(WOIO) - All of us can be sympathetic with those who are out of work. And, I think most of us would agree that it's appropriate for the federal government to provide unemployment insurance to tide people over. But the question is: how much is too much?
Congress this week was set to quadruple the amount of time out-of-work Americans can receive unemployment benefits - adding another $34B dollars to the ballooning deficit. What started out back in the 30's as a temporary program to provide payments for twenty-six weeks is now a fully-fledged welfare program that guarantees money to the unemployed for as many as ninety-nine weeks almost two years! Some of these payments can amount to almost $500 dollars a week.
I'm not being insensitive when I say that for that kind of free cash up to twenty-five grand a year there got to be a lot of folks out there who have no intention of finding a job not so long as Congress keeps writing them checks. You know, there are studies that draw a clear parallel between unemployment rates and the duration of unemployment benefits. Well, it's good politics of course, President Obama and the democratic-controlled Congress are much happier doling out the money than they are explaining why the unemployment number remains so high to begin with.