Tier 5 and 99ers have been in the news. The unemployment extension bill recently introduced by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) provides another 20 weeks of unemployment benefits for states with unemployment rates 7.5% or greater. There are many questions looming after this, such as does another unemployment extension actually discourage job searchers?
A Harvard economist named Jeff Miron believes just that. He thinks that claims that the extensions stimulate the economy are ridiculous, saying “That money came from the taxpayers, so others in the economy have less money to spend now or in the future.” He goes on to say that the extensions should be stressed because of compassion, not because of any impact that they may or may not have on the economy.
This will make the political fight for a Tier 5 extension all the more difficult. We already know from experience from the original unemployment extension that gaining GOP support will be challenging, given resistance to further deficit spending. Experts claiming that the extension will do little to benefit the economy will negate some of the strongest arguments of the bill’s supporters.
Still, the pleadings for a Tier 5 extension continue. The long term unemployed are fighting for their lives. The question is this: should we throw them a rope or leave them behind?
References: Fox News Politics Blog