To Extend or Not to Extend

The White House and Congress have been trying to reach a consensus over whether or not to extend two things: unemployment benefits and Bush-era tax cuts.  As has been the case with much of the legislative discussions during a “divided” time, the two issues are apparently contingent upon each other, rather than the needs of the nation.

Sigh.
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But we digress.  Here, today, we’re focusing on the pros and cons of extending unemployment benefits.  Here’s what we’ve come up with.
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PRO: Anyone who has been out of work for an extended period of time understands how scary it would be to know the one lifeline you have to paying your bills and taking care of your loved ones is about to go away.  Throw in a recession with a poor employment outlook, and amplify that fear accordingly.
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CON: Are we, by continuing to pay unemployment, encouraging these long-term unemployed individuals to stay that way rather than accept a lower-paying job?
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PRO: Money we give to the unemployed will be spent quickly and put back into the economy immediately… which is a good thing, at least in the interim, for the economy.
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CON: The mental health and self-esteem of people who go for long stretches of time without some type of full time job suffers.  Even if the job is something simple, just having a purpose can make a big difference.
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CON: Are we looking at a repeat of the 1970s, where people stayed on welfare for decades?
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CON: The US government doesn’t have any money to pay these benefits with.  We’ll likely borrow and add to our national debt.
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PRO: Unlike previous and current Washington D.C. expenditures, at least with unemployment benefits, we know where the money is going – to people, goods, and services that may keep our economy from getting worse.
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Or will it?  It seems cruel to take this lifeline away from good people in unfortunate situations and an unfortunate economy.  Yet people have a way of becoming resourceful when they’re required to do so.   And nothing inspires creativity like rock bottom.  If passiveness got us into this situation, maybe only proactive determination will get us out.
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What do you think? Should Congress extend unemployment benefits?

About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

5 Responses to “To Extend or Not to Extend”

  1. Yes they should extend benefits. I am one of the 99 er's and have lost my benefits already. The only way I would continue to receive benefits is if they add a fifth tier. Yes there may be some people who take advantage and don't seek work, but I believe they are few. Most people want to go to work. The jobs are not out there. I went to one pre-interview session where 50 plus people were applying for 2 open positions! I lost my job through no fault of my own, I went back to school and now have a Bachelor degree in accounting. I have done what the President said to do and still no job. I have family who will help me if needed, but some people don't have that option and yes it is hard to ask them for help but I have no choice. These benefits are needed!!!!

  2. Anonymous, thank you so much for sharing your personal story. We know there are many others out there just like you right now. Your industry in particular is an especially tough one right now. You should be proud of yourself for going back to school and getting that degree, even if you aren't seeing the payoff just YET!! You pose some very good points for extending unemployment.

  3. I do think they should extend benefits, with restrictions. And I appreciate TRC bringing up the topic for discussion.

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