Heather Murphy-RainesCongress is attempting to extend unemployment benefits. Again! This will be the fourth time, if it passes.
In November with the economy reeling, it was a no-brainer. The Senate passed the extension 98 to 0.
Then in April, benefits started running out again. Extension!
Then again after spring vacation.
One month later, at the end of May, guess what? Yet again, progressive politicians are looking to extend benefits that run out next week.
This time Republicans and even moderate to conservative Democrats called Blue Dogs are reluctant to extend this time. NPR reports on their program All Things Considered that Blue Dog Leader from South Dakota Stephanie Herseth Sandlin asks:
"But when will it end? ... When will Congress stop spending borrowed money, even for a worthy cause?"
Whew! So glad to see some fiscal restraint. Six-plus-month extensions beyond the original benefit that's typically six months already is ridiculous.
CNN reports that:
"Nearly 10 million people are collecting unemployment insurance. A record 46 percent of the 15.3 million jobless Americans have been out of work six months or longer."
Yes, I know times are tight. I feel so much compassion for those who have lost their jobs. It's tough out there. Yes, I know about the job market. However, when I hear of a group called the "99-ers" because they have received benefits for almost two years, I am incredulous.
I also personally know people trying to look for the job they had before, which does not exist and may never exist again.
It's time for a cold splash of realism, my friends.
Yep, it's time to change professions, use that nest egg, sell that home if you can, pick up a paper route, sell the furniture, sell the car and use public transportation, pull the kids out of preschool and sports, join the military, collect aluminum cans, and start flipping burgers as a second job if you must if you've been collecting unemployment for TWO years.
Get creative people. Heck! Write freelance.
The United States cannot carry you forever.
I'm not without compassion, but at this point, I need to think about our children and our children's children. We cannot continue to pay out benefits as an entitlement like we have the last six months alone. Our national debt is on the verge of topping $13 trillion.
A version circulated last week to extend unemployment insurance would have added $134 billion to the deficit. Unemployment once was a temporary emergency stopgap. Temporary! Let's keep it that way for our children's sake.