Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Putting America back to work: one unemployment benefit extension at a time


Like clockwork, every 6 months or so, someone from Team O will come out and speak on the economy and at that instant, it will be made painfully obvious why we have been unable to lift ourselves out of this seemingly endless economic doldrum. White House press secretary, Jay Carney, was opining on unemployment benefits during his daily briefing yesterday and had this to say:
(Video here)

"Extending unemployment insurance has been very much a part of the president's plan. It's part of the American Jobs Act. It's something that has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past, and should, we hope, enjoy bipartisan support this year," White House press secretary Jay Carney said about extending the time one can be on unemployment insurance.

Carney then argued writing unemployment checks is good for the economy and in fact, creates jobs.

"In addition to those who have found themselves unemployed and are unemployed for a substantial period of time, unemployment insurance has been recognized by outside economists and by members of both parties as vital assistance to an economy to help it grow and create jobs," Carney said.

"It is a direct injection, if you will, into the bloodstream of the economy. And so we very much support extension of unemployment insurance. If we do not do that, approximately six million Americans will lose their benefits over the course of next year. And that will obviously have a negative impact on their lives, but a negative impact on the economy," he said.

The depth of economic illiteracy displayed here is truly breathtaking. No wonder Obama has endorsed the Occupy movement and its Obamavilles. Is it any wonder that we have a nagging 9% unemployment rate and a far greater under-employment rate when the administration's spokesperson is essentially congratulating himself for being in position to extend unemployment benefits to so many jobless Americans? Hooray! More foodstamps! They're absolutely proud of this!

This isn't anywhere near the first time that Carney has touted unemployment benefits as a big part of the President's jobs plan. This summer, Carney was expounding on the multiplier effect that unemployment benefits had on the economy claiming that it grew the economy and created jobs. Of course, if this were the case, why not give everbody unemployment benefits, unemployed or not and watch the economy just explode.

The veritable self-gratifying back-slapping they give themselves for the great job they are doing on extending unemployment benefits would be comical if it were coming from a source that wasn't as powerful and influential as a Presidential administration.

And to think all of us rubes out here in fly-over country thought the goal here was to effectively end jobless benefits.


K T Cat said...

I think unemployment benefits should last 1200 months.

Doo Doo Econ said...

Infrastructure.. when we didn't have highways, each dollar created 2-5 dollars in tax revenue due to increased commerce. Today, 60 years later we get a whopping .05 dollars for each dollar spent on "infrastructure."

Lets go spend $787 Billion on Infrastructure!

Road Dawg said...

Unemployment is too big to fail.

Harrison said...

Must include Larry Summers quote:

“The second way government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment is by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work. Each unemployed person has a ‘reservation wage’—the minimum wage he or she insists on getting before accepting a job. Unemployment insurance and other social assistance programs increase [the] reservation wage, causing an unemployed person to remain unemployed longer.”

Full credit goes to Lawrence H. Summers, the current White House economic adviser, who wrote those sensible words in his chapter on “Unemployment” in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, first published in 1999.