Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seems Like A No Brainer

Let’s say you are a politician running for national office.  Your chief of staff brings you a piece of legislation that he says will immeasurably increase your odds of winning the next election.
This legislation will save millions of Americans from falling below the poverty line.  It is revenue neutral…it will pay for itself.  It will add 240,000 private sector jobs and it will grow the economy by .4%.
Helps people…costs nothing…adds jobs…grows the economy…and helps you win your election!
Are you in? 
Hell yes…unless of course you are a member of the most ineffective congress in American history.
Yesterday Harry Reid had to postpone a vote to extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans.  Harry said the inclement weather had delayed several senators from returning to Washington from their recess.  The truth is Harry didn’t have the votes to stop a Republican filibuster to block the vote.
Republicans in the senate have refused to support the extension unless it is “paid for” by cuts in other programs…preferably social safety net programs. 
According to the Congressional Budget Office it will cost $30-$35 billion to fund the extension of unemployment benefits.  According to the Congressional Budget Office unemployment benefits pour $30-$35 billion back into the economy.  This represents .4% of our GDP and supports 240,000 jobs.  When congress failed to extend unemployment benefits last month it damaged our economy.  As with the government shutdown last November…that is economic growth that we will never get back.   
Unemployment benefits average between $100 and $300 per week.  They are often the only thing standing between a homeowner and foreclosure.  Critics in congress argue that recipients would be better off taking any job until something better comes along than relying on such a paltry sum.  Perhaps!  But when you are long term unemployed, listing a homeless shelter on your employment application is pretty much a non-starter.
Unemployment benefits:  help people…cost nothing…add jobs…grows the economy… and helps a do nothing congress get re-elected.
Reid has re-scheduled a vote for 10:30 AM today.
Seems like a no brainer.         


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