7/20/2010

New piece up at Fox News: Our Unemployment Insurance Addiction

My newest piece starts this way:

The extension of unemployment insurance benefits is expected to pass the Senate today. Despite President Obama's attack on Republicans for delaying the bill, it could easily have passed a month ago if Democrats hadn't added so many other unrelated radical measures to it -- from higher taxes to changes in the Medicare reimbursement formula.

The bill President Obama has been hammering Republicans over in the last couple of days has been puzzling since he already knew that he had enough Republican votes to overcome any filibuster and pass the extended benefits.

The problem, though, isn't that there is insufficient Republican support to pass it. The problem is that the bill will ultimately increase long term unemployment and it will reduce our GDP.

Ironically, if some of Obama's attacks are correct, Republicans can only be accused of trying to help Obama's presidency.

Suppose, as the president said on Monday, that Republicans really believe "that emergency relief somehow discourages people from looking for a job." If that were true, those Republicans who are opposing the added extension of benefits would believe that defeating it would lower the unemployment rate. . . .

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