Despite Renewing Unemployment Benefits, Many About to Lose Checks

At the end of the 2010 Congressional lame duck session, Democrats gave Republicans an extension of the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest in order to keep in place long term unemployment benefits for the millions in the nation who relied on checks to feed their families or keep a roof over their heads while they looked for work.

Now, a few years later, they may be going by the wayside

According to the New York Times, “The checks are stopping for the people who have the most difficulty finding work: the long-term unemployed. More than five million people have been out of work for longer than half a year. Federal benefit extensions, which supplemented state funds for payments up to 99 weeks, were intended to tide over the unemployed until the job market improved. In February, when the program was set to expire, Congress renewed it, but also phased in a reduction of the number of weeks of extended aid and effectively made it more difficult for states to qualify for the maximum aid. Since then, the jobless in 23 states have lost up to five monthsí worth of benefits.”

Now that the unemployment rate has stabilized, politicians argue, there is no reason to keep the extensions.† If the unemployment rate isn’t increasing it must be easier to find a job.† But that doesn’t take into factor the myriad of issues that feed into the lower rate — that people are taking lesser paying jobs rather than holding out for ones that they are best qualified for or are in their industry, that many are leaving the workforce all together via early retirement, or that some are just giving up all together.

Even if the unemployment rate had dropped in half, what good does that do for the person who can’t find a job?† Cutting off benefits doesn’t make a person magically have a job.† It simply forces them to find another means to make ends meet — sell off every asset, apply for food stamps, beg from families.

Unemployment benefits are being cut in the name of a recovering economy. Yet the tax cuts for millionaires?† Those haven’t been touched, and Republicans want to make them a permanent part of the tax code.† No discussion of sunsetting those out once the economy shows signs of recovery.

Talk about a double standard.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Huber F.
Huber F4 years ago

its a mad world.

Deb B.
Deb Baverstock5 years ago

Bruce K, I am not going to ask that you back up your statement with facts because I already know you don't have any to do so. Despite the current high numbers, everyone who is keeping track KNOWS unemployment was HIGHER when Obama took office then now. Even the Republicans don't dispute this (because they can't). They blame Obama for not lowering unemployment more and conveniently forget to mention that it their previous guys numbers were worse in the last couple of years before the change in leadership. Am I placing blame? No way. Because I understand that the current situation is caused by many factors and that both parties were somewhat complicit in creating the original problem. This is even more reason they should all be working together for a REAL solution (which has nothing to do with taxes, the deficit or controlling who has access to what health services).

Lynda Harrison
Lynda Harrison5 years ago

We are still to hear what the aspiring RePUBIC-clown president's plans are to get this country back on its feet and folks in jobs aside from the nonsensical "trickle-down" philosophy that has proven not to work. Just why do people continue to vote for these morons?

Bruce K.
Bruce K5 years ago

I see a lot of you still manage to blame the Republicans for Obama's failed economy thus creating High unemployment..."Duh"

Corazónroto C.
The President and Congress really screwed the unemployed by watering down the benefits too early, so the Ui numbers and rate LOOK GOOD before the election this Fall. It is no coincidence that the numbers keep dropping and are designed to do so to make it look like a neat little resolved "problem" that wrapped up just as Mr. Hope and Change finishes out the term. This works well because people have RUN OUT of AID and are no longer counted, as unemployed even though they are out of work, The BLS does not count you as UNEMPLOYED, if you are a "discouraged worker". Really?

Put that information together with the published DOL ERRORS in EUC08 Implementation, that force claimants to serve out older and terminated EUC Accounts until full exhaustion before being "allowed" to be eligible for the most recent benefit years claim, and you can see that the Feds are really doing a number on the people suffering the most from the global economic mess THEY CREATED.

This is why I started this page to try to EXPOSE the ERRORS that the US Government is using to harm and control the unemployed while subverting the Recovery Act to make sure Struggling Workers and Families get LESS ARRA MONEY than they are owed by LAW.The Evidence PROVING this is found here,based on an appeal case I won that exposed this problem:

Nancy Black
Nancy Black5 years ago

You have to love the Republicans and also wonder about the average voter in states that have lost unemployment who go out and vote for those same Republicans who stop their benefits and give the rich the Bush tax cuts.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Thanks for the update

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Republicans have introduced 44 bills on abortion, 99 on religion, 71 on family relationships, 36 on marriage, 67 on firearms/gun control, 522 on taxation, 445 on ‘government investigations,’ and zero on job creation.

Dave Ewoldt
Dave Ewoldt5 years ago

Diana B., the only thing to do is vote out _both_ wings of the Corporate War Party. It was the Dems who gave us NAFTA, and who are complicit if not instrumental in every illicit military misadventure the US has been involved in.

Then we must get serious about facing reality. We don't need _more_ jobs. We need a means of providing meaningful work, or right livelihood, in order for people to be productively contributing members of their communities. This is necessary to fulfill people's senses of belonging and acceptance.

Dave Ewoldt
Dave Ewoldt5 years ago

Paula, if your statement _had_ any merit, I'd love to debate it. It's not that your proof isn't good enough, but that you have none--it's all fantasy and hand-waving as the last 300 years of finance shows.

But, since I have a few minutes to spare... Thanks to EPA MATS standards, savings just in health care costs and productivity loss through premature deaths have been more than triple the cost of losses in the energy industry.

Oh, I forgot. Life doesn't count, as it isn't economically productive.

Logging and the spotted owl. Since Care2 doesn't allow enough space for a full lesson in ecology or intrinsic value, I'll just make one point. Life is interconnected and interdependent. Every organism in the food chain contributes some chemical process necessary for the health and well-being of other organisms on either side of it in the food chain. No food chain, no food. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

The IRS. It's interesting that you would even mention them. Anyway, you don't think it's important to be qualified when mistakes can result in fines and/or jail time? And I almost hate to ask, but why do you assume the IRS even requires congressional approval?