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Whoa--strong pledge from Pelosi just now: "We cannot sign a budget agreement that does not include unemployment insurance."
It's encouraging to see this bit of pushback against would-be austerity measures. When a budget agreement was signed off on in early 2011, however, the federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation was included but with 26 weeks of extensions hacked out of it. Partly as a consequence, only 34 percent of the nation's 4.1 million long-term unemployed people are now receiving checks under EUC, a program specifically designed to financially assist those who cannot find work after 27 weeks or more without a job. The other 66 percent are flat out of luck.

If EUC is not renewed by Dec. 28, when the program expires, 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans will lose their average $269 a week from the government. And in 2014, another 3.6 million Americans who would have become eligible for EUC will not receive its benefits.

As Sarah Ayres points out:

This is because unemployment benefits are not just good for workers; they are also good for the economy. By putting money into the pockets of people who will spend it, unemployment benefits boost demand, spur economic growth, and create jobs. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that unemployment benefits are one of the most effective fiscal policies to increase economic growth and employment. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, has found that every $1 spent on unemployment insurance grows the economy by $1.55. All these dollars circulating through the economy create jobs. According to an Economic Policy Institute analysis, extending emergency unemployment benefits would create 310,000 additional jobs in 2014.
Nine out of the 11 times the EUC has been renewed since it was first enacted in June 2008, Republican lawmakers have resisted. Their essential argument: unemployment compensation makes people lazy. In other words, with just one job opening available for every three job seekers, Republicans say Get a Job!

Meanwhile, the Council of Economic Advisers and Department of Labor have published a new report, The Economic Benefits of Extending Unemployment Benefits. Among its findings:

• Including workers’ families, nearly 69 million people have been supported by extended UI benefits, including almost 17 million children

• In 2012 alone, UI benefits lifted an estimated 2.5 million people out of poverty [...]

• Failing to extend UI benefits would put a dent in job-seekers’ incomes, reducing demand and costing 240,000 jobs in 2014.

• Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and JP Morgan suggest that without an
extension of EUC GDP will be .2 to .4 percentage points lower.

• In 2011, CBO found that aid to the unemployed is among the policies with “the largest
effects on output and employment per dollar of budgetary cost”

The official unemployment rate of 7.3 percent is higher now than it has been at any time in past recessions when extended unemployment compensation has been removed.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 10:47 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  On the unemployment extensions matter, do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, mungley

    these extended unemployment benefits reach anyone who has already been cut off from unemployment compensation, or do such extensions apply only to those presently receiving unemployment compensation who are near to being cut off with existing arrangements?

    •  Workers start out with whatever the state... (4+ / 0-)

      ...provides (in most cases 26 weeks of comp, but a few states have recently reduced that number). Then they are eligible for federal extensions based on the state's unemployment rate. The lower the rate, the fewer weeks the feds will extend compensation. Somebody who exhausts state benefits automatically qualifies for federal benefits, if that state's unemployment rate is high enough.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 11:08:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is great to see dems fighting (0+ / 0-)

    I will be sending this to my rep now so he can back her up , if he hasn't already

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 12:08:22 PM PST

  •  Five years out. (0+ / 0-)

    Are they going to propose an extension based on unemployment rate, or are we just going to punt for a year or two again?

    •  Given the current Republican House... (0+ / 0-)

      Punting is about all we can do. If the Republican leadership were smart, they'd offer a budget for the next year that holds total spending at BCA levels, plus restoring SNAP and EUC for six months, and make a big noise about being compassionate conservatives for Christmas. Then, with elections pending, offer a poison pill to extend SNAP and EUC through the end of 2014. Of course, we all know the Republican leadership is not smart.

      Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

      by rhonan on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 02:17:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Budget (0+ / 0-)

    Politico has an article up right now stating that some House Conservatives are now pushing Boehner to have a vote on a clean CR for the rest of the budget year that locks in the spending at $967 Billion.

    Their reasoning is that Democrats won't accept it, and will shut the government down rather than agree to it.

    Since the BCA is the law of the land, they want to tar and feather Democrats for shutting down the government because they don't like the law, just as Democrats did to them over their opposition to Obamacare.

    If this is the route Republicans choose to go down in the even that the Murray/Ryan talks likely fail, I am really interested to see how that is going to work.

    It almost sounds too rational to be a Conservative strategy as politically it could be potent for them. Do they really have that kind of discipline not to let the crazy out.

    •  pending shut down by Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

      Didn't we just have this conversation, and wasn't the government shut down?  If this continues to happen every three or four months until November, and the Republicans keep coming out of it with crap on their faces, I think I can already make a prediction as to the overall outcome of the November elections.

  •  I like the pushback..we wasted some time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    letting austerity hurt so many by letting the Ayn Ryan lovers run over the budget.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 04:31:00 PM PST

  •  It is in everyone's best interest to extend UI (0+ / 0-)

    It is no secret (and most economists easily agree) that putting cash into the hands of unemployed workers would DIRECTLY build the economy and ameliorate the growing crisis created by spiraling inequality.

    The real secret will be in prying the control of our government from the hands of a small group of wealthy titans drunk on their own power.

    Wall Street, a one time ally of then Senator Obama, abandoned President Obama when he made it clear that his ultimate allegiance was with the working class. And the Wall Street elites showed their displeasure by using their wealth to turn 21 less populated blue states red in the 2010 elections, a trend only well funded vote suppression can possibly perpetuate.

    Such is the power of nearly unlimited dark money aided by the highest court in the land. But Republican control of the House notwithstanding, the majority of voters voted for Democrats. One person, one vote, is a principal that does not apply to the U.S. Congress.

    The day is coming, however, when voters will realize that they, as consumers, are the real power behind Wall Street. On that day, rich and poor alike will begin to experience a world ruled more by reason and compassion and less by greed and ego.

    In the meantime, this small 0.01% elite and their FOX News propaganda machine would have us believe that greedy teachers, federal and other public employees and the lazy poor are to blame for our woes. But these groups account for only small pieces of the pie. The actual breakdown of how the pie is divided would surely surprise you.

    We should consider policies that help relieve, not exacerbate inequality. But unless we can put voting power back into the hands of the middle and working-class (I think they call that “the 99%”,  roughly), that will prove impossible to achieve.

    The richest 0.01% (including our own U.S. oligarchies) are acutely aware that economic inequality continues to cripple our global economy.

    But these sellers of default swaps and interest rentiers who knowingly and willingly facilitated our current global economic crisis see only another opportunity to cash in on the devastation of others. We have to stop waiting for them to change. We must change them. Senator Elizabeth Warren is working hard to open eyes—and we had better pay attention.

    And the Pope agrees with her!

    “…This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape…

    "In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system…

    "While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation…

    "Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an "education" that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries - in their governments, businesses and institutions - whatever the political ideology of their leaders.”

    ---Pope Francis

    Does the Pope know what he’s talking about? I just read this in (0.01%er media mogul) Rupert Murdoch’s Washington Times:

    “…Do you think Obamacare should be defunded before it cripples our healthcare system?...
    MISSION: Vote now to make your voice heard. You'll also receive a stunning report that shows you how to survive Obamacare if it's fully implemented...and how to MAKE A FORTUNE from the impact...This poll is being conducted by Money Morning and Investing Channel…”

    You only have to read the comment section to see the mind set…

    Please watch this video and share it with others. It's how we can help ourselves. Believe me, eight minutes is not too much of your time to see this history repeating itself.

    Here is a well researched report on WHY INEQUALITY IS DESTRUCTIVE:

  •  Good for Nancy Pelosi. No money at (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, ColoTim, LI Mike

    Christmas time is so horrible you could write a book about it.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 07:30:43 PM PST

  •  I am very worried (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RadGal70, ColoTim, LI Mike, twocrows1023

    I am close to 60, have worked since I graduated college in 1975 and lost my job of over 20 years in Aug when the company went under. Mainly the industry I was in is dying.
    I have had no luck getting a job, send out resumes  every day, have had a few interviews and get the vibe they don't want to hire a guy heading towards retirement age who had a good salary.
    I get $387 wk from Md about half what I made and am discouraged about getting employed again. In 10 weeks I use up my 26 wks and I guess I start living off my retirement acct if I can't find something soon.
    I am in better shape than most unemployed because I have some money to fall back on, most people don't. I don't expect the govt to support me forever but think a year of UI is not unreasonable.

  •  Just contacted my Congressman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    About to to go to Senators.   Not worried about Merkley, but Wyden may go for the deal.

  •  Poor Republicans - - - - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The federal deficit has dropped every year since 2009.  True, it had ballooned during the previous 6 years when Congress decided that borrowing in order to wage war was just fine and when government policies made the bailouts necessary.  
    Congress only became thrifty when THIS president was elected.  Gee, I wonder why that happened.

    Still, they do just keep lamenting the "rise in government spending" when anyone who is paying attention can recognize that lie for what it is.  

    But, hey, what fun is being a lawmaker if you can't stick it to the poor while ensuring that you and yours get more and more tax breaks?  

  •  GOP does not want to extend UNemployment Benefits (0+ / 0-)

    Extending unemployment benefits does not fit in the GOP's Plans. The greater the unemployment figures the more the GOP can say the DEMs have failed! Even though the 2010 GOP election platform was all about creating JOBS, instead they have done everything possible to hold down jobs creation. To the Point the GOP even voted against a JOBs Bill for returning Military Veterans? The reason, then the GOP can say in all future elections the DEMs have done nothing to significantly reduce unemployment figures. But look closer, all the tax cut that have been backed by the GOP were suppose to help 'trickle down and create new JOBS...Where are they????? All the while the GOP is in bed with Wall Street, supported expanded TARP, Quantitative Easing 3 and probably 4 (more free money to Wall Street Banks, who were suppose to invest in this country and haven't). It has been repeatedly shown, unemployment benefits monies go right bank into the economy to support and create jobs. The unemployed don't have the luxury of 'hoarding of off shoring' on their money.

  •  Age 60 on EUC and Need More Time for Job Search (0+ / 0-)

    At age 60 I am unemployed, On E.U.C. with millions of other Americans my age and younger. When I moved to New York, it was because I was picked out of 500 people to be in a Broadway show. I played the drums and was a singer. It only lasted two years. Then I had to make a career change; and go into office work, as a clerk/messenger, but seven years later I was manager of my department. For seven-teen years at this job, and then nine years on Wall Street, as an assistant office manager. Then in 2007, the United States economy crashed, and has yet to recover. It naturally went global as well. I would prefer extended employment. In the early 1980's when unemployment under President Reagan was 10.1% I was working two jobs twelve hours a day five days a week, until one of those jobs started paying fifteen hours a week overtime, enabling me to quit one of my two jobs. I would like to return to the two jobs twelve hour a day schedule, since I can no longer secure one job that makes life affordable. Something is preventing this from happening and it's not me. I have volunteered, applied to Wendy’s, retail stores and to the office services jobs I used to do for thirty-nine years, as well as being trained for something that was a temp project and those skills are not transferable for other companies. If Congress doesn’t renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, my life-line will be cut, and I might have to discontinue my job search, through the usual methods of answering ads on the internet, as well as through volunteer work .It is essential that E.U.C. be renewed for 2014!

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