Should Congress Extend Unemployment Benefits?

Some argue that extending payments distorts the labor market and promotes joblessness.

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With the Senate back from recess, we’re going to hear a lot about unemployment benefits. Should the federal government keep extending benefits for the long-term unemployed or not? Republicans (and one Democrat) drew the line and said that with a current extension of 73 weeks (beyond the 26 that states provide), we can’t afford the $30 billion-plus cost. Some also argue that extending the payments distorts the labor market and promotes joblessness. Democrats point to the plight of millions who’ve already lost benefits and argue that the money is a stimulus for a flagging economy. Is it a deficit vs. compassion issue? Is it smart politics for either side? I’d like to hear your thoughts on whether Congress should vote for another extension of unemployment insurance. Drop me a note at

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