By: Todd M. Schoenberger
The idea of cutting off jobless benefits for the unemployed is a sticky subject because you don’t want to come across as mean and ignorant; but you also don’t want to keep incentivizing someone to remain on benefits without obtaining a full-time job.
Either way, the subject comes across as a slippery slope that keeps getting more slippery.
The tag team duo known as the POTUS and Telly the Teleprompter appeared in the Rose Garden yesterday morning and talked about extending unemployment benefits beyond the already guaranteed 99 weeks.
On the surface, it does seem a little sketchy to provide a bi-weekly check to a person with no guarantee they will 1) look for a job, or 2) accept a job if offered. People seem to have visions of fat couch potatoes watching Jerry Springer shows while collecting benefits, just as every other shop in the local mall has a help wanted sign.
And, there’s no question, that some people do take full advantage of the unemployment system. However…
Realizing that if the Senate passes the unemployment benefits extension—as is expected—it would be the sixth such extension since the beginning of the recession. And, the $34 billion in added costs to fund the benefits extension will be added to our overall debt; even though the amount is available in the already TARP-approved account.
Republicans want to extend benefits, but want the money to fund it taken from TARP; Dems want to extend benefits, but want the amount added to our debt. In other words, borrow more money by issuing more Treasuries and hoping for the best.
But the root of this debate has nothing to do with those seeking benefits; it has everything to do with lack of jobs. And, with the added uncertainty brought on by the policies of the Obama Administration, businesses will be reluctant to add to their payrolls.
What Obama needs to ask is why are these people remaining on extended unemployment benefits? Right now, we have 6.8 million Americans that have been out of work more than 6 months. And, sadly, this number continues to rise and many economists confirm that it will.
So, what do corporations have to look forward to: higher taxes and more regulation. Even the small business owner, who is known to contribute up to 70% of all new hires per year in this country, will have a hard time adding staff because of the expected hire taxes to deal with next year.
Temporary tax cuts are not the answer; you need permanent ones, and the sooner the policies in this country change, the sooner we can get back to business of growing the economy and job creation. Anything less and we can look forward to future extensions and increases in our national debt.