Obama pressures Republicans to extend unemployment benefits – Washington Examiner
President Obama on Tuesday called on Republicans to extend unemployment benefits to 1.3 million Americans for three months, looking to build momentum for the federal aid after the measure cleared a major hurdle in the Senate.
“We’ve got to get this across the finish line without obstruction or delay, and we need the House of Representatives to be able to vote for this as well,” Obama said from the East Room of the White House, surrounded by Americans who lost unemployment benefits in late December.
The Obama administration estimates that failing to extend unemployment beyond 26 weeks would cost the economy roughly 240,000 jobs. But some Republicans counter that extending such benefits would keep Americans perpetually unemployed and limit their motivation to return to the workforce.
So here we are again with another government finance crisis. To have crisis after crisis that are only solved with temporary “fixes” is insanity from a problem solving perspective. From a political perspective, it does give the President and Democrats more opportunities to make Republicans look heartless. The latter is obviously the goal here.
There is a problem with the last paragraph quoted above – it’s not true. The logic behind that statement implies that if we put money in the hands of the unemployed, they will spend it and therefore businesses will have income to keep jobs. Here’s the problem. The money that the unemployed receive is recycled money – it comes from taxes paid from people who are working. In other words, we are simply shifting around money at this point from those who are working to those who are not working. So yes, unemployed people can buy more, but people who are employed and pay taxes will buy less. There is no net benefit.
At some point, we need to add in the ability to produce more money – but right now, there are numerous regulations that hinder manufacturing and production. But if we want to shift money around, I suggest shifting money away from the federal government towards the private sector. We are much better at using money than the federal government.