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  • Morning Bell: The Unemployment Empty Promise

    Sometime next week—we don’t quite know when—President Barack Obama is due to announce his latest jobs plan designed to lift America out of its unemployment doldrums. And though we also don’t know the exact details of the plan, there’s a pretty good chance it will include several key components we’ve heard before, one of which is the extension of unemployment benefits.

    Much like the President’s other likely initiatives, this idea isn’t a new one, and the White House has made the argument before that unemployment benefits are the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to stimulating the economy. In a White House briefing earlier this month, press secretary Jay Carney explained the rationale:

    [Extending unemployment benefits] is one of the most direct ways to infuse money into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren’t earning a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get. They’re not going to save it; they’re going to spend it. And unemployment insurance, that money goes directly back into the economy dollar for dollar virtually.

    So it is—and when it goes back in the economy, it means that everywhere that those people—everyplace that that money is spent has added business. And that creates growth and income for businesses that then lead them to making decisions about jobs—more hiring.

    But according to a report by Heritage’s James Sherk and Karen A. Campbell, unemployment insurance actually leads to longer periods of unemployment and does not provide the promised stimulative effect. In their paper, they address a 2004 study which concluded that each dollar in additional unemployment insurance increased gross domestic product by $1.73. But, they say, that just isn’t so. Research shows that unemployment spending does not result in workers consuming more, and workers with extended unemployment insurance benefits remain unemployed longer. “A 13-week extension of unemployment benefits results in the average worker remaining unemployed for an additional two weeks,” they report.

    Funnily enough, President Obama’s new top economist agrees. Yesterday, the President announced that Princeton University economist Alan Krueger will replace Austan Goolsbee as the White House’s chief economic adviser. And though Krueger will play a prominent role in crafting the White House’s economic strategy, Heritage’s Lachlan Markay reports that Krueger’s past research doesn’t mesh with the White House’s stance on the supposed stimulative benefits of extending unemployment insurance:

    Krueger co-authored a paper for the Handbook of Public Economics in 2002 that seems to undercut the economic argument for extending unemployment benefits. The paper found that those benefits tend to increase the length of unemployment by discouraging the search for a new job, and may actually encourage layoffs. Conversely, the paper also found that unemployed persons who are ineligible for benefits search harder for a job and are therefore unemployed for less time.

    It’s anyone’s guess whether Krueger will change his tune now that he’s on the President’s team, but no matter. When the President launches his new jobs plan, and should he call for an extension of unemployment benefits, as expected, the reality remains the same, regardless of how Krueger addresses his earlier body of work: Unemployment benefits don’t stimulate the economy.

    There certainly can be other reasons for extending unemployment benefits. Under the Obama economy, the average length of unemployment hit a new record last month, surpassing 40 weeks for the first time ever. But no one—Congress, the President, or the American people—should be under the delusion that economic stimulus and new jobs will result.

    Quick Hits:

    • The death toll from Hurricane Irene has risen to 40, as thousands remain without power. Meanwhile, Vermont is experiencing the worst flooding it has seen in 84 years.
    • Aided by technology Libya acquired from the West, agents working for Muammar Qadhafi spied on emails and chat messages as part of the regime’s repression of the country’s citizens, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
    • Wikileaks has published nearly 134,000 leaked diplomatic cables in recent days, including the names of people who spoke confidentially to American diplomats and whose identities were to be strictly protected.
    • The latest supposed side effect of global warming? Mental illness. That’s according to a new report claiming that depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change.
    • A top advisor to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently compared opposition to Obamacare to opposition to the 1960s civil rights movement. Get the full story on Foundry.org.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    85 Responses to Morning Bell: The Unemployment Empty Promise

    1. Turner says:

      Here's the game: promise hope, deliver false hope (nothing) while tearing down the strongholds of wealth and power as fast as he can. Objective: to make government entitled to you.

    2. dave says:

      Just an observation. Where is the incentive for the president and Congress (or any incumbent politician) to allow benefits to lapse? Politicians are in the business of enacting legislation to redistribute wealth in order to appease voters and continue to be reelected. Why would any politician (including a so called "Rebulican") take a position against an extension and risk loosing his or her position? I have twenty years experience in working with and for elected officials and have never seen any of them take a stand on an issue that may effect their reelection. Quite simply – these people have no real skills other than being an elected official. Why would they purposely act in a manner to destroy their careers?

    3. Jeanne Stotler says:

      They practically ran Nixn out of town on a rail, yet Obama covers for two relatives here illegally, supports voter fraud as evident in his assoc. with ACORN and ir's new successor, ie: GET OUT THE VOTE, which condons voter fraud to the extent it teaches how to do it. According to the Constitution, the Presidency is NOT FOR SALE, yet there is evidence that it has been bought, ye notheing is done to crrect it and main stream news, turs a blind eye to any of the wrong doings Obama does. Nov. 2012 needs to be an honest election and the fraudulent members of any branch of gov't. expelled starting with BHO

      • mtn girl says:

        People like yourself are why I am heavily armed…. you will believe anything Rush and Beck tell you. I would really like to see a conservative have an independent thought. I know thinking is a liberal domain but you could at least try it.

    4. Joe S says:

      I have been an employer for over 35 years and every time UC benenfits get extended unemployment gets extended. I recently ran ads for an entry level service technician position. I could see that the applicants were either entry level people who were looking for their first real job or those that did not qualify for UC. Of those I did interview I did not find one that was collecting UC and was looking for a job.

      • laura l says:

        Hi Joe, my benefits ran out a year ago. Almost ended up living in my car, another story. Now I'm considered damaged goods due to the length of time of been unemployed. I have been in accounting for 20 + years, so there's another black mark; too old. Did I forget how to use a calculator or follow instructions? As an employer what are your thoughts on this. And I was able to work while collecting on and off doing temp work but nothing went perm.

        I am starting my own small business, if you cannot find a job; make a job! http://Webstore.com/~Purdy64
        Thanks for your input.

    5. Curtis Dunne says:

      Another brilliant plan from the Golfer In Charge. Swiss freaking watch.

    6. toledofan says:

      Great article and it indicates to me the lack of any comprehensive plan or any ideas to stimulate the economy to create jobs. I mean this falls in line with the administrations philosophy that food stamps stimulate the economy as well. This administration has created so much unnecessary suffering and hardships that it's going to take a lot of time for many families to heal the wounds. Let's face it unemployment over 9%, higher is many areas, home foreclosures still going up, home values going down, price of food and gas going up, a weak dollar and a deficiet that nobody seems to know how we're going to pay off and to top it off no leadership in Washington with any solid plans other than to give away more money we don't have; now that's what I can a real solution.

    7. serendipity says:

      Of course.. Krueger is right. Anyone but the WH can see that giving more begets the desire to receive more. Just look at Santa Claus. If the WH would make it feasible for businesses to hire, they would. As it is now, businesses cannot afford to hire because they don't know the ramifications of what taxes will do in the next year or two. Let's stop giving more and more money to unworkable stimulus and TARP packages and allow businesses to do their job ie survive.

      • mtn girl says:

        Business is not hiring because the middle class can no longer afford to buy their products. Wake up American Republicans do not care about this country. The conservatives are finding ways to prevent our freedoms in every bill they pass. I love freedom and I hate what conservatives have done to this country. AND it was Republicans… you cannot rewrite history.. unless you hire David Barton and live in Texas lol!!

      • Yvonne says:

        The giving must stop. Also, the taking from those who have worked for their gains is shameful. I denounce the idea of redistribution of wealth. GET REAL! There are too many lazies who listen to the pathetic mouths of those Maxine Waters, Sheila Jacksonlee, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson,etc-types who actually make fools of themselves. Martin Luther King would be ashamed of them. It is sad that they speak such evil. I am thankful that there are now people who, finally, are seeing the shallowness of their minds. Why is the word "REVEREND" put as a title for both Al Sharpton and Jesse??? They are causing so much shame to society as a whole.

        • James S. Gagliardi says:

          I've been trying to get a job for over a year now. A year! I have over twenty years experience working, data entry, document scanning, tech support (help desk). I put out dozens of applications a week. Nobody has interviews in their office anymore. Companies use the internet to find workers. So an applicant rarely gets an opportunity to actually speak to hiring managers any more. What do you expect people like me to do? Kill ourselves?

    8. Linda says:

      I don't understand how anyone can think that unemployment benefits help the economy. Money is taken from those working and given to those not working. Therefore, those working no longer have that money to spend themselves. This is a wash.
      I wish there was a big push by everyone to talk about all the regulations that the Obama administration is putting in place. Every day there is a new one that really effects employment. Yesterday I read that the EPA is changing what constitutes air pollution standards. If you went back to the beginning of Obama's presidency, you would have a whole list of rules and regulations that are killing jobs.

      • Disgusted says:

        It actually isn't close to a "wash", Linda. Think about it for a minute: First of all, for every dollar given out in benefits, there are computer systems, overhead, waste and salaries that have to be maintained at the federal and state government level. Then comes the multiplier effect: I have an effective federal overall tax rate of say, 15%. So to give out a dollar, the government has to take in say, 3. To give the government 3, i have to earn about 20. Considering that only about half the "people" actually pay taxes, i have to support them and earn 40. That is without even factoring in the state costs…

        So, how does it benefit the economy to take my 40 dollars and hand out 1? I'd say it has a rather decidedly negative effect on the economy, plus the undesirable result of my subsidizing people who don't contribute to the economy. Some stimulus.

        • Math Fail says:

          Hey Disgusted, Your math is incorrect:

          Even if I accept the premise that the government giving away $1 'costs' the economy $3 (which I don't – in your scenario the government doesn't horde the $2, it spends it on something, whether it be wages or contracts with corporations, or hard goods – it doesn't leave the economy).

          You said you had to earn $40 for the gov't to collect $3 per capita in taxes (your $20 and the $20 for the guy who doesn't pay taxes). Then you said the government 'takes my 40 dollars and handed out 1'. Actually, using your underlying argument, they took $6 and handed out $2. You still have $34. And I'd still argue about where the other $4 went.

          If you distort the facts so wildly (either wilfully or due to incorrect math), how do you expect anyone to take your points seriously?

          What isn't being asked here is the important question…so it takes an average of 2 weeks longer when one extends unemployment. Not having read the studies, some questions arise:

          1. When benefits run out, what is the impact on the families for whom benefits run out? How much does the increased average time on benefit get outweighed by the decrease in misery, family strife, etc. by a family running on empty.

          2. Is the extra 2 weeks spent because people are able to spend slightly longer looking for a job that is a better match for their skillset? Yes, there aren't seasoned professionals applying for entry level jobs, as one post mentioned above. Isn't the idea of unemployment support to give people a chance to get a job that is at a level commensurate with their experience? Of course people who, before being laid off were making $50k/yr would hold out a few weeks longer searching for a job that paid more than $25k/yr. What rational person wouldn't?

          The economy is crap. This isn't Obama's fault. Lots of blame to go around. Much like WWII, we should all pitch in and do our part.

    9. Bob Ward says:

      Good article but you fail to mention that past employers paying into the mandated unemployment insurance fund are continually being tapped upon by the government for more money to continue to fund it. This of which is yet another burden businesses must bear and cost drain against their bottom line. This cost can only have a negative effect on that same employer's capability of perhaps, having otherwise, the revenue in hand to take a chance on hiring new employees.

    10. Bob Ward says:

      Good article but you fail to mention that past employers paying into the mandated unemployment insurance fund are continually being tapped upon for such funding revenues which is yet another burden businesses must bear and cost drain against their bottom line. Such is yet another negative on that same employer perhaps having the revenue in hand to take a chance on hiring new employees.

    11. Allen says:

      “If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it.”

      Ronal Reagan

    12. Wise Old Owl says:

      I do believe that at certain levels unemployment does just help people stay unemployed much longer. On the other hand, if you were making $1,500 a week and are now getting $275 a week in unemployment, I feel certain that you are making every effort to find a new job – the unemployment simply does not replace enough to make much difference. The unemployment I get covers basically 2 expenses – health insurance and gasoline. It does not cover the house payment, electricity, water, car payment, various insurance policies, etc. (no cable bill; I canceled that). On the other hand, since it does provide so little, I would not miss it all that much if they stopped it, at least, until I ran out of savings to draw from.

      I have been unemployed twice in the last 14 years, once right after 9/11 and again starting from Dec 2010. I have been surprised at the lack of jobs this time; it was easy to get a job after 9/11 compared to today. But then, we had better leadership back then, someone who actually had business experience. On the other hand, maybe this year would be a good year to convert some of my IRA to a Roth…but I would certainly rather find a new job.

    13. Bonnie Hardick says:

      Sadly, it is the nature of many people to make do with free handouts. I am not against unemployment benefits, but they, along with so may other entitlements, have gone beyond our nation's capabilities. Extended benefits only serve to encourage people to not look for jobs. It was meant to be a stop-gap aid to finding employment, not a way of life…which it as become for many. Unemployment benefits, food stamps, subsidized housing, free or discounted medical, no income tax, even free education if they ARE unemployed….not a bad deal if you are so inclined! There needs to be limits to and requirements for these benefits, including drug tests and proof positive that one is actively seeking employment!

    14. The Farmer says:

      Someone with some spine needs to follow the President sighting how one at a time each of his ideas have been tried and failed before, and at the same time puting a better plan forward.
      It wouldn't hurt to drop the retoric concerning raiseing taxes either, they can always block any raises that would accually damage our economy.
      Most of the supper rich are Democrats today anyway, it might be a good thing to point that out, along with the fact that as a general rule its the Democrats that are found not to have paid taxes, its no wonder they always yell for higher taxes.

    15. victorbarney says:


    16. Jules says:

      What's to comment on? It's more of the same empty promises of the present administration. The present situation just gives the current president more ways to buy more votes for re-election come Nov. 2012. Sick of it, have been, and still am.
      I really don't think we will see another election, there will be some "crisis" or another and it will give the administration an excuse to shut this country down, suspending elections and all freedoms along with it.
      Watch and see.

    17. John says:

      Absent in the WH declarations about the stimulative effect of unemployment benefits is any discussion about where that money comes from, the cost of administration of that money as it filters through the attending bureaucracy or, conversely, the cost to the economy when the government either removes the funds from the economy through taxation, borrows the funds or prints money to cover those costs.

    18. John Stewart says:

      This Administration has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that progressive/socialist economic values do not work under any circumstances. To continue persuing these values proves many other negative thoughts and comments.
      This Country is too succesful to not continue in the capitalistic form of economics. Why, otherwise, would other Countries invest in us?

    19. LibertyAtStake says:

      "But no one—Congress, the President, or the American people—should be under the delusion that economic stimulus and new jobs will result." The President will be deluded, those in Congress with a (D) after their names will be deluded by and large, those in Congress with an (R) after their names by and large will not be. It's anybody's guess how the American peoples will divide out on this question on the night of the proposal. But they will have 14 months to witness the non impact of the delusion before trudging back to the polls again. d(^_^)b http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/ “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

    20. Wait a minute?!? If you pay people to do nothing then they'll do nothing?!? Well that's just stupid. That's like saying because I feed my cat he won't go out and catch his own food! Wait-a-minute!! He doesn't go out to catch his own food. Hmmm.

      • Wise Old Owl says:

        I feed my cats, and they still gift me with lizards, moles, birds, snakes, etc… Yours must just be lazier than mine…

    21. Richard says:

      Again the administration is taking water from one end of the pool and pouring it into the other end while spilling half of it in the transition. None of the plans to improve unemployment advanced by this administration address the real issues: Suffocating regulations and taxes imposed upon the private sector business community.
      In addition are the incentives offered by government for businesses to go offshore, the latest example exemplified by General Electric's abandonment of domestic production instead choosing China's cheap labor force. I think I dare call the present adminstration's actions what they are: treason. If a better term can explain its actions, I don't know of it.

    22. Corey Vollinger says:

      The Keynesian fallacy that stimulating consumer demand is the key to economic recovery is not explicitly attacked in this article. It is essential to remember that, even should every dollar spent on unemployment insurance be successfully "pumped back into the system," this does not promote recovery whatsoever. It causes inflation, for one thing, and prolongs unemployment. What is necessary for recovery is not greater consumer spending, but increased real savings. As the Austrian economists have taught for generations, a speculative bubble is caused by expansion of the money supply and credit. The artificially low interest rates encourage speculation and malinvestment. The only cure is a reallocation of productive resources which corresponds to the supply of real savings in the economy. Prices need to fall, especially those prices that were directly affected by speculation and over-investment (i.e. housing prices). Increasing consumer spending does nothing to correct malinvestment. It does not increase the supply of real savings either, but rather contributes to capital consumption. These realities need to be emphasized at every opportunity.

    23. Frank says:

      Madness. Continued unemployment payments not only result in people staying unemployed longer, it hurts the economy overall, not helps it! Why? Well, where did the unemployment benefit dollars come from? Either by taxes or by borrowing money from the Chinese (to pay for a bigger Federal deficit & transferring the cost, eventually, onto the backs of the next generation of American taxpayers in the long run). Higher taxes cause workers to have less money to spend, thus negating the positive effect on the economy. Higher debts & Federal spending also causes inflation & the erosion of UD Dollar purchasing power. Again, a negative effect on the economy. The unemployment payment system is also inefficient, not handing out the same amount of money sucked into it, due to costs of the bureaucracy.

    24. Clif Reichard says:

      Unemployment benefits don't stimulate the economy because the money for those benefits in the first place are taken out of the productive private economy through taxes. You can't make something positive out something that was negative to begin with.

    25. Ed Kimble says:

      Obama's still too busy laughing at the Laffer curve. You know, that piece of genius Reaganomics that says you can't suck tax money, the last of the investment capital, from a failing economy without losing even more tax revenues in the long run than you took in,!! It's just too trickle down intelligent!!

    26. Gene says:

      Keep lying to yourself. This economy has been on a roller coaster since at least as far back as the early 90's and has been treading water ever since. You're both right and wrong. Unemployment benefits do pump a couple of bucks back into the economy but they won't help it grow. They just help people stay afloat, thus businesses stay afloat. Neither of them are "growing". Can we blame Washington or do we blame ourselves? Can we blame it on who we voted for in the last election? Nope. Both sides of the aisle are to blame. In case you haven't noticed we've imposed austerity for going on twenty years now and has it helped the middle class and their progeny? Nope again. So, in the final analysis I think we are just trying to prop up a failing system. But, we don't have a choice, just like we don't have a choice in matters like trying to clean up after hurricane Katrina, the gulf oil spill, the floods in the midwest, fires in Texas and now hurricane Irene.

      • Jeff Dover says:

        Hey Gene, you're totally right. That's why none of the GOP elite or their standard bearers deserve the nomination. We need a Tea Party person who is committed to real and significant change to the way things are done in Washington. We need agencies removed, legislation undone, and power returned to congress which has been delegated, in effect, to cabinet departments where "rules" (laws, actually, which we must abide or face legal action) are made by fiat, without a vote of congress and by people who are unaccountable to the people of the United States. Doctrinaire, "moderate" Republican elites will never go for that. Our message and our goals have to be much stronger than "whatever the Democrat position is, I'm just slightly to the right."

    27. Lock Piatt says:

      Just close the EPA and revoke the Endangered Species act and watch the jobs start opening up that same day. Low energy costs make American manufacturing competitive and grows the economy.

    28. Jim Brandt says:

      It is sad for the USA that we have a President that simply does not understand economics. Dollars distributed through extended unemployment benefits have a serious deleterious effect on our economy as follows. The worker on unemployment typically finds side work for which they are paid "under the table". The dollars paid "under the table" are of course not reported wages for income tax purposes, both federal and state. The worker is often ahead of the game net dollars to them, so has no incentive to find a legitimate tax withheld job.

      In the Grand Rapids, Michigan area the unemployment rate is artificially high for this exact reason. I have talked to area employers that say they are unable to find qualified workers for skilled jobs because of this phenomenon.

    29. Lock Piatt says:

      My my – advanced economics from University of Chicago and Harvard – pay people money each week and they will not actually work. What a major discovery – does it work the other way? Do not pay people not to work – will they then go to work?

    30. HoustonJR says:

      I worked from the age of 7 years old until the crash of 2008, when I was laid off. That's a total of 52 years. Now at the age of 60 I am not considered prime for employers because there are so many young, fresh out of college, and attractive types desperately seeking employment.

      Simply put, with jobs being shifted overseas due to Free Trade, tons of illegal aliens being allowed to stay and work, and then the massive amount of legal immigrants being processed into the country, my job prospects get even gloomier. At this point I have applied to over a thousand positions and only been invited to three interviews… The only thing keeping me from starvation is unemployment because I'm still a few years from being able to qualify for social security. Unemployment is only a fraction of what I make working and not enough to cover, so I am on the brink of loosing all I worked for my entire life and sinking more with each passing day.Jobs have to be created and brought back into the country, but unemployment and welfare systems must remain intact in the meantime to keep the economic victims from starvation. When the economy starts flourishing again, then look at those programs and what can/needs to be done.

    31. mike best says:

      Appearently the maggots in Washington do not know that unemployment carries with it the penality of Federal Income Tax… that must be paid..Another question relating to that theft of citizens money ….iz… do they have the unemployment added to yearly wages so to count as total wages earned thereby enhancing the workers social security package at retirement?

    32. Mary Lou-Superior WI says:

      Extending unemployment benefits extends the willingness to live in pain – just making it. When families have one parent unemployed they don't need childcare so they reduce their spending by 1/3 -child care, groceries and non-essential spending-needing to pay the rent/mortgage, utilities and basics. This strategy keeps some money spent – but once you are living on less and you find you can, you don't want to spend, you want to save. Often the unemployed are saving some for when the unemployment runs out. And….unemployment family members have employed family members and these employed family members are hanging in solidarity with their unemployed members by SPENDING LESS. My conclusion is that extending unemployment is reducing potential spending by 1/3 or more for a greater number than just the unemployed.

    33. Rex says:

      Well of course truth does not mesh with what Obama says, Obama is a liar and what he says has no relation whatever to reality. I'm not sure why we bother picking at Obama's economic policies, they're all false, they all fail, and will not work. Obama's policies are all Marxist and socialist nonsense. If unemployment benefits is all this guy has to offer for job growth, we are all imbiciles for even wasting time reading that tripe, it's complete nonsense, he knows, and we know it.

    34. Lloyd Scallan says:

      By this point in time, approching Obama's third year in office, anyone that does not recognize every policy or every leftist he appoints is not by accident. Obama is deliberate, calculating, and divisive. He is an ideologue that has a socialist agenda for this nation. His narcissism will not allow him to change, stop, or "pivot". If we do not come together to end his presidency, this nation is doomed.

    35. Ed Angelo says:

      "Funnily enough" you quote a ridiculous internal study from the Heritage Foundation to support, even more "funnily", your own editorial from the Heritage Foundation. Please at least try to act like you are impartial. At least try to hide this intellectually incestuous ongoing affair the Heritage Foundation has with itself. Get a room, keep it to yourselves, this self-serving garbage!

      • David says:

        Hi, Ed. As an economist I actually enjoy doing research on other economists and the theories and policies they espouse. Dull, huh? Interestingly, my research included nothing from the Heritage Foundation. Nonetheless, the facts lead clearly to same conclusion. This guy has nothing new to offer but seems to have a fixation on how people like to spend their time. Hello? And, Ed, why can't the Heritage Foundation state their point of view. Why does the Foundation need to be impartial? Do you watch the major media? Do they state their narrow point of view? Are they impartial?

    36. RG Bates says:

      Sooo, following that logic to it's illogical conclusion: we should all quit our jobs and get unemployment benefits and collect food stamps [Pelosie's favorite economic stimulus] and everything will be just fine.

      "Never argue with a fool. He will pull you down to his level and beat you with experience!"

    37. Emily G. Whitney says:

      Once again, Obama wants people to depend on the government for solutions without requiring accountability. Many years ago, I was on unemployment benefits and it was required weekly to list the companies that I contacted for jobs. Twice a month, I needed to send the information in before I received a check. The unemployment office called the companies to verify that I had applied for a job. The government no longer requires the unemployed applicant to provide this information so there is no longer any accountability. I know several who collect that have never tried to find a job and feel strongly that they are owed this entitlement.

    38. carol,az says:

      H.Foundation in response to;
      "Next week POTUS will announce his latest job plan."
      PLan? Just more spit told as spin, to the growing divide between the rich and growing poor who were once part of the middle classes.
      There's NO PLAN.
      We all get it here; added to the nanny state of our union, proposed; ~ 40,000 more people added to the welfare rolls called illegal immigration, which also includes convicted felons, his uncle, his aunt living illegally in Boston and recently extending foreign Visa for jobs here in America, " no one else will do." ( most are in the tech industries.) BUT as you have said, "the unemployed must look harder," it's their fault".
      These faceless fellow Americans are frozen out in the work place, as clearly and with the full force by our own govt,remaned as, " hope and change."

    39. Frank says:

      I am a big supporter of the capitalist philosophy. However, sometimes I have difficulty following the flow of a dollar through the system from the two different areas 1) an earned dollar or 2) an entitlement program and the effectiveness of one over the other on our economy. Could someone please explain that path to me so that I can more effectively relay the concept to others. Thank you.

    40. John Ames says:

      That's not the worst of it. Unemployment pay goes directly to consumption, not investment. Also, in our present situation, it simply results in creation of more money not backed by real wealth.

    41. RG Bates says:

      Sooo, following that logic to it's illogical conclusion: we should all quit our jobs and get unemployment benefits and collect food stamps [Pelosie's favorite economic stimulus] and everything will be just fine.

    42. George Smith says:

      all that does is keep the lazy even more lazy.

    43. Advisor Ruth says:

      We definitely do not need to send more welfare money in the form of adding more time and money (welfare) to the unemployed. They need to get their creative caps on and get busy to work instead of goofing off, playing golf, spending like there is no end to their unemployment checks.

      • James S. Gagliardi says:

        See how you would feel if you couldn't get a job no matter how hard you tried. Folks working seem to think that the "get their creative caps on and get busy to work…" is a functional plan. NOT IF NO ONE IS HIRING!!!

    44. Full Bible Presbyterian Minister says:

      It's the same old broken window argument that has been disproved time and again.

    45. Debi Sothern says:

      Yesterday, the President announced that Princeton University economist Alan Krueger will replace Austan Goolsbee as the White House’s chief economic adviser. And though Krueger will play a prominent role in crafting the White House’s economic strategy, Heritage’s Lachlan Markay reports that Krueger’s past research doesn’t mesh with the White House’s stance on the supposed stimulative benefits of extending unemployment insurance

    46. Steve Cafaro says:

      Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have any interest in truly solving the structured unemployment and underemployment problem that has been created in America. Neither political party has the desire to repariate the tens of millions of jobs, thousands of factories and the entire industries tht have exported to foreign countires in the name of "free Markets" and "globalism". America will continue to deteriorate economically until honest leaders will concede that America must produce for her own needs if our Country is to remain a free, independent and sovereign Nation. Until then, expect more of the stagnant econoic growth that far too many Americans have passively accepted. Wake Up America!!!.

    47. Terrence Pohl says:

      Now here is a kicker….my 50 year old Autistic son was recently fired from his job and DENIED unemployment because of the way he 'acted' (basically saying he 'quit' because his 'acts' were a condition
      of employment). He will be getting a good recommendation from the ex-employer because he was a good
      worker. HOPE, the organization for people with disabilities cannot help him because they are under funded. My son has an excellent work record going back over 30 years, but now is in danger of
      losing everything because of his affliction.

    48. cathman says:

      Why not sacrifice and not run for election and let Hillary, Kerry or Frank run and let them duke it out with republicans

    49. jean says:

      I was in the staffing industry for over 20 years and found that those who receive benefits never look for a job until 1 week before the benefits end.So if you continue to extend they will never look for work.we have people in our church now that hasn't work in over 2 years just drawing their unemployment. I think we should reduce unployment benefits to 5 weeks and I bet unemployment would go down as then all or most would have to go look for work.

      • Wise Old Owl says:

        If I could get a recruiter to call me with an interview, I would go in. Unemployment at 15% of what I was making before does not go very far. $30,000 taken (so far) from what I thought was going to help cover my retirement in 12 years, and I am applying for jobs that pay anywhere from $15,000 to 40,000 less per year than what I was making before. On recruiter told me that not only had a client specified that the potential hire have experience in a particular software, but it had to be the specific version of the software that the client currently used. I have been looking for a new job since they told me my job was going to be downsized. I have had 4 interviews in 9 months, and none have been with the help of a recruiter. And I have personally met with about 8 different recruiters.

    50. DEAN says:

      Wasn't the $767 billion stimulus already spent to be used for "shovel ready" jobs. I defne shovel ready jobs as infra-structure jobs such as roads, bridges, schools, etc. Now Obama wants more stimulus money for infra-structure jobs. WHAT? Isn't that what the $767 billion was for?? Come on, Obama. Where did it all go? TIME FOR A AUDIT?? I think so. Come on, you chicken repubs., do it.

    51. Jack W Estes says:

      Great idea, extend umemployment as an incentive to keep people off the work rolls…lunacy.

    52. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Obama loves handing out the fish (as long as he does not have to pay for it)…but understands, if he teaches anyone to fish, they will no longer need him.

    53. Jeff Dover says:

      The White House press sec'y recently, in answer to a "yes or no" question from a reporter, stated flatly that the President is not responsible for the economy.

      Why then does he have an economic counsellor with an economic strategy and why is he getting personally involved in "employment"? If he is not responsible for the economy, why does he get to recommend, approve or disapprove government spending and taxation?

      The situation Obama expects us to believe and agree with is one where he is responsible for zero of the outcome, but yet is responsible for the tax and spending strategies determining to a large extent that outcome. His position seems to be that he's in charge and because he's in charge, he's to be held above responsibility when things — inevitably given his meddling — don't work out.

    54. Clearhead says:

      Thank you Mr. Carney ! The 'logic in Carney's statement is more convoluted that a five dimensional corkscrew. (I am sure that Art was one of his relatives). But it does have some historic validity: When I was 5, and in kindergarten in Saint Louis, one of my 'classmates' named Sidney came up with a similar scheme to propose to his parents for an increase in his allowance. Poor Sidney was unceremoniously shot down by his parents, who oddly enough were normal THINKING Americans.

    55. jhsunbum says:


      Stop trying to bribe other countries with our money
      Return our service men from everywhere
      Put them on our borders with guns

      We do not have an unemployment or manufacturing problem – It's a labor problem!
      This will frost 3 groups, The Chinese, the unions & Democrats
      Bring tariffs back, this will return manufacturing to this country
      Tariffs, lower taxes and fair treatment of companies by this government, will return jobs to America
      This will work only if we have a fair treatment of workers
      Companies must be forced into contracts fair to the workers; This should be salary plus share of profit.
      All businesses work on percentage. This is not new; It is just not done right!!
      Lower production cost means higher percentage of profit. Labor is part of this cost & must receive a share of this profit
      this will kill unions, Union bosses & union dues
      When companies refuse to do this, than you tax them accordinly, but, the workers get the money, not the Gov.

      Give all illegals a warning :
      Leave the country voluntarily, or be arrested

      If arrested
      Put them in work camps, under guard, Pay them very little : housing + pay – minus child care
      If they have children : give them another choice, keep the kids with them, or send them to their home country
      Children born in this country, to non citizens, will not be declared U S citizens


      Give them a choice also, They may take the jobs the illegals had, or give up wellfare
      If these people get pregnant while on welfare : another choice, abortion and get fixed, or drop off welfare


      We must gain control of the politicians :
      These people are elected by Americans, not Chinese, South Americans, Mexicans or any other group.
      We must have term limits, 2 term for all; Just like the president
      Stop all retirement plans – NO ONE, I KNOW, RETIRES AFTER ONLY 8 YEARS WORK.
      Anyone taking a bribe, or committing any crime against the people, must serve hard time in prison! not a country club.

      They must be forced to declare this before the election is held. It's the only way!
      Than, if they fail to do it; It will be an impeachable offense.

      Oh, Did I tell ya, Every one of these things will save us money



    56. Ben C. says:

      One of my employee's husband works in Detroit for a university. He has a difficult time getting his staff to actualloy show up for work. Their response "I'll just go on unemployment." Much to their dismay and anger their unemployment benefits were denied after they quite their jobs. Something about "entitled to the benefits" kept entering their arguments.

    57. ColoradoHawkeye says:

      "For three decades, we've sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan." Ronald Reagan, October 27, 1964, A TIME FOR CHOOSING

    58. Curt Krehbiel says:

      Extending unemployment benefits does not create jobs. The money used to provide these benefits was taken, by taxes, from employed people thereby reducing their expendable funds or their savings. The purchasing power of the employed people is reduced by the money given to the unemployed and is further reduced by the costs to government of taking the money for redistribution. Extending benefits only causes the recipient get more dependent on government which is precisely what our president intends as our economy moves away from capitalism into socialism.

    59. @flightdeck25 says:

      I'm presuming that the unemployment checks are minimal in amount, enough to keep body and soul together but not enough to be so satisfying as to discourage looking for better jobs. Having a (plush) job makes casting stones at the unemployed an easy target (presuming there are actually no jobs to be had). True, there are slackers but how many want to live in the Stone Age? Besides, a society with cadres of unemployed is a society ripe for all kinds of "mischief", i.e., crime. And it's true that this money in their pockets will be spent, not saved, and thus be stimulative (increased demand so increased sales so increased jobs so …….). And it's true that such steps should be as temporary as possible. The goal here is to eventually enlarge the middle class.and this is to be done by "increasing the size of the pie" ( we should not make this a "zero-sum game"). This implies "printing money periodically (to account for the increasing population and the money-flight overseas). Any inflation (too much money chasing after too few goods) can well be countered by increasing the goods and services made available (and don't tell me this is not possible what with our marvelous, yes, marvelous, means of production ——as an example, check out the Science Channel's program "How It's Made". The above's a mere outline but some form of it will, I believe, get this country out of its doldrums. Remember, printing money should be done judiciously (it's difficult) and unemployment should be considered a temporary condition; and by all means, try to generate well paying jobs and "they" will come to fill them Unemployment and low wages are "for the birds" and deleterious to society, absolutely! [Being a Heritage member I am conservative by nature but unwilling to discount good ideas wherever they are (I have some reservations with the conservative agenda but I definitely favor the "producers" (Republicans) and look askance at the "distributors" (Democrats)

    60. IndieDogg says:

      "Extension" of unemployment benefits can't increase GDP or anything else. It's totally misleading. A continuation of benefits is not an increase in unemployment benefits. It's an extension of the status quo.

      A second point. The status quo in question is… duh, unemployment.

      How any economist can argue with a straight face that providing cash payments to people without jobs acts as an incentive to the job seeker. It's nonsensical at best.

      And, finally, any benefit, if there were any, in economic productivity terms is, by definition, unsustainable. Unless you plan to continue unemployment benefits indefinitely, for the working life of the given individual, the benefit (if any, again a dubious notion) is temporary. The only sustainable benefit it putting the individual to work. Not an easy task today, but the only effort worth the effort in the long term.

    61. Aaron says:

      How about some simple math to see how well unemployment benefits stimulate the economy. I was on unemployment for a while: they paid me $460 per month. My mortgage is $920 per month. What is left over to pay anyone else? nothing.

    62. Paul Mattson says:

      If the Feds had continued to pursue Wall Street and Insider Traders , and if the Feds had continued to pursue Banks for ethic violates and other " possible violations … "

      The little guy , you and me , would have gone down with them . The solution with banks was to look the other way but add another regulation that requires them to maintain a large amount of cash rather than re- invest.

      The little guy will use or abuse their benefits … that is human nature . The question remains … Who makes the judgement ? Congress ? …… Obama ? ….. The Tea Party ?

    63. mtn girl says:

      Our entitlement programs are not the reason for the deficit. Bush and Cheney hired mercenaries to fight our wars. When war was privitized it was welfare for the wealthy. Tax breaks are welfare for the wealthy. Most people hate a handout. And I must assume most of you do realize that RED states are the welfare queens- so you are against your own voters…. curious strategy.

    64. Jack says:

      It's time we state the truth. The facts have been in everyone's face for a least two years and is evidenced by Obama's actions everyday. He is not and never would be qualified to be the leader of the greatest and strongest nation on our planet. If we read his verbiage (and not what is written for him) and listen to his daily talk, he is extremely shallow and struggles for what he believes are the right words on any given subject.
      This man is conducting the greatest terrorist attack on our country, from the inside, with the salivating support of people like pelosi and reed. These professional politicians believe our country is just a stepping stone, want it to fail so they can go global with their addiction to power, corrupt money, and social class division. Certainly, I agree with the argument that our field of candidates from any political party left much to be desired in 2008. I questioned his core beliefs from day one and certainly there is plenty of evidence demonstrating he is not what he claims to be and I sure hope the voters recognize this in 2012.

    65. mike says:

      I am disappointed that Heritage would speculate like this. "We don't know the details but there's a pretty good chance he will………….."So the piece is purely academic and speculation, think about it, it brings your argument to his level!

    66. Lily says:

      If you want a mass stampede of people who will work for half the wages of the currently employed, by all means, do away with unemployment insurance. That would really get the economy roaring, wouldn't it?

    67. Jim Patterson says:

      stimulating the econmy by extending unemployment benefits is like a prostitute stimulating a "john". so term happiness but no long term gain. Except of course more public debt and some sort of venereal disease.

    68. Questions not asked says:

      What isn't being asked here is the important question…so it takes an average of 2 weeks longer when one extends unemployment by 13 weeks. Not having read the studies, some questions arise:

      1. When benefits run out, what is the impact on the families for whom benefits run out? How much does the increased average time on benefit get outweighed by the decrease in misery, family strife, etc. by a family running on empty. Note: these aren't people who are perpetually milking the system: these are people who recently went from being productive employees and citizens to being unemployed. They most likely just want to get back to where they started.

      2. Is the extra 2 weeks spent searching because people are able to spend slightly longer looking for a job that is a better match for their skillset? Yes, there aren't seasoned professionals applying for entry level jobs, as one post mentioned above. Isn't the idea of unemployment support to give people a chance to get a job that is at a level commensurate with their experience? Of course people who, before being laid off were making $50k/yr would hold out a few weeks longer searching for a job that paid more than $25k/yr. What rational person wouldn't?

      The economy is crap. This isn't Obama's fault. Lots of blame to go around. Much like WWII, we should all pitch in and do our part.

    69. Cindi Benson says:

      I know many people on unemployment here in California who have no intention of looking for work. They are just "riding the wave" so to speak. Many of these people I know are also quite left wing who constantly lament about "greedy republicans" etc etc etc

    70. okar says:

      I happen to agree with this article 100%

    71. Paddyo says:

      It used to be the Employer and state governments paid for unemployment workmens comp. If they are still involved Obama is getting credit from the free loaders for something he doesn't deserve! Why wouldn't he extend it?

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