I am generally excited whenever one of my Massachusetts senators makes headlines, but I was feeling disconcerted after it was announced that Republican Senator Scott Brown, who replaced the Senator Kennedy, blocked Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 that would maintain unemployment benefits. Those benefits have now expired and two million Americans have lost their benefits, being left to fend for themselves. While researching this topic it was discovered that his patience may save the American Tax payers 56 billion dollars that they did not need to spend.
Why Have Unemployment Benefits Been Cut?
Every year the Senate votes to reinstate increased levels of unemployment benefits; whether this action passes of not has traditionally based primarily on unemployment levels. America is suffering from the infamous 2008 recession, so there are roughly 15 million Americans who currently receive unemployment benefits.
In this current round of unemployment benefits 2.5 million Americans are in danger of losing their benefits. Should reinstatement of unemployment benefits not happen there will not be enough money in the budget to support these Americans. Those that would be cut are those who would best be able to deal with this additional cut in benefits, although in this economy these people will fall on hard times.
Why do we have Unemployment Benefits?
Nobody who applies for unemployment is well off, it supports those without a job and usually without a long-term plan. The unemployment benefits of this program give them the opportunity to make plans, get a sufficient job, and reestablish themselves. People are more likely to continue to look for work as long as they are support by the government. Without any unemployment benefits most people who lose their jobs are forced to quickly take unsavory, lower wage jobs just to pay the bills. Others turn to crime to support their families. Both paths deny these unlucky Americans the opportunity for employment that would give them a lifestyle equal to or even better than the one they had working at their last job. Unemployment benefits are an excellent
Is Scott Brown Permanently Blocking Unemployment Benefits?
He is simply asking for more time to consider the 56 billion dollar legislation the Democrats hastily proposed. Scott Brown’s chief concern was that he simply did not know what the bill was proposing; he did not vote against the bill, he put off the vote. Republicans were not negotiated with or even notified that this legislation was being prepared; they do not want to add any unnecessary expenses to the immense 13.3 trillion dollar national debt. Scott Brown is unwilling to vote on an issue that he “just found out” about. Once he fully comprehends all major aspects of the Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010 he will most likely vote for the benefits and the legislation will most likely pass.
Why will Unemployment Benefits Shortly and Certainly be Reinstated?
Both parties support unemployment benefits; the core ideology behind them is sound and has been backed up by over forty years of positive statistical results. Republicans and Democrats instead disagree on how many Americans should be given support. Historically the Republicans favored supporting smaller percentages of Americans, as too conserve federal money. The Democrats have always pushed for strengthened unemployment benefits, hoping to one day be able to support all Americans who are out of a job.
For the last seven years both parties have routinely support increases and reinstatements of unemployment benefits. This is despite excessive military spending, major budget cuts, and the second largest recession in human history. In addition, for the last forty years unemployment benefits have never been cut as long as American unemployment is under 7.2%. Today, American unemployment rests at 9.6%. This is a pressing issue, the Republicans will soon approve Unemployment Compensation Act of 2010 and despite a minor glitch 2.5 million Americans will once again be receiving unemployment benefits.
Personal Perspective: Most Unemployment Benefits Should be Reprioritized to support Entrepreneurs
I believe that the government should support Americans who are out of work. I also believe that the unemployment benefits system should be reconstructed.
Currently the Federal government throws money at those who are unemployed, hoping they will find a job quickly. This encourages the unemployed to be slothful; they have little incentive to find work when the government is paying for their bills and groceries. This system creates increased government spending while not helping the unemployed all that much.
The United States should instead focus primarily funding in programs that help create new companies and new jobs. Entrepreneurs constantly come up with new ideas all the time, everything from turning the turning the Ipod Nano into a watch to using ATM’s to recycle old phones. There are tens of thousands of new profitable ideas, the problem is that there is not enough money from the private sector to fund all of them. Government funding would allow thousands of new ideas, and the economy, to flourish.
There is dual benefit from this program for the government. The first result of this new initiative is that there will be more jobs in the economy, since there are more businesses. These jobs will be varied across all fields, new businesses will only be held back by creativity.
The second result is the United States will have more financial assets, useful when combating the national debt. Since the Federal government funded these companies they would own all or partial stock in these businesses. While some business will fail others will inevitably succeed, with bountiful dividends. The United States will be able to sell off their shares in the company to meet budgetary constraints and to help stabilize the stock market.
Both would be excellent defenses against possible future recessions and would help mitigate the current one.