An unemployment extension Tier V benefits is needed for millions of American workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. However, the partisan politics on Capital Hill will likely delay the passage of any helpful bill. Senator Stabenow from Michigan has made a proposal that would add 20 weeks of benefits to states with over 7.5% unemployment. The bill has not gained steam in Congress.
If we learned anything from the previous attempts at extending benefits, it’s that there will be a large battle over funding. If the bill can’t pay for itself, the GOP is very unresponsive to excess deficit spending.
However, the GOP is in favor of extending the Bush era tax cuts. A CNN Opinion Research Poll indicates that only 31% of American households believe that the tax cuts should be kept in place regardless of income. 51% think that the cuts should remain for those households earning less than $250,000 per year.
Extending the tax cuts, which is favored by the GOP, would add to deficit spending. This is the same thing that the party has claimed they want to avoid.
So what is more important? Tax cuts or unemployment benefits? Which one will benefit the country more? I’d venture to say we can’t have it both ways – we just can’t afford it. So, should we raise taxes on wage earners and dole out more benefits, or let innocent families suffer without the hope of a Tier V extension?