Debate Club

Unemployment Insurance Will Promote Economic Recovery

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Families have a lot on their minds right now. The holidays are right around the corner and Congress has not yet passed an extension of federal unemployment insurance for millions of Americans.

If Republicans in Congress fail to act before the end of the year, Americans who have lost their jobs will also begin losing their federal unemployment insurance in January. By February, roughly 2 million Americans will have had their benefits cut off.

[Obama Continues Populist Push.]

An extension of benefits would not only ensure a continuation of vital assistance to the unemployed, it also will promote our economic recovery. The Congressional Budget Office notes that unemployment benefits are "both timely and cost-effective in spurring economic activity and employment." And the Economic Policy Institute has estimated that preventing unemployment benefits from expiring could prevent the loss of more than 500,000 jobs.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2011--which I have co-sponsored--would extend the current federal unemployment insurance programs through next year. The legislation would also provide some immediate assistance to states grappling with insolvency within their own unemployment insurance programs by relieving states from interest payments on federal loans for a year and would place a one-year moratorium on higher federal unemployment taxes that are imposed on employers in states with outstanding loans.

These solvency provisions will stop $5 billion in tax hikes on employers in nearly two dozen states, as well as provide $1.5 billion in interest relief. In my state of Michigan, employers will see $237 million in federal tax relief, and the state could save about $1 million in interest payments.

[Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.6 Percent.]

Imagine if all of the unemployed were able to come to Washington. The line of Americans standing shoulder-to-shoulder would extend from the Capitol to Sioux Falls, S.D.

Congress has never allowed emergency unemployment benefits to expire when the unemployment rate was anywhere close to its current level of 8.6 percent, and we should not start now.

Sander Levin

About Sander Levin U.S. Representative, Michigan’s 12th District

Tags
employment
unemployment
economy
insurance

Other Arguments

#1
78 Pts
Unemployment Insurance Is Financial Life Support for Millions

Yes – Unemployment Insurance Is Financial Life Support for Millions

Howard Rosen Resident Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics

#2
72 Pts
Putting People Back to Work Must Be the Ultimate Goal

Yes – Putting People Back to Work Must Be the Ultimate Goal

Geoff Davis U.S. Representative, Kentucky's 4th District

#4
34 Pts
Withdrawing Unemployment Insurance Will Not Solve Job Crisis

Yes – Withdrawing Unemployment Insurance Will Not Solve Job Crisis

Carl E. Van Horn Professor of Public Policy and Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University

#5
15 Pts
Americans Don't Turn Their Backs on Americans in Need

Yes – Americans Don't Turn Their Backs on Americans in Need

Lloyd Doggett U.S. Representative, Texas’ 25th District

#6
7 Pts
No Free Lunch in Subsidy Programs

No – No Free Lunch in Subsidy Programs

Chris Edwards Economist at the Cato Institute

#7
-6 Pts
More Unemployment Insurance Won't Stimulate Growth

No – More Unemployment Insurance Won't Stimulate Growth

James Sherk Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics at the Heritage Foundation

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