via Independent Journal Review
by Mike Miller
Extended unemployment benefits ended Saturday for roughly 1.3 million people as Congress allowed the program to expire. As to be expected, each side blamed the other. Then, of course, there was Nancy Pelosi.
As reported by The Hill, Democrats — angry that an extension wasn’t included in the recently-enacted budget agreement — have vowed to make the benefits the first item on their 2014 agenda.
Republicans contend that lawmakers would better serve their constituents by directing their efforts to other job-boosting areas, especially given that a year-long unemployment extension comes with a $26 billion price tag. They also are waiting on Democrats to put forward a specific plan.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went all Nancy Pelosi, repeating her oft-made claim that, in effect, the more people that are unemployed in America, the better it is for the economy. Here’s San Francisco’s finest, Friday:
“Starting tomorrow, too many American families will face the New Year with uncertainty, insecurity, and instability as a result of congressional Republicans’ refusal to extend critical unemployment insurance. … Every dollar invested in this initiative yields $1.52 in economic growth, and an extension of UI could produce as many as 300,000 jobs.”
While Pelosi’s claim is obviously based on this recent CBO report, economists such as Arthur Laffer disagree, saying reducing the incentive of unemployed Americans to find work hurts the economy in the long run. I’m with Art on this one.