Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More on the Unemployment Extension; Obama Blows Some Smoke

Below I commented on the unemployment extension and how it will tend to keep unemployment higher than it otherwise would be. This analysis remains accurate. However, John Carney points out President Obama was blowing a bit of smoke the way he presented what is really going down.

Yesterday, President Obama said:
Now, under this agreement, unemployment insurance will also be extended for another 13 months, which will be welcome relief for 2 million Americans who are facing the prospect of having this lifeline yanked away from them right in the middle of the holiday season.
and NYT totally botched the situtation with this writing:
In addition, the agreement provides for a 13-month extension of jobless aid for the long-term unemployed. Benefits have already started to run out for some people, and as many as seven million people would potentially lose assistance within the next year, officials said.
So what's the problem with this? Well, if you are one of the long term unemployed and have used up your 99 weeks of unemployment insurance, you aren't getting anymore--contrary to what Obama and NYT imply.

What has been extended for 13 months is further payments for those who have run out of the normal unemployment payments, which is 26 weeks. Thus, in 23 states, workers can collect for between 73 and 93 weeks. In the 25 worst hit states, unemployment compensation is available for 99 weeks.

In other words without this extension, all payments would have dropped off after 26 weeks. So this will provide additional payments to some, but there is no extension for the 99ers.

Bottom line: Obama was blowing a little smoke, and NYT is just clueless.

No comments:

Post a Comment