Filibuster Scuttles Jobless Benefits Restoration For Third Time

Happy Fourth of July weekend! To help you celebrate Independence Day, which includes independence from the government dole, a Senate filibuster has successfully prevented unemployment benefits from being extended for 1.3 million out of work citizens.

Passed 270-153 in the House, the measure is two votes shy in the Senate of the 60 it would need to overcome the filibuster. Reps will try again after their week-long Independence Day break, and a replacement is named for the recently departed Sen. Byrd, D-W. Va.

I’m torn on this one. My gal, who works part-time, was counting on those benefits and it’s not really a good time for them to vaporize with our upcoming nuptials and all. On the other hand, I have a cousin who sits on the porch all day drinking beer because he says why bother, I’m gettin’ my gummnit check. Can’t we modify the measure so that unemployment benefits just get extended to people who aren’t lazy? I think that would get bipartisan support.

1.3 million unemployed won’t get benefits restored [AP]


Edit Your Comment

  1. iggy21 says:

    It’s a tough one, but with spending out of control, how can we afford to spend more money? Also, I’ve heard that there’s more than just jobless benefits hidden in this.

    May be a different story if this just contained jobless benefits and no other spending

    • reishka says:

      Pretty sure this is the new bill that was pulled out of the one that died last week. The one last week was attached in a bill that had a ton of other spending with it — started at $134 Bil and was brought down to $33 Bil. Was filibustered by repubs multiple times, and then it died. So this week they pulled out the unemployment extension and an extension to the homebuyer tax credit and tried to put THAT through in it’s own separate bill.

      So essentially, they failed to pass the standalone bill of unemployment benefits + homebuyer tax credit.

      The problem comes from the fact that republicans want to use money that was unspent money from the economic stimulus fund (which, I believe (and someone correct me if I’m wrong), is technically dogeared for other things), while democrats want to add it to the debt and deal with it later.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        “add it to the debt and deal with it later”

        THIS. Personally I am not against the bill, but I am against simply paying for it by racking up even more national debt.

    • danstirling2000 says:

      Totally agree. Granted, I am currently a recipient of said benefits (but looking, and for far lower salary). As a fiscal conservative I still think that the unemployment extensions need to continue – with the high unemployment level there simply aren’t enough jobs, and the loss of benefits for millions would be catastrophic. The problem is that other spending gets lumped in with these bills. At least one bill earlier this year was over $100B, with only $20-30B for unemployment. If the Dems will drop all the add-ons there will be enough GOP votes to pass.

      Hiring will go up after this Congress closes in November or December, and the companies currently sitting on piles of cash will feel confident enough to invest in growth, knowing that there won’t be additional tax legislation.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Wouldn’t a “fiscal conservative” believe that people should build up adequate savings, rely on local charities, churches, neighbors and their families and not be dependent on the government during hard times?

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          Not necessarily. A lot of conservatives believe in individual responsibility, but I’ll even admit that the most prepared person can have a bunch of bad luck and end up needing help. I’m not opposed to unemployment insurance (which is what it really is – Federal Income Contributions Act is the name of the bill that started it), and I think its one of the good uses of government – its not welfare, its a temporary stop-gap.

          That being said, I’d love to have an instant 6.2% raise as well…

          • PunditGuy says:

            99 weeks plus a possible additional tier? That’s welfare. Middle-class people don’t want to call it that, because of the stigma, but it’s welfare. Taxpayers are paying for the benefits at that point, not employers.

    • jsl4980 says:

      From the article:
      “Republicans, tapping into voter anger about the growing national debt, said they would support extending the benefits if the bill was paid for. They proposed using unspent money from President Barack Obama’s massive 2009 economic recovery package.”

      I’d like to see these benefits continue especially in a time where there aren’t enough jobs to go around, but we can’t just pull money out of nowhere, they have to be paid for some how.

      • thisistobehelpful says:

        I’d rather they “borrow” against us taxpayers to actually help us rather than borrow for either of the two bullshit wars, rebuilding two countries that aren’t ours and for the equally bullshit bailouts for banks that are also not giving us any benefits to saving their asses. I would also support suspending pay of all our paid officials until they fix the shit we pay them to fix. This is for some reason amazingly hard for so many people to understand but we pay the government to make sure that we have jobs, are safe and are taken care of so that we can a) continue to pay them and b) continue to pay each other with a good economy.

        It’d also be great if we brought back manufacturing to the US and maybe stuck our fingers into some green infrastructure growth as a revamp of the new deal BUT THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE.

    • ARP says:

      They pulled the unemployment benefits and home buyer extension and ran those two as a separate bill and it failed.

      • nova3930 says:

        The issue is that those in support of this bill want to just borrow more money to fund it instead of complying with the PayGo rules and cutting something else to pay for it.

        All they have to do to get it to pass is make cuts to something else so there is net zero budget impact but they don’t want to do that.

      • iggy21 says:

        Still doesnt address the spending issue. I think another Commenter brought up that this doesn’y follow pay-go.

        • ARP says:

          What’s the spending issue? These same Republicans had no problem ballooning our deficit and running two wars “off the books” the last 8 years (and can even go back to Reagan) Now, when it comes time to actually, directly helping people, they’re deficit hawks?

          I get the deficit is a problem, but a healthy economy is better able to actually pay down the deficit rather than an anemic economy. Many European economies are trying the same thing they (and we) initialy tried in the 30’s, severe cuts (austerity measures) and it didn’t work so well for them. We were actually climbing out of the depression well before WWII due to heavy public works campaigns. And besides, what’s a war, but an indirect “stimulus.” If you’re paying for a war without having the money, you’re engaging in deficit spending.

          So, if you’re taking money that’s supposed to be for stimulus spending and reallocating it, that means you have less money to help stimulate the economy. Granted, unemployment is an indirect form of stimulus, but we probably need both.

          • iggy21 says:

            Dont be stupid, The spending problem is exactly as it has always been. Bringing past arguments does nothing more that try to throw a straw man out there.We arent discussing what the republicans did or didnt do in the past, The argument is about now and what everyone is doing now… So i would say it’s still about spending (to spell it out, it’s about too much spending).

            • thisistobehelpful says:

              You’re right, it’s not what they did or didn’t do in the past, it’s what they constantly do in the present and just happened to do or not do in the past.

      • Doubts42 says:

        You are misinformed. home buyer extension was separated and passed

        But HR 4213 is still a monster

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      The funds to pay unemployment insurance come from money employers and employees pay into the system. Does controlling “out of control spending” also include the government keeping taxpayer’s money when they are entitled to have some of it back, for the purpose it was taken in the first place?

  2. Tim says:

    Meanwhile, the number of jobs did increase last month, but not even at the rate necessary to keep up with population growth.

    Sure, some people are lazy and use unemployment money to enable their laziness. But unemployment benefits suck. You can barely scrape by with them, and I doubt many people actively choose to be lazy and not even look for a job while on unemployment.

    • qwickone says:

      Unfortunately, I think you’re wrong on this one. I know people that have no intention of even beginning to look for a job until their benefits run out. I’m torn on this issue though…

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        Then the people you know are not only lazy, but stupid. You increase your chances of becoming destitute by procrastinating in your job search. I think this describes very, very few of the unemployed.

        • qwickone says:

          I’m not disagreeing with you, but are you aware of just how many stupid people there are?? And I’m guessing that the proportion of stupid people that are unemployed versus smart people unemployed is higher than the stupid:smart ratio in society as a whole. That means there are TONS of stupid people on unemployment. Also, don’t underestimate the general laziness in American culture.

        • mandy_Reeves says:

          exactly! I have been looking now for 3 years this September. I do have intermittent employment via temp agencies and the US Census, but other than that, I can’t even get hired at frikkin Taco Bell!!!!

          I am even a certified billing coding specialist, but cannot get hired for that, since no one is willing to take a chance on an inexperienced applicant. I got my certificate in that, August 08, right when the economy went bye bye.

          I have to nag Taco Bell to look over my app again tomorrow. Wish me luck!

          • sonneillon says:


            Make up experience. Say you have 5 years of experience, use someone else’s resume. And try again. In most cases the worst that will happen is that they do not hire you or fire you, but Taco bell doesn’t talk to Wendys or Mcdonalds.

            Check local laws with this new found internet to be sure.

      • Randell says:

        Unemployment is a percentage of your salary over a certain time frame, so there in no way better off not working. Most people want a job, but the issue becomes should a person who is trained in something be forced to take a job as a landscaper or fast food worker? If I lost my job, based on what my benefits would be, it is financially smarter for me not to work fast food. BUT, since unemployment is an insurance fund, the employer pays a higher rate the more people who use it. Basically, my employer pays a percentage of all salaries to fund unemployment. Of course, just like SSI, politicians use it for their own projects.
        I also would not take the fast food job, because then my ability to look for a job in my field would be curtailed. Is MCDonald’s going to let an employee take off for every interview that comes along?

        • fatediesel says:

          They can be better off working if they are making $400/week in unemployment and the best job they can find pays $375/week. Or they may be able to find a job that pays $450/week, but decide it’s not worth working 40 hours for an extra $50/week.

          • weestrom says:

            That would be great except you’re wrong. Unemployment Insurance also covers underemployment and your Unemployment benefit is only decreased $.50 for every $1 in salary you earn until it goes away completely, therefore you are NEVER better off sitting around rather than working as at ANY salary greater than $0 you get $0.50 more per week for ever $1 you earn per week until you are earning 200% of your unemployment benefit.

            • rushevents says:

              Differs from state to state. Many states (Most in fact) debit your unemployment check $1 for every $1 you earn per week.

              So if you get a temp job for 1 day that pays $85 then your government check would be $85 lighter.

              So – in the short term at least – your time is better spent looking for a full time job or finding a part time job that pays better than unemployment (that would be most of them). With the added benefit, by virtue of the part time schedule, allows you the flexibility to find another job.

        • jojo319 says:

          From what I understand, the “extended” benefits are no longer part of an insurance fund. They are 100% taxpayer funds. I could be wrong.

      • Tim says:

        Whoops. I knew that, but when I wrote the comment I was only thinking about private sector jobs (which increased something like 83,000).

      • chargernj says:

        Those people obviously had crappy jobs to begin with if they can make ends meet with their unemployment check. If I had to go on unemployment I would be able to keep my apartment, and I am by no means well off and my apartment is underpriced for it’s area.

    • Tedicles says:

      Actually the number of jobs DECREASED by 125,000 (according to CNBC) but the unemployment rate dropped to 9.5% from 9.7%, supposedly due to people dropping out of the workforce!

  3. says:

    Technically you need to be “looking for a job” to get unemployment benefits…

    • YarpVark says:

      Meeting the requirements includes sending out your resume, or stopping at an interview. Its not hard to meet the base req’s. Also, this is waived if they attend an improvement program, in many cases.

      • YOXIM says:

        In Florida the requirements are even lower than that. You just go to the Unemployment Office web site, and check the box that says you’re looking for work, the box that says you haven’t worked and/or made any money the past week, and the box that says you didn’t turn down any job offers. Takes like two minutes. Being unemployed and still getting some money is great, but not being damn near broke every day is even better. While there are certainly people that abuse this system (much like any other system), the majority do not, and should not be punished for the misdeeds of the few. People who vote Republican constantly vote against their own best interests. Why they do this, is beyond me.

    • rtwigg says:

      In Pennsylvania you only need to be available to work and able to work.

    • mergatroy6 says:

      When you answer the phone I need you say Vandelay Industries. You’re in latex.

      See how easy it is to give the allusion you are looking.

  4. nbs2 says:

    I’d rather see the financial reform bill filibustered. At least, until they take out the cc provisions.

  5. perfectly_cromulent says:

    I assume every unemployment office runs a little different, but ours here monitors you very closely to be sure you are “actively seeking employment”. If they could do this with everyone, that would be wonderful. There are those who really need these benefits, but again, too many who just abuse the system.

    • QuantumRiff says:

      My mom is on unemployment, and has been for a while. One of my big concerns, is if this will also end her subsidized health care. She has been able to keep buying her Cobra, but the government has been paying something like 80% of the cost. If that goes away, then her Cobra costs become something like 75% of what she gets from Unemployment.

      • fatediesel says:

        This bill has nothing to do with the Cobra benefits. The government is currently paying 65% of the health insurance costs for people that were laid off from their jobs. The government will pay the 65% for up to 15 months. After the 15 months the employee has to pay 100% of the health insurance costs, and the former employer can also charge the former employee an extra 2% for administrative expenses. After 18 months the employee is no longer eligible for Cobra and the former employer can remove them from their health care plan.

    • fatediesel says:

      I think your system is very different than most. I know my local unemployment office is completely understaffed and overworked, and they simply don’t have the workforce to check on whether people are truly applying. This was made even worse by mandatory furloughs. As an employer I’ve had to call their office and it always takes multiple tries to get someone to answer. I get really annoyed when I have someone apply for a job and have us sign a form stating they applied, but then when we actually call them for an interview they say they aren’t interested. I’d like to report these people to the unemployment office but I know it wouldn’t do any good.

    • blueneon says:

      how do they “monitor you very closely”? cameras on/in your house? gps on your car?

      Here I turn in a paper every 4 weeks with 2 jobs I applied for per week and on Mondays I certify online that I have been looking for work, etc. Btw, I am one of the people that IS actually looking for work, $258/week doesn’t go far.

      • perfectly_cromulent says:

        all i meant by that was that each week you have to turn in 2-4 copies of applications you’ve filled out along with a signature from someone stating you turned it in. they follow up with you on any leads, and you have to attend meetings. it wasn’t meant as a bad thing, just that isomeone would have to put a lot of work into fooling the system in my town.

        no offense was intended, i recently was part of a large layoff myself and not having the greatest luck finding work.

        • blueneon says:

          Oh I’m sorry I didn’t mean to say it in a rude manner, I was just curious. Nothing wrong with cities making sure people are doing all they can to find a job while getting unemployment benefits :)

          • perfectly_cromulent says:

            i always hate that sometimes there’s no way to show how a message was “voiced” :)

  6. nodaybuttoday says:

    personally, I would like to see employment benefits get stretched to more family members so that your parents or adult children could cover you. I know that wouldn’t help EVERYONE, but my father has had job problems and I always wish I could have help him by putting him under my medical plan.

  7. Doubts42 says:

    It is bit dishonest to refer to H.R.4213 as an unemployment bill. it is, like most bills, an overcomplicated piece of pork distribution with unemployment hidden in the middle. in the case of this bill unemployment is not even addressed until section V. The bill itself does not meet the requirements of Pay-Go. S even if it as passed it would probably not have been funded. If a simple bill that only extended unemployment benefits was put forward it would stand a much better chance of passing.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      Now, now. “Pork” is a talking point, and we don’t use those in valid arguments whether what you say is true or not.

      • Doubts42 says:

        Talking point
        an especially persuasive point helping to support an argument or discussion


      • JuliB says:

        How’s about ‘not putting it in with other stuff’ and also following the rule (PayGo) that was recently passed?

    • SacraBos says:

      Didn’t Obama say that he wasn’t going to sign bills laden with Pork?

      Really, if Congress (that would be Democrats, since they are in control right now) really think extending benefits is a good idea, why do they have to load it up with pork and screw it up in order to get enough votes for it?

  8. iggy21 says:

    As harsh as it sounds, i prefer the ‘sink or swim’ scenario. If you have no job an absolutely no money coming in, then you’re forced into a position to sink or swim. Get a job, or lose at the game of life.

    (I’ve been in that position, and guess what, I chose to swim—it’s not fun, and it was a lot of work, and not at all glamorous).

    • Tim says:

      Yes, if it worked for you, it must work for everyone, eh?

      I don’t get how not being able to feed yourself, not being able to print resumes, not being able to travel to interviews, etc., is going to help you get a job. Sure, it works for some people. And for many more people, having a few bucks to help them eat is a good thing.

    • pjorg says:

      I have to agree. Unemployed life should be incredibly unpleasant, otherwise what’s the incentive to not be unemployed?

      I understand the argument that sometimes “things happen” and you just need a bridge to get you by, but at the same time, unemployment should be something that everyone plans for.

      There’s just not enough money to go around; sometimes there’s going to be some suffering.

      • El_Fez says:

        Unemployed life should be incredibly unpleasant, otherwise what’s the incentive to not be unemployed?

        I was trying to think of a way to say this without getting disemvouled, but I cant – so here is is. Dude, fuck off. I’ve busted my ass trying to get a job – ANY job – for a year now. Even menial labor that I’m *WAY* overqualified for and I cant even called back for an interview. Why the hell should I get reamed up the ass over because some big shots on Wall Street got greedy and decided to fuck the country and the economy. I should suffer over something that I have NO control over?


        • blueneon says:

          well said

        • Xmar says:

          People that lose their jobs now don’t get 99 weeks. If you lose your job today, you get state unemployment (which you paid into) & then you are done.

          I recently had a conversation with a friend who works in the HR department of a company. She told me that she put out an ad for a receptionist job paying a bit over minimum wage. Within 48 hours she had gotten over 400 resumes/applications. She told me that the vast majority were supremely overqualified for the job. People with masters in mechanical engineering, & people with bachelors in just about every field applied. I joked & said that I guess that meant she was going to have a really educated receptionist. She laughed & said she would never hired someone overqualified because she knows that they are still looking for a job & when they find it they are gone. No point in having to rehire a receptionist every few weeks/months.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            If I were applying for a receptionist job and was overqualified, I would “dumb down” my resume so as to not appear overqualified. That is part of the savviness required to getting a job in a flailing economy. Give people what they are looking for.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        It IS incredibly sucky, that is, if you’re not a stupid asshole like the another poster referred to who just drank beer and said “Why bother?” Even though I had unemployment and my parents were helping me when I was looking, I HATED IT. Even if you’re eating, you still feel like crap. Also, I hated asking them for help. They did it without recompense, but it still made me feel three inches tall and about four years old.

        In addition to that, for every job I didn’t get, I felt that much more useless and incompetent. You have to try really hard not to come off desperate in interviews, even when you are. The only good things about it were that being still in school tuition refunds helped a little, and I finally had time to get caught up on all the Harry Potter books.

        I was looking about four or five years ago. I cant’ even IMAGINE what it’s like now because then there were lots of things to apply for. I peeked on the Career Center website recently to see what was up, just in case my work closed down or something, and there was practically NOTHING.

    • MrBobo says:

      Until they finally figure out how to swim again being on unemployment stops people from loosing everything and entering DEFCON 4.

    • evnmorlo says:

      How do you force people into getting a job when there are 10-100 unemployed people for every open position? Unless you willing to share your job with a dozen people for 1/20 the salary you should shut up about “swimming”.

      • pjorg says:

        I think the point is well made, actually. If what you are saying is true (I’m not stipulating that, but let’s say it is) then obviously the most qualified, tenacious person is going to get the job.

        “Swimming” in this case means making sure that you are one or both of the above. I don’t have a problem with jobs being awarded based on merit.

      • iggy21 says:

        You strike me as a ‘sinker’

  9. unchainedmuse says:

    People who are out of work for any extended period of time need to incorporate more flexibility into what they will consider. I was out of work for 14 months and finally started to look nationally for a job. I found something 1400 miles away from where I had lived all my life. It’s not home, but I am enjoying the adventure of living somewhere new and, mostly, I’m employed. :)

    • ChuckECheese says:

      I think the typical unemployed person probably cannot afford to move, or even to travel for long-distance job interviews. Lucky you that you were able to find something away from home, but in my experience, employers don’t consider applicants who aren’t in the same location as the job.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I guess it really depends on your field. I’ve never been to an interview where the employer didn’t pay the airfare. I’ve also never had a job offer that didn’t include moving expenses in the package.

        • Commenter24 says:

          You’re either highly educated or highly skilled/experienced. Your experience is the exception and not the rule for most people.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            I think it’s more the field than anything else. When I got my first job after I finished my bachelors, all of the prospective employers paid for my mileage and hotels, and I did get somewhat minimal moving expenses (IRC, $2,000) that were fine because I didn’t have any possessions (I was in the Army prior to college). After grad school, I got airfare, per diem, and hotel stays when interviewing and very substantial relocation offers.

            I’m really not in a very lucrative field but relocation expenses are a very standard part of a job offer. It was awhile ago but my first “real” job only paid $25k/year but even they offered to pay for my move.

    • goodfellow_puck says:

      Yeah, because people who have no money can certainly pay for moving costs, selling their home/paying deposit on a new place, and other traveling expenses all before their next paycheck!

      Oh, wait.

      I have a friend who has applied at every single place in their town, as well as many places in the city an hour away. Still no job and now no money for gas to go to interviews. This is not a solution for people who’ve had no income at all for three weeks.

    • redskull says:

      Moving to a new city just for a job is not for everyone. These days a job can vanish in an instant, and then there you are, stuck in a strange city with no family.

    • ARP says:

      Well, with many people in the red on home value v. amount owed, moving isn’t an option, even if they wanted to. A vast majority of jobs don’t offer relocation expenses, and even fewer offer home sales assistance (i.e. the company buys your house and sells it for you).

  10. jojo319 says:

    It has to stop at SOME point. You CAN find a job in under 6 months. It just might not be the one you want. I speak from experience. I was laid off 2 years ago. Busted my ass and had 3 job offers within 2 weeks. Am I making the same money I was? No, but then I (heaven forbid) cut my spending.

    • ARP says:

      When there are between 5 and 10 applicants for each job, it’s not that simple. Even those people who are willing to work the low paying jobs are being rejected BY THE EMPLOYER, because they know this person will leave as soon as they get the chance.

      So too many applicants and employers being too selective for even menial/entry level jobs, means that a lot of people will say out of work, but not for a lack of trying.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        So too many applicants and employers being too selective for even menial/entry level jobs, means that a lot of people will say out of work, but not for a lack of trying.

        EXACTLY. What bugs me about it is they are trying to be selective for something crappy that would have high turnover at the best of times. I want to tell them, look, if someone really needs a job and they are / have been a professional and they’re applying for your little monkey job, chances are they’re going to work their butt off. You will probably lose them when things turn around, but you’re going to lose the slacker you would have hired anyway. At least the professional will more than likely do a good job while they’re there.

    • Akuma X says:

      2 Years ago their wasn’t a recession and jobs were aplenty.

    • jojo319 says:

      So my question is, how long is enough? Should unemployment benefits be indefinite? what if the recession last 10 more years?

      • ChuckECheese says:

        Personally I think there should be a guaranteed minimum income and standard of living for every person in this country, independent of employment status, gender, age or any other condition. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

    • El_Fez says:

      Nice place to live, 2008. So how did you get an internet connection to the future, anyway? Boy I wish we had a job market like you did, where there wasn’t 100 applicants for every job opening.

  11. Big Ant says:

    Maybe instead of focusing on extending unemployment they should be working on creating jobs. Here there are plenty of things that could be done, they stopped cutting the grass in many areas because of funding, the people on unemployment making checks can be hired to these things and instead of receiving these benefits the funds can be relocated and they can have jobs such as this. This won’t solve all the problems, but it will kill 2 birds with one stone and I’m sure there are other areas that this can be done also.

    The benefits cannot just be extended indefinitely, this gives zero incentive to actually find a job other than what is “required” to be done to receive the benefits.

    • redskull says:

      I agree. Bring back the public work programs they had in the Depression. The depression in the 1930s, that is. My grandpa found work through that back in the day.

    • Tim says:

      Actually, the Republicans want to pay for the unemployment extension by using the remaining recovery act funds that are meant to create jobs. In other words, the Republicans would rather not create jobs, and instead give out unemployment benefits.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Cutting grass is not much more productive than staring at it. It also does nothing for workforce training.

      • Big Ant says:

        “Cutting grass is not much more productive than staring at it”

        It is when the grass gets so high you can’t see over it, especially when you are driving. They cut the grass by the intersections and say you can see at the intersection, yet you can’t see far enough ahead to see if some idiot is clearly going to fast to stop (which yes is a safety concern because this happens at least weekly when I am driving) Not to mention cut grass looks nicer. Then they say well if we don’t have the money we can’t make everything look nice, then I question why we are installing bricks in the intersections because they look nice. If they can’t cut the grass don’t put it there just but gravel in the medians, it doesn’t grow.

        “It also does nothing for workforce training.”

        And sitting at home getting paid is? It is a lot more productive to actually have the people do work that makes the city looks nicer than to have them do nothing and get paid because of them either being to lazy to work and think they are entitled to get paid because doing any thing less than what they want to do is below them, or they are legitimately trying to find a job and can’t. In the first case they deserve nothing and should be cut of immediately, in the second case if your benefits are set to expire and you haven’t found anything yet then cutting the grass or whatever jobs that can be found is better than just sitting and getting paid for nothing. You can keep looking for different jobs while you are looking but after sitting and receiving benefits until the period is up and not finding a job is not an indicator that extending benefits will have an impact on finding a job.

        • evnmorlo says:

          I agree it would be useful to mow dangerous grass. Unless you live in the Everglades or something your city probably already has sufficient manpower to do it, so I doubt that hiring more idle workers will help.

  12. Commenter24 says:

    Long term unemployment benefits are a disincentive to finding work. I, like the poster above, know a number of people content to not look too hard for a job because they get unemployment into (what seems like) perpetuity.

    • Jevia says:

      Frankly, I can’t believe that anyone would accept sitting around on their butt all day for 1/3 of what they used to bring home in a paycheck instead of working for a full paycheck. At least the one time I collected unemployment, that’s all I got. It wouldn’t be enough to cover my bills, which would be incentive enough to keep looking for a job.

      • hansolo247 says:

        Never underestimate the value of leisure time.

        High valuation of leisure time happens to be a prime predictor of poverty, I might add.

  13. Retired Again says:

    Must be stopped as we are already out of money and HUGELY in the hole due to obama’s design to “bankrupt” the USA. Sound like bull …… STUDY and note MOST of his moves are Negative to most of us. He wants the border open and 18,000,000 illegals can vote this November. If So, GOODBYE future elections!

    • Taedirk says:

      Ah, good. I was getting concerned at how far I was scrolling before I saw Obama fearmongering and “blaming the illegals at taking our jerbs!”

    • ARP says:

      Regan, Bush I and Bush II all ran big deficits, yet you’re only concerned now? Even if Obama is spending at a higher rate, he still has LOOOOONNGG way to go before he catches up with them. Also, remember, Cheney explicitly said, “deficits don’t matter.”

      • SacraBos says:

        Why do people think that “Well THEY did it!” argument really makes any sense? Like if your friend ran off a cliff, you’d go running off a cliff, too? This is especially hypocritical coming from a party that constantly criticized Bush for his spending, but then use it as an excuse for Obama’s spending.

        The problem is that the Obama looks to be running deficits that are over DOUBLE any term for Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, et. al… Bush nearly doubled the federal debt in 8 years. The CBO numbers look like Obama may double the debt again in only 4. Shouldn’t that bother citizens affiliated with BOTH parties???

        • PunditGuy says:

          It makes sense because you sound like a partisan douche otherwise.

          I pointed this out to another partisan douche the other day. The CBO said that the budget deficit for 2009 was going to be $1.2 trillion. They said that two weeks before Obama was inaugurated. That was $1.2 trillion of deficit under Bush’s last budget. The actual deficit for 2009 turned out to be $1.4 trillion. So if you want to blame Obama for $200 billion in spending, be my guest.

          So no, he’s not spending at 2X the rate of any previous president. No, it’s not the same as criticizing Bush’s spending. He couldn’t balance the budget in a booming economy, fer crissake! The government should be spending like mad in bad times and saving money in good times, because that’s the best way to cushion the blow for the average worker.

          • hansolo247 says:

            Obama voted yes on the 2009 budget.

            Don’t forget that.

            He certainly wasn’t one of the small pockets of opposition, either. The blame is shared.

      • hansolo247 says:

        Obama beat bush1 and bush2 in year one.

        In year one and year 2 combined, he beat 12 years of bushes.

        • PunditGuy says:

          Even if I were to accept your ludicrous argument below that Obama voted for the last Bush budget and it’s therefore his to share, $1.4 trillion is significantly less than the more than $4 trillion deficit added under the previous 7 years of Bush.

          More importantly, I want to know where you heard this ridiculous and untrue statistic. And for the record, the first Obama budget will expire at the end of September of this year.

  14. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    They need stricter laws and enforcement, but don’t have the money to do so. You aren’t supposed to be able to collect benefits unless you’re LOOKING FOR WORK.

    Your cousin is breaking the spirit of the whole thing, and the gov’t should do something about it instead of denying coverage for those who REALLY need it.

  15. jojo319 says:

    Does anybody know how many of the “saved or created” jobs were union? Also, what percentage of working Americans are union members? This is an honest question. I’m really curious. It just seems like the private sector is what needs the help.

    • ARP says:

      Union Jobs are “private” jobs.

      Also, I bet we could also create lots of jobs if high level executives took salary cuts like the rest of us, and used that money to hire. In fact, most millionaires+ have recovered most of what they’ve lost, due to the rise in the stock market and increases in salary and bonuses over the past few years. Besides, who do you think is going to immediately spend more money into, a union worker making $30/hr, or a CEO making $10M per year.

      • jojo319 says:

        Here’s the problem I have. I work for a non-union company. We provide a service. All of our employees are very happy (small family-owned business). We primarily sell to schools. Lets say they want us to do an installation. A lot of times we get turned down for a job because we do not pay “prevailing wages” ($35 an hour). We probably pay less than half that. The part that drives me crazy is the taxpayer in me. I want the school to hire the people who can do the job well for the most affordable price. Instead they require union labor. So they pay DOUBLE what they have to. And then they come crying to the state because they are broke. I am NOT anti-union. However a taxpayer funded business should be looking to save money wherever possible.

  16. petermv says:

    If it can be seen as a good thing that the Democrats have done something constructive, the Republicans will oppose it. I am not sure why being seen as an obstuctionist is a winning voting move.

    • jojo319 says:

      Republicans don’t want to borrow more money for unemployment benefits. I’m assuming that since there are more voters who are employed than unemployed, Repub’s are going after their votes. Why can’t unemployed people get welfare or WIC?

      • petermv says:

        Right, makes perfect sense to borrow money to give to continuing wars and to bail out huge corporations, but not a penny to the people, they need to work to improve their lives, otherwise it’s just socialism, and that’ll ruin the country.

    • tbax929 says:

      That seems to me what politics has turned into. I can’t stand it. Both parties just oppose each other because they’re different parties instead of finding a way to work together. I’m sick of the Dems and the Repubs at this point.

    • jojo319 says:

      I would also point out that Republicans aren’t against extending benefits, they just want them PAID FOR. What an interesting concept.

    • ARP says:

      Simple, if the economy gets worse, people will vote the party in power (Democrats) out of power. So, in essence, Republicans want people to suffer more, so they can get back in power. They haven’t offered much in terms of ideas for fixing things. Simply saying “tax cut” and “cut spending” aren’t very helpful unless its backed up with specifics and doesn’t raise the deficit (which after 30 years, they suddenly care very much about).

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      People spending money they didn’t have was in no small part what got us into this financial mess. Spending more money we don’t have won’t get us out of it.

    • cleek says:

      it’s a winning move because this country is full of idiots who will buy anything that Rush tells them to believe.

  17. Mr2freak says:

    Eliminate the federal minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and cap workers comp and watch both the joblessness and illegal immigration issue go poof and vanish into thin air.

  18. EverCynicalTHX says:

    No more extensions, sink or swim – maybe people will vote a little different in the next election?

    The Democrats have controlled the house since 2006 the senate since 2008 and the executive office for the past 18 months and this is where we are..

    • evnmorlo says:

      The recovery from GW Bush’s presidency will take at least 50 years, if it ever happens. We have basically the devastation of losing a world war without the usual refreshing liquidation of the leadership that lost it.

  19. Munchie says:

    Unemployments should only last for 90 days

  20. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    “Reps will try again after their week-long Independence Day break…”

    Why do we need these people again? Anyone…?

  21. Donkey Hoti says:

    It’s almost like if you pay people not to work, they won’t work, or look for work.

  22. Baelzar says:

    I have a friend who was actively NOT looking for work because he was getting Unemployment for so long.

    Even in so short a time, people can get dependent and lazy.

  23. jurupa says:

    I am a bit perplex here. Why should Ben’s gal get unemployment while working part time? She has a job no? So how is she qualified for unemployment then?

    As far as the filibuster goes that is good news to hear. Its also good to hear that the GOP is slowly becoming actual conservatives again and not the nut jobs they where under Bush.

  24. kmw2 says:

    Ah, the Consumerist comments crew strikes again.

    Here’s the thing, y’all: Unemployment benefits? Are good for the economy, not bad. That means that all those people are unemployment aren’t straining the social safety net by going on food stamps and welfare. It means they’re still buying stuff, keeping the rest of you in work. It means that people aren’t starving to death, which as a fully paid-up industrialized nation we should be embarrassed to ever have happen. It means they can pay for interview travel and their Internet access and resumes. Even Ben’s lazy cousin is propping up the beer industry. Furthermore, human capital is not fully mobile and bootstraps don’t really work. People aren’t not working because they’re lazy, mostly – they’re not working because there’s no jobs for them to work at.

    • PunditGuy says:

      The idea that they’re not straining the safety net by going on welfare is ridiculous. This is welfare, by a different name. This is a taxpayer-funded transfer of wealth. They might as well get on welfare, because that program was designed for longer-term payments than unemployment insurance.

      I’ve seen a lot of bashing of welfare by unemployment insurance extension backers, which makes absolutely no sense. If UI payments stimulate the economy because the money is quickly spent, then what do welfare payments do?

      I’m all for paying people a short term subsidy to keep them above water while they look for work. That’s welfare.

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  26. jim says:

    so the unemployed benefits are just going to be extended forever?

  27. retailriter says:

    Doesn’t there have to be a cut-off somewhere? If we extend the benefits another year, why not another? And why couldn’t we justify another after that? Two years is enough time to find another job. If, after a year of ACTIVE searching, someone has not found a job similar to the one they lost, they need to get real and find an alternative plan and living arrangements. They may have to pick-up and re-locate to find work, the way Americans used to have to do.

    I’m not heartless, but maybe this will stop people from coming into job interviews where I work in their pajama pants and flip-flops, or asking us to just “sign-off” on some paper so they don’t have to really search for a job.

    Although I have a menial pay, full-time job, I am just not making ends meet and am looking into relocating and finding a “plan B” myself. I don’t like leaving where we have family, but you got to do what you got to do for your survival and that of your families. And depending on this government for your continued support is a losing situation.

  28. PsiCop says:

    The idea that the unemployed are refusing to find work ’cause they’re getting their gummint checks may be true in some cases … such as Ben’s cousin … but it’s certainly not the case for all. I’ve been unemployed, and at no time did I stop looking for work while I was. I also know someone who was recently laid off, and looking for a new job has essentially made a basket-case of her; she’s so frantic to find a new one that the anxiety is almost killing her.

    The reason unemployment is so high, and is staying high, is because American businesses have taken advantage of this recession to jettison workers in large numbers. Their intention is to drive down the cost of labor by flooding the country with job-seekers, thus reducing what they pay in wages to the few people they do hire. It’s a scheme which, for the most part, is working out very nicely (for businesses).

    The idea that politicians can “create jobs” (as I hear in so many ads for candidates here in CT) is — quite obviously — laughable. Given that businesses have purposely chosen NOT TO hire people, is not something politicians can contravene with things like tax incentives or corporate welfare. Really, the only way a politician can “create jobs” is to put guns to the heads of CEOs and make them to hire people … because nothing short of physical force is going to change businesses’ plans.

    The truth is that the unemployed in the US have reached a dead end. Businesses no longer desire them, and will not hire them. Unemployment insurance is currently their only remaining lifeline. Letting them languish and die may be convenient for American businesses … who will no longer have to worry about them … but the social cost of that would be high (they will end up indigent and homeless. I haven’t done the economic analysis to flesh out the numbers, but it occurs to me that it may be the case that spending some money, now, on unemployment insurance may turn out to be cheaper than cutting it off and incurring those costs later.

    In any event, I have to wonder about some of the politicians who’ve painted bullseyes on the backs of the unemployed. Many of those same politicians love to make a public show of their piety, but somehow, I wonder if destroying the lives of the unemployed will place them in the company of the Sheep or the Goats when it’s time for them (as they believe will happen) to account for their own conduct.

    • the_wiggle says:


      let me also add to all those callous asshats – vast numbers of those as got nothing to lose surrounded by those as scapegoat’m, well, take a good hard look a history as to what happens next. karma’a a bitch.

  29. khooray says:

    I’m on unemployment and there are NO jobs I can get because everyone is requiring degrees just to be a damn janitor!
    I found one job for a Hertz car rental counter job and you have to have a BACHELORS degree in business to qualify! This is for an $8/hour job!!
    This has become the norm and I’m not qualified to even apply anywhere that would actually pay me enough to not live in a cardboard box.

    (I don’t own a home, I’m a single mom of 1, my car is 7 years old, and I have no credit card or other debt, so I’m not expecting $60K/year jobs.)