Do you support extension of jobless benefits?

The Senate is poised to pass legislation restoring jobless benefits for millions of people unable to find work, Associated Press reports.

Wednesday’s vote comes after the Democratic-controlled Senate voted 60-40 Tuesday to move ahead on the bill.

At issue are payments averaging $309 a week for almost 5 million people, AP writes.

In Georgia, 49 percent of the jobless have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, according to the state labor department.

Does this extension affect you? How?

Is this the right move? On one side, there are those who believe it’s important to keep this safety net from shredding, as many families struggle to keep afloat. Others believe the out-of-control federal deficit should be the priority. What do you say?

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34 comments Add your comment

Dean Boyd

July 21st, 2010
8:15 am

The “out of control” deficit nor the need to subsidize out of work Americans because of recession did not begin with the current administration. Why wasn’t there this much concern for the deficit during the previous administration?

Small Businessman

July 21st, 2010
8:50 am

The principle is simple enough, save when times are good, spend when times are tough. Clinton did, Bush didn’t. This debate is being framed as ” Do we compound Bush’s mistake by “saving” during bad times, or go back to sound economic practice even though it adds to the debt?” The answer is neither, or some of both. Unemployment insurance speeds economic recovery and is a compassionate response to a crisis that is largely the making of the 12 years of Republican and Blue Dog Democratic Congressional rule. And its relatively low cost could be recovered by ending the rules that allow billion dollar Wall Street bonuses to be taxed at lower rates than police and firemen. Everybody wins except Wall Street traders, who will just have to suffer with bonuses of less than a billion per year. I can live with that on my conscience.

tom7001

July 21st, 2010
9:36 am

In 2008, when Bush sent out stimulus checks to Americans, by putting money back into the economy it would stimulate spending, bolstering the economy! Nobody yelled “socialism” and economically it was the right thing to do! Now since Obama has been in office,any money spent is called “socialism”, “no” has been the republican answer to most programs.Republicans crying we can’t afford it after they ran up the biggest debt ever ,11 trillion dollars! America needs a third party, the republicans don’t want to spend a dime on unemployment benefits, any program that might enhance the economy, so its so broken they can fix it! And regain political power at any cost to the economy! Pulling out of two wars which are sapping our treasure and lives, starting projects to repair Americas infrastructure, is the only hope to reduce debt and stimulate economy! Along with getting rid of those tax breaks for the rich, use the money to start shovel ready projects! Waiting for the rich to sink money into the economy, you might as well head to “pottersville

Road Scholar

July 21st, 2010
9:40 am

Yes, I support extending the benefits. If the Repubs are so concerned with the deficit, and, since they began the deficit, why don’t they forego their salaries to reduce the deficit? Sort of “put your money where your mouth is”.

Their “strong” feelings were born out on Meet the Press this week….The two leading Senators for Repubs wouldn’t, or couldn’t name one item or issue where they would reduce funding to reduce the deficit. When pressed repeatedly by David Gregory, their host, they finally said that they were then waiting on the report on possible areas for cuts. Gregory then questioned that they , Repubs, had to wait on a Democratic report to formulate their answer/position? Amazing!

I pay my taxes for representation in Washington; if these Bozo’s can’t lead, then we need to find someone who can. That is a non-partisan comment.

bankrupt nation

July 21st, 2010
10:03 am

it’s all borrowed money anyway, gov’t will have to extend and extend and extend.99 weeks will eventually reach 150 weeks to 200 weeks and on and on, presses are goin start overheating at the rate we’re printing money (with no end in sight)

tl

July 21st, 2010
10:35 am

Yes, I do support it. Myself nor my husband have ever recieved any government benifits until my husband was layed off from work nearly a year ago and applied for unemployment. My salary has been enough to cover the mortgage only and we have depended on his weekly benefit for the power, groceries and household expenses. After 4 weeks of not recieving anything, it has began to take a huge toll on our household. We’re down to nothing in the fridge and expecting the power bill any day now…which we can not pay unless he recieves that money. Not to mention, school starts soon & there is no way we can get my child what she needs for the new year unless we recieve it. He’s worked hard for 35 years and lost his job due to this crappy economy with no other jobs in his field in sight anytime soon. I see this tearing him apart every day and it hurts us all.

another small businessman

July 21st, 2010
11:07 am

It’s not an either/or question. Use the unspent money authorized as stimulus to pay for the additional unemployment checks. It’s blindingly simple and yet gets complicated by politicizing the issue. You don’t have to increase the deficit to pay for the unemployment checks through the end of this year. Lose the emotions and do the right thing without increasing the deficit!

Good Move

July 21st, 2010
11:29 am

Until you have been unemployed and dependent on an unemploment check to pay bills or feed your family then I suggest you shutup. I hope this passes and people are able to get their unemployment money. There are no jobs out there!! People need help!

Should not be a Political Issue

July 21st, 2010
11:36 am

unemployment benefits go to people who HAD jobs and lost them due to reasons beyond their control. You cannot get unemployment if you quit – well, that’s how the system is supposed to work. . . . that was a pun, a joke – work? get it work?? ah, never mind.

Is it that big a stretch to assume that these same people WANT to work and are LOOKING for work? Its not like welfare where the government is giving money. Businesses PAY into unemployment.

People need to take politics out of issues like this: People cannot find jobs. Businesses pay into unemployment. Extending unemployment is a lifeline to those who want to work but cannot find jobs.

there is a lot of government waste in spending but unemployment benefits is not one of them. anyone who claims otherwise is out of touch with reality.

Small Businessman

July 21st, 2010
11:49 am

My earlier point was that it isn’t an either/or choice. But the alternative to cut the stimulus rather than raise the marginal tax rate on billion dollar bonuses isn’t rational. The Fed already has the prime rate at zero (which is killing my CDs), banks would rather borrow at 0% and buy treasuries than lend to businesses, so where is the stimulus come from if not from government? And the Reagan/Bush tax cuts to the richest proved that they don’t stimulate the economy. Yesterday even Alan Greenspan, the high priest of Randian economics, recommended that Congress let the Bush tax cuts expire. Emotionalism is refusing to change your beliefs when they have been proven to false.

atlmom

July 21st, 2010
12:16 pm

Stop the bleeding. stop the unemployment. we’ve been at this for many many years – and it’s not working. starting with the checks that bush sent out, then a stimulus, then another one. it’s NOT WORKING. the govt sometimes needs to do NOTHING.
But, someone up there gave me a good idea. if they want to extend the unemployment benefits, then congress should pay for them – out of their budgets.

Mike's wifey

July 21st, 2010
12:28 pm

Anyone who still has a job and makes good money needs to shut up. You have NO idea what the rest of us are going through. My husband and I were always middle class, and yes, we did save, and yes, we worked hard and neither of us have ever been fired. We have both even won awards from our companies. Yet he was laid off last year and I have had 4 paycuts and lasted through 5 layoffs. I may not survive the next layoff. Our savings, too, are almost gone. The stress gave my otherwise healthy and non-overweight, non-smoking husband a mild heart attack and that wiped out a good portion of our savings. Between paying for his COBRA, my doubled insurance premiums through my work, we are only surviving because we combined households with my sister and dad. If I get laid off, we are going to have to scramble to pay the mortgage.

Mike's wifey

July 21st, 2010
12:29 pm

So atlmom, you going to help us pay our mortgage if I get laid off? You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Guess which one I think you are.

Jim

July 21st, 2010
12:36 pm

Enter your comments here

Jim

July 21st, 2010
12:39 pm

I feel for those who can’t find work and are losing everything they have, but if we want to extend these benefits then the federal gov’t needs to find other areas to make cuts. Any business person knows that you don’t spend what you don’t have and you can’t borrow yourself out of debt. With that being said, good luck to you all in finding work.

Montell

July 21st, 2010
12:41 pm

The government needs to extend the benefits at least 2 more years. I can’t find any good jobs and I’ve looked around for 3 months. I’m tired of looking if the jobs aren’t there. I’ll need benefits for awhile and it’s up to the government to pay them.

ITS JUST ME

July 21st, 2010
2:15 pm

Mike’s wifey – No and Im not wanting to pay your mortgage either. When you purchase a home you should always put money back to cover the down time if any. If your not able to put money back then you are living above your means and thats not my problem either.

There are way to many entitlement programs in this united states and to many who wont take care of themselves. That is NOT MY problem. Call me greedy if you want but I think if I earn it I should keep it. Take care of yourself and plan for the future hardships. I do, you should too.

Voice of Reason

July 21st, 2010
3:00 pm

Perfection is the Enemy of the Good.

Both parties are playing political football. Right now they both deserve to lose in 2010 and 2012. Democrats by not compromising to pay for one thin dime and making scalding speeches ,to make the other side look bad, only after they have enough votes. Republicans by stalling for a month even though the Dems had 60 votes except for the untimely death of Sen. Byrd and after they had already won by whittling the bill down from 150B to 33B.

All of us need to figure out how to fix the mess ourselves. Washington DC is not going to do it, they never, ever have or will. Business owners need to take a chance on expanding and hire a few people (Great people available at low bargain wages) , The employed need to go shopping, use up some of those vacation hours(Amazing Deals right now) and tip a little more, The long-term unemployed have to rethink their strategies (Best time to start a business is coming out of a recession).

Mark

July 21st, 2010
3:23 pm

Hey>>> its just me, you must have a great life with that great Job, money and attitude. I bet you can’t wait each and every day to get to work and look down your Nose at all your co-workers and hear all that praise they give you for being such a strong, passionate and better than all you type person or are you a loner because they have got you figured out (you know what I mean)!!

Mark

July 21st, 2010
3:28 pm

I always wondered from whom GOD seeked council and if you read and listen you can see who is on the board of advisers!!!

Michael

July 21st, 2010
4:50 pm

I lost my job a year ago when my company drummed up an excuse to terminate me so they could hire an Indian Contractor. I had excellent job reviews for 12 years so my performance was not the issue. They did what lots of companies are doing now that they are in the drivers seat on employment. Get rid of the older better paid employees and bring in foreign contractors for less money. I have been dilligently looking for a job since but can get no responses to even entry level jobs. Being 60 years old does not help. I have worked my whole life and hate being unemployed. So to all you folks complaining that we need to get off our butts and look for work… we are……………. I feel I have been betrayed by corporate greed more than anything.. How much profit do the bloodsuckers have to make ?????

atlmom

July 21st, 2010
4:56 pm

mike’s wifey: why? if the congress votes to extend benefits then – surprise, I’m already paying your mortgage. Why should you force someone to pay your mortgage? seriously – the government has to BORROW the money. There is plenty of money to extend benefits, but they refuse to cut other programs. Someone somewhere should be an adult. Unemployment benefits shouldn’t last forever. it stops sometime. And, yes, I have been on unemployment more than once in my life. I know it’s not much. I know it sucks not to get a job (yes, right after I got my BS I was waiting tables, with all the rest of the other college grads – I needed a job and couldn’t find one I wanted, i.e., to have a career, but I needed money – so i got a job, doing what I had done during the summer when I was in college, I did whatever it took, and didn’t tell someone else they had to give me money).

Voice of Reason

July 21st, 2010
6:00 pm

I’m for extending the unemployment insurance
A. The Unemployment Insurance Extension can also be thought of as a Tax Rebate. Since the unemployed were working and paying taxes in order to qualify.
B. It probably is as at least as helpful to the Economy as a the Bush or any previous Tax Rebates,
C. It prevents wage deflation, why should my employer keep me when their are 10 people on the doorstep who are willing to work hard for 1/3 of my salary.
D. Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

angry taxpayer

July 21st, 2010
10:50 pm

People kill me talking about how we should just get jobs. You know anyone handing them out because I can’t even get a job to flipping burgers right now. There is no job beneath me because I need to feed my family. But I’ve been looking for 54 weeks and I can’t find anything.

Don’t be so quick to judge the entire class of “unemployed” people. Everyone is not the same!!!!

Insource

July 22nd, 2010
12:22 am

The government needs to stop the outsourcing of all these good jobs in the U.S. to china and india by imposing taxes and tariffs on any jobs that leave the u.s.

Ben

July 22nd, 2010
5:25 am

For a third party, try the Libertarian. We need to cut all govt spending to the bone, especially the stupid wars and Big Brother state. Reduce the Federal Govt by 70-80% and we could afford to extend unemployment benefits until our economy can recover from the Dem/Repub mismanagement of the past 45 years. We need to also find a solution to lobbyists (working for business and political organizations) effectively running the country. I’m voting anti-incumbent for many offices this fall.

sandra

July 22nd, 2010
5:40 am

For all of yall that have smart comments give us a job I guarantee 85% of us unemployed would accept the job. We are out searching for jobs daily to keep from being home depressed. I have applied for 30 or more jobs per week for the last 62 weeks an only laded 2 interviews do u know how f-cking depressing that is. I have a degree an cant even find a department store job :(

Libertarian

July 22nd, 2010
9:55 am

For once, I would love to have this discussion without going back to Clinton, Bush, Reagan, etcs mistakes. THEY ARE SUNK COSTS PEOPLE! It doesn’t matter what Bush did. It doesn’t matter what CLinton did. It only matters what is best for us RIGHT NOW! Yes, both parties are hypocrites. Yes, Republican presidents didn’t save as much as you would’ve guessed. Yes, Clinton didn’t save until a Repub congress. WHO CARES? The stimulus has proven to be a waste. Even the “successful” jobs programs touted by Obama created jobs at 120k a pop. Hell, if it takes that much to create one dang job, we probably aren’t being as efficient as we can (read: locating it where its best located, competing in an industry we arent suited for, etc). I see no problem with the GOPS fight to reallocate soon to be wasted money to a useful program. In fact, it makes COMPLETELY SENSE! The Dems just know it would be admitting the failure of the stimulus package so they are fighting for political capital at the expense of you and me. I’m sick of politics. Im sick of Democrats. Im sick of Republicans. Most of all, I’m sick of pedestal sitting, Dems and Repubs that pretend as if their party isn’t corrupt and hypocritical. THEY BOTH ARE! They are both selfish jerks taht care nothing about us. I say this as an employed Libertarian that has simply had it with the rhetoric.

Dean Steele

July 22nd, 2010
10:32 am

Why is it that when the “markets” generated more than 20 Trillion dollars, as they did since the “easy money” policies of the Reagan fake presidency, no one wailed about “deficits”. This was in effect faux money created for and by speculators, who then spread it around to all of us and conning us into signing documents giving value to their fluff, by working to pay inflated mortgages and car loans.

Comrade Obama

July 22nd, 2010
1:45 pm

Im sick of this lefty newspaper. In November its gonna be clean house time.

Socialists for Obama.

Job blues

July 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

I got laid off from a marketing support job 9 months ago and after at least 500 resumes, I’ve had 4 interviews with no offers. Even the lowlife mall stores aren’t hiring at minimum wage. This is a depression, not a recession.

Jeff the vet

July 22nd, 2010
1:57 pm

The reason Congress had more money during the Clinton years was they taxed the hell out of us! Don’t you remember? They didn’t go down until Bush. Now Obama, who is resisting keeping those same Bush tax cuts and is spending like a sailor on shore leave (I know, I was one) is driving us into a hole. At the same time businesses look at these facts and become worried about the future so they don’t hire. Unemployment goes up and the economy tanks. All of this began in Jan 2007 when the Dems took control of Congress.

The Labor Guy

July 22nd, 2010
4:39 pm

I support the extensions – mostly because I don’t want folks cracking me over the head just to get money for food. It’s bad enough already with the pan-handler population begging from you on almost every street corner in Atlanta. Add a fresh crop of laid-off/unemployed folks and APD would REALLY be busy!

RP

July 23rd, 2010
1:11 pm

It’s hard to say. My only personal experience is this: Family member lost job one year ago in November so going on 18 months now with no job. Have had to send money several times, most recently when desparate since unempolyment ran out. From the very beginning, when we asked how the job hunt was going we got this response: Making too much money on umemployment, not looking for a job until it runs out. disgusting but true. Certainly don’t support for deadbeats like him. But there are many who deserve it I’m sure. Don’t know how to separate wheat from chaff.