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by SixFigureStart | February 26, 2010


Wherever you look in the media today, you're never far from a report on unemployment benefits. If it's not a single Senator holding up a 30 day extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed—who number in the millions—it's a spike in the number of first-time claims, allegedly caused by the inclement weather.

Of those, the most serious threat has to be the decision by Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning to block an extension to benefits for around 1.2 million people who have already been unable to find work for more than a year. Senator Bunning's point is understandable—the proposed benefit extension would likely be tacked onto the deficit and he is "trying to make a point to the people of the United States" about the need to balance the budget—but given the state of the jobs market, the rising number of foreclosures across the country, and the increasing struggle to make ends meet in many parts of the country, such an objection seems short-sighted at best.

Indeed, in other news reports today, we learn that the Government is considering banning foreclosures to try and stabilize the housing market, while also proposing using government contracts as a negotiating tool to improve wages and "to shape social policy and lift more families into the middle class." With initiatives of that kind being considered to help struggling individuals and families stay afloat, it seems unconscionable that the hardest-hit—those who have lost their jobs as a result of the recession and have thus far been unable to find another one—face increased hardship because of one man's desire to "make a point" about the size of a deficit that has precious little to do with either unemployment benefits or the majority of people currently depending on them.

--Posted by Phil Stott,

Related: Long Term Unemployment Benefits on the Chopping Block Again.


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