Your morning jolt: Unemployment benefits ‘too much of an allure’ for some, says John Linder

He’s said it before, but this time retiring U.S. Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) is getting some attention with his argument that federally funded extensions of unemployment benefits are counterproductive.

From the Huffington Post:


U.S. Rep. John Linder of Gwinnett County/ Cox Washington Bureau

Georgia Republican Rep. John Linder suggested Thursday that extended unemployment benefits keep people from looking for work.

After complaining that the Democrats’ stimulus bill has failed to keep unemployment from hitting double digits, Linder said, “And even when businesses are willing to hire, nearly two years of unemployment benefits are too much of an allure for some,” said Linder. “The evidence is mounting that so-called stimulus policies rammed through Congress are doing more harm than good.”

Linder made his remarks during a hearing held by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support. He’s the ranking Republican.

The Gwinnett County congressman, who announced this spring that this would be his last term, said roughly the same thing after first reading this May 10 piece from the Detroit News — which cited instances in which landscapers had refused employment in an effort to keep their unemployment benefits.

From a statement issued last month by the congressman:

“When you build it they will come. When you build more of it, more will come, and those that were already there will stay even longer–I’m talking of course about the medley of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit extensions being signed into law. Reports are coming in now that individuals are purposely staying unemployed so that they can continue to be propped up by the American taxpayer as long as possible.”

On Thursday, the Atlanta Press Club hosted a session with Sue Everhart and Jane Kidd, the two women who—respectively — run the state Republican and Democratic parties.

Everhart came to the defense of Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for governor, whom the anti-abortion group Georgia Right to Life had refused to endorse – in part because Handel supports a right to abortion in cases of rape or incest.

GRTL, whose president is Dan Becker, recognizes a right to abortion only when the life of the mother is threatened.

The press club session was moderated by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), who fortunately had hit the “record” button. He posted the sound Thursday night.

Here’s exactly what Everhart said:

“Mr. Becker and I don’t agree on a lot of things. We’re both pro-life. But our approach to our message is a lot different. I do not – nor do members of my party – give a litmus test to people who want to come into the party. We don’t say you can’t run…for the position if you are pro-choice.

“I’m sure that we have many people in our party that are not pro-life. It’s not don’t-ask-don’t-tell, but we’re conservatives. And I think that is the important thing. Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but Mr. Becker had requested that I put something on the state [primary] ballot. I said absolutely not.

“It is a social issue. I am interested in taxes, the economy, and the safety of my family in our own home.

“Karen Handel is pro-life…I don’t care what her exceptions are. She is pro-life. I don’t ask people, ‘What is your exception?’ And Mr. Becker is not the voice of the Georgia Republican party or the national Republican party. He represents very few people as far as being as outspoken as he is.

“I would say that two-thirds of the Georgia Republican party is pro-life. And the ones that say they’re pro-choice, they will say, ‘I’m pro-life for myself, personally. I just don’t agree that I should bother with other people’s rights.’”

Eric Johnson, the Republican candidate on Thursday unloaded a series of proposals to contain illegal immigration in Georgia. One element was his suggest that public K-12 schools be required to ascertain the citizenship status of their students. Why?

According to the Rome News-Tribune:

“So we can determine how many illegal immigrants we are providing an education for and then sue the federal government for compensation,” Johnson said.

Down on the coast, people are talking about the firing of Carl Smith, fire chief for the small burg of Thunderbolt, by the town council. Municipal officials said they sacrificed the chief’s $52,000 salary to save the jobs of three lesser employees.


Smith is out of town, but told News 3 in a statement that he is “shocked, stunned, and disappointed at the decision.” He said it’s “nothing more than ‘political retribution’” since he’s seeking to challenge Congressman John Barrow in the November election.

Smith is one of four Republican candidates in the July 20 primary.

The Associated Press is tallying up the costs of four rounds of voting in the 9th District congressional race – A special election and runoff in May and June, followed by primary votes in July and, likely, August:

The May 11 special election and the June 8 special election runoff have cost the district’s 15 counties hundreds of thousands of dollars combined, local officials say.

In Hall County – the district’s most populous – costs for the two elections are about $90,000. In neighboring Forsyth County the price tag is roughly $75,000.

In Lumpkin County, elections supervisor Kimberly Pruitt said the more than $26,000 needed to pay for the special election and subsequent runoff has used all the money she had set aside this year to purchase new voter equipment. And she still has to find another $10,000.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

74 comments Add your comment

GOP Voter

June 11th, 2010
9:35 am

The extreme elements that have taken over the GOP trouble me. Where are the moderates? Guys like Linder, Balfour, Cox, Debbie Dooley, etc harken back to the bad old days – although they would say the “good ole days.” I read today that Gwinnett’s white population is now in minority status. These politicians must be scared out of their minds!!!!!!! Just look at Linder – he is not only retiring, but is moving far out of his district to good ole Mississippi!

Raquel Morris

June 11th, 2010
9:45 am

John Linder, God is watching you.


June 11th, 2010
10:03 am

Thank you John Linder. Just when I start to get complacent along comes someone blotted from feeding from the teat of the taxpayer to tell us just how lazy the average working person really is.

Why don’t we send all the John Linders back to their homes with no pensions, no medical coverage and little or no prospects of finding employment. Maybe a dose of the reality faced daily by millions of our fellow humans would wake him and others of his ilk. I doubt it.

God help the people of this and all other nations when those charged with the duty to serve us only feed on us.


June 11th, 2010
10:07 am

I would guess that there are some elements of truth to his statement. However, I am certainly for extending unemployment benefits overall.

There are probably a very few unemployed who have become content. However, the vast majority would like to work, I would guess.

As the number of unemployed has grown, I have often wondered what I would do if left jobless.

I suppose now I’d head to the gulf to clean rocks or count people for the census.


June 11th, 2010
10:12 am

Linder just proves one more time what an idiot he is.

John K

June 11th, 2010
10:16 am

When I was unemployed the benefits were barely enough to keep us afloat. I furiously spent my time looking for a job.

It’s just more of the typical out of touch, FU attitude.


June 11th, 2010
10:25 am

Johnsons proposal is to sue the federal government? That makes as much sense as Ox calling for a constitutional convention.


June 11th, 2010
10:25 am

It’s just sooooo wonderful that you are finally retiring Mr. Linder. Have a wonderful life far away from the centers of power.


June 11th, 2010
10:25 am

Linder’s hypocrisy is shocking. Does he not get a salary and an incredible pension off the back of the taxpayer? These supposedly “too lazy to work” folks?


June 11th, 2010
10:29 am

The Republican Party won’t be in control of Gwinnett much longer……….


June 11th, 2010
10:39 am

Oh yes, people are having a party living on $1200 a month feeding/supporting a family and home. Puhleeeze.

Karl Marx

June 11th, 2010
10:42 am

What a Bozo. It is called Unemployment “Insurance” and we pay for it not the damn government. What the government does is play with the benfits which is NOT the fault of the Unemployed. Fire every politician and lets start over.

Monroe Burbank

June 11th, 2010
10:42 am

These Republicans are a bunch of screwballs. Unfortunately, their constituencies are an even bigger bunch of screwballs for electing them. All these years he’s been in office and what has he done for Georgia? Oh, that’s right. NOTHING.

I’ve been looking rigorously since July of last year. I went from making $1700 per week to $299 on unemployment. Yeah, John, this is the good life. Wouldn’t change it for the world.

Hopefully in his retirement Linder will keep his big mouth shut. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, buddy.

Beeg Boi

June 11th, 2010
10:47 am

What a Dooosch. Let’s see, 1500 mortgage-400 car- plus utilities, food and fuel. Yeah that 322/per week gross will keep me from working, you Betcha. Tar and Feather all the jackazzes in office and the one’s who aspire to hold office. This is where partisan politics lead you.


June 11th, 2010
11:04 am

Well, Monroe, you are so right! We Georgians keep electing these screwballs even though they have done NOTHING for our state. That makes us as crazy as they are. For example, Oxendine seems to be the frontrunner for governor. Yet what has he done for us? He has helped himself by filling up his pocket with money from insurance companies. And Georgia has the 8th highest car insurance rates in the country.


June 11th, 2010
11:12 am

Some elements of truth? Maybe, but remember this is the same Congressman who did not remember when a local candidate traveled with him to a FairTax Ralley in Missouri,


June 11th, 2010
11:12 am

I’d LOVE to see Linder live on the 330 dollar a week maximum benefits.Most people don’t get that max. Do these people not understand how much money a person gets on unemployment? It’s like they think people are collecting tens of thousands of dollars each. I’m so tired of people acting like collecting unemployment means you’re a lazy bum.

You guys are dolts

June 11th, 2010
11:22 am

Linder is right. By friend collected benes for a year. Only looked for work online. My bud lost a job earning 50k. He could have gone to wallmart or some other service type job, and made about 300$ a week.

He chose to sit at home and collect about 300$ a week.You think he is the only gut to make that choice? Hah

My friend did end up getting a good job- but anybody that thinks people will not milk the system is kinda stupid.

Just as my bud would have been stupid to flip bugers for a year.

You guys are dolts

June 11th, 2010
11:33 am

That should be guys not guts. Also I am not saying anyone on this board who is out of work is lazy, or would do what my friend did. I hope you all find good jobs, or new careers. I feel for ya-its gotta suck.

Fact is however, for a certain number of people sitting on buttocks, while waiting on a GOOD job makes sense.

What is that number? Dont know. But I do know it is at Least one…good ol -Mark heh heh


June 11th, 2010
11:34 am

I am not one of the unemployed however see the need for Unemployment extensions…
… Congress needs to be held accountable for the their failure to create a jobs bill and a jobs market.

extending Unemployment is not the answer however it what is needed. the Answer is to create jobs, which will take Congress to place hire taxes on any company that out sources jobs over seas, higher taxes on any funds leaving the US and higher tariffs on imports.

Until then we have to pay out unemployment for the failure of our leaders.

Support unemployment here, it is one of highest all time petitions.


June 11th, 2010
11:34 am

John had no trouble with the tax credit for housing. He also had it extended.

Beeg Boi

June 11th, 2010
11:34 am

Dolt-you cannot interview for employment while you are working 40 hours per week to make ends meet. It is a life-line to people who need the assitance. You and your friend should are just two of “those” people who you all fear.Own up to it.


June 11th, 2010
11:35 am

To save even more dollars, let’s also deny benefits to retired Parkinson’s victims in Mississippi. Nah, that wouldn’t be FAIR. I’m sure Mr. Linder would say that this is just a bunch of Bullfeathers….


June 11th, 2010
11:38 am

Its easy to tell that Linder sure dont miss any meals !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That fat s.o.b. should be nade to sit at a table weith the kids that have only meager meals to eat, if they even have that. Also, his words”that some”, well ya fat retard, that does not mean all of us. Maybe you should miss a few meals and go on a diet, your jowls and fat gut are an embarrassment to America, it also shows why you FatCats in Washington like giving yourself pay raises while stealing from our parents on SS. May each and every one of you burn in hell, and before getting there, you feel the devasting emotional anquish of knowing your Govt tossed you aside to help foreignors.

You guys are dolts

June 11th, 2010
11:43 am

Beeg – I am just relating a true story. I own up to nothing. I dont really care about the issue- in fact I would say the program is worthwhile in spite of guys like my bud-

I am sure it is tough to work and conduct a job search at the same time.

John Linder, is in fact, a dolt.

That does not change the truth.


June 11th, 2010
11:48 am

It’s is a fact that most on unemployment who do get a job take a job the last 30-60 days of unemployment compensation eligibility. If you turn down any job you should be denied an unemployment benefit.

Beeg Boi

June 11th, 2010
11:55 am

Agreed YGAD. Linder should support those in the need and just forget scammers of the system. There will always be those people. It’s the cost of doing the business so-to-speak.

Yea right lol

June 11th, 2010
12:01 pm

Actually Linder is calling it like it is. Seems all of you think that most people make tons of money when a lot of people are in the 300 take home range per week. Its really not that they cant do better but in order to do better they need to finish highschool or go to college or trade school and they simply dont want to do that. So when you take taxes and gas out of their weekly paycheck, yes, they are getting a grand vacation at the tax payers expense. People, there are jobs out there, just not what your looking for. So they stay on the couch and wait while living off the taxpayers and collect food stamps. Yes, some of them actually are doing better then if they work.

miss marta

June 11th, 2010
12:07 pm

what an assclown. it is MEN of an advanced age who are most adversely effected by this recession. if they cannot afford a $10/hr job – because, ya know, they have things called MORTGAGES and FAMILIES – then these MEN have my blessing to stay on unemployment.

john linder literally opened his big fat mouth and showed how out of touch with main street amaerica he is. you think your job is safe john linder? because we’re coming for you next!

Beeg Boi

June 11th, 2010
12:10 pm

Yea- If people want to squander their lives for 300, so be it. Forget them. Take care of the people who have be ousted from their jobs and need the benefit. There will always be bums.

no job in fla

June 11th, 2010
12:20 pm

Hey stupid, i get $228 a week in unemployment. thats about $100 less than what i was taking home. food stamps? no kids, no wife. just ME. denied. they say i make too much. no food stamps. rent, car payment, insurance on car, food, and medicine…im diabetic….come to alot higher than $228 week. course i have no medical insurance, and im NOT paying income tax cause that would leave me what $200 week? im milking the system? im in a tourist town, and no tourist due to oil spill, plus the crappy economy. get a job? how about you come down here and show me hows its done? i dont even have gas money to go to interviews! gee, maybe you should pay for my college….going to college creates jobs right? idiots….you have a job, so your opinion really means nothing. i wish i knew who you really were, maybe i could talk your boss into giving me YOUR JOB. then we see who is “living on taxpayers and collect food stamps”.

Still Looking

June 11th, 2010
12:30 pm

Unemployment is NOT welfare, I actually had to work to earn the benefits that now barely pay my bills. I’m not on welfare, where one doesn’t even need to have worked in the past or plan on working in the future to get money to live on from the government. People on welfare have the most incentive to not go to work, not people on unemployment, but going after people on unemployment is easier because we are proven to be employable and willing to work but can’t find jobs. I know I can earn more than $300 a week and I’m trying hard to find that job. Most job postings out there are scams, schools trying to recruit students, or companies that list jobs but they aren’t ready to hire. If I could find a waitressing job, I would take it.

People capable of earning more than $300 a week would rather work.


June 11th, 2010
12:38 pm

Yeah, my wife’s $300 a week unemployment check compared to the $1200 a week she earned at her last job is most certainly a HUGE incentive to stay out of work as long as possible… in fact I hope she never goes back to work …well just as long as big brother keeps the big bucks rolling for her of course!!!!


June 11th, 2010
12:48 pm

the companies pay into the unemployment fund, not employees. it should not be looked at as a entitlement, i say 6-12 months at the max for benefits, move to other states if you can for employment. get ready folks, congress has no money to give out! grab a job when you can!

Travis McGee

June 11th, 2010
12:50 pm

John Linder fed at the government trough for almost twenty year and walks away with an outstanding pension and healthcare benefits and has the audacity to begrudge the extension of unemployment benefits to those who are finding it difficult to find a job.

And, this ol’ boy loves the Lord and is a strong supporter of family values.

What a dang hypocrite!

Food For Thought

June 11th, 2010
12:58 pm

I think Mr. Linder may be on to something. Unemployment benefits keep getting extentions in Washington. There is a reason for that. By making formerly hard working people think that they are due these benefits, they will get used to having that amount of money, such that it is. This is an easy way to ensure that those people vote democrat forever, because after all they voted to keep the benefits coming. Complacancy sets in, the desire to get a job lessens, before long you have a huge majority of people who feel entitled to keep receiving unemployment benefits. With the incentive to work gone, the democrat party will have their constituency of the future. Look at the effect Lyndon Johnson and his great society theory has had on the minority population in this country right now.

Though I don’t always agree with John Linder, on this I’m afraid he’s right on the money.


June 11th, 2010
1:03 pm

Well you folks voted Linder in year after year. What else did you think he was going to say or do? You have the opportunity to elect another dunce in Eric Johnson. I would not worry too much about the immigrants since they are slowly replacing those regular folks of Georgia.

Food For Thought

June 11th, 2010
1:08 pm

Mike, if it weren’t for the fact that we have democrats in control of both parties and the presidency, we would be better off. Eric Johnson is a big improvement over ANY democrat in the race. My guess is you’re a Roy Barnes kind of guy. Yeah, that’s surely what we need isn’t it, a former governor who screwed up royally coming back for a second chance to screw up all over again.


June 11th, 2010
1:11 pm

At least Linder is doing the right thing – retiring. Deal should have done the same thing, then maybe his “ghetto grandmother” views wouldn’t have come out. People are sick of Washington politicians.

Travis McGee

June 11th, 2010
1:11 pm

The Republicans wring their hands of immigration reform when for six of the eight years Bush was in office they controlled both houses of congress and the White House. Heck, they could have built a mote across the entire southern United States if they had been so disposed.

But, they weren’t!

Now, that the Tea Party is exerting some influence, these panderers act like they want to protect America, but the Democrats won’t let them.

Horse hocky!

The Republicans want “cheap labor” and the Democrats want “the votes.”


June 11th, 2010
1:13 pm

It is the system that is flawed. You can’t fix the problem by throwing money at it. I have been on unemployment a few times over past 20 or years, so I understand how a lot of people feel. It used to be that when you collected unemployment you had to submit a list companies that you submitted resumes to every week. They gave you a quota that you had to meet, among other requirements. Now you either go online or call in to a VRU and press a button stating you are actively looking for work. With no accountability. Companies should be getting tax incentives for hiring people out of the unemployment databases, and there needs to be an unemployment counselor program to review what the collectors of the benefits are doing once a month.

Wallis the dog

June 11th, 2010
1:36 pm

Linder makes a point based on basic laws of economics, and liberal readers seem upset. Of course he’s 100% correct. Subsidize anything and you will get more of it.


June 11th, 2010
1:37 pm

Just remember, a vote for Rob Woodall would be just like voting for Linder again. Two peas in a pod. Nothing would change.


June 11th, 2010
2:04 pm

Where are the cries from Linder & the TEA party about the “Generational” welfare benefits being paid to those that choose not to work? I love when politicians complain about benefits that taxpayers receive when they have their own (GOOD) healthcare plans & live off of huge pensions when they retire.

Wha chu tawkn' bout

June 11th, 2010
2:06 pm

I’ze waitin’ fer da gubment to pays me respirations……. Barack done say he gone give us mo money ’cause we’z oppressed. I makes mo on da unemployment dan I did at da McDonalds.

Linder some cash?

June 11th, 2010
2:19 pm

Please tell me who can live on $300.00 a week? Am I missing something? That won’t even cover my payment on a house that has dropped in value like stock in a typewriter ribbon company.


June 11th, 2010
2:22 pm

My husband would GLADLY give up his unemployment for a job. And he would gladly move to another state to find a job, but we care for my disabled sister and my elderly step-father. We can’t just pick up and move. Also, in this market, who is going to buy our house? Yes he could probably get a part time job flipping burgers but the unemployment comes with COBRA payments to help me keep him insured. Last time I checked, part time burger flippers didn’t have any paid insurance. He is out there every day applying for full time jobs where he can at least buy insurance. He’s in good health but he’s 53 and had a very minor heart attack (only 1 stent) a couple of years ago. And our wonderful Georgia government doesn’t want to take part in the part of the health reform act that would allow those with preexisting conditions to get insurance. John Linder and the rest of you ivory towered idiots, walk in my husband’s shoes just 48 hours and then get back to me about being unemployed.


June 11th, 2010
2:35 pm

I’ve voted against this moron for 16 years and he just keeps getting elected and goes right on spewing his elitist hate. I suspect he’s finally wising up that the demographics of his district are moving him towards unemployment. So he’s decided to pocket his campaign fund and head off to Mississippi to be around other fat retired Republicans. Good riddance, John Linder.

henry grady

June 11th, 2010
2:47 pm

It may shock some of you that people have done actual, fact-based research on this. There is pretty much consensus among economists that many on unemployment wait until the benefit is going to run out to go back to work. There is certainly debate over whether that incentive still exists in a recession where you have 10.5% unemployment and you can make the moral argument that we should provide these benefits longer…but denying that you are preventing some from going back to work by not setting an end date for the benefits is not based in economic reality.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 11th, 2010
2:57 pm

Is Linder, from Minnesota, really moving to Mississippi? Must get tiresome being spat upon by Georgians getting wise to him around here. What a fraud! He was always such a phony. Recall his effeminate “Castillian Richmondese” he and Mike Bowers used to use…then “retrained” to a different fake accent when it was discovered they were just copying false-elite “limp wrists.”

Vietnam draft-dodger and false patriot he, and now America has to pay him a big check every month for his service to the Roman Anti-Christ destroying the Middle Class with the rest of the closet-queens, draft-dodgers and perverts of the Gay Old Pervert party?

Let him finally prove what a man he is: Give up your retirement, John, and work until you die, living the curse of Adam, like the rest of us, thief…traitor.