in place. The government has never before made cuts to unemployment when it exceeded 7%.

Let’s stop believing in magic and deluding ourselves that the wealthy will hire more people with a tax cut rather than buying a new home with more marble floors and an extra 1000 square feet with a gift wrapping room. Long term unemployment is here and it will continue for some time. The challenge is keeping the American family from falling off of a financial cliff from which they will never recover.

What we should do about unemployment is pretty straightforward; we should continue the current program until 2011 or until we see an obvious, sustained recovery and we should stop running around what is at the heart of this crisis; there aren't nearly enough jobs.

Jobs will not come from magic, but sound economic policy and continuing to pay unemployment benefits are good policy.
Unemployment helps the economy and keeps people out of poverty.

Originally posted to credstone on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 03:34 PM PST.

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