The whole idea of unemployment insurance is that you pay into it while you're employed so that if you lose your job, there will be money available to help you out. Unemployment benefits also happen to make good economic sense, stimulating the economy by putting money in the hands of people who need it badly and will spend it right away.
We're now in a situation where Americans and their economy need help from the system they've contributed to with every paycheck, when they still had paychecks. The financial crisis has left us with nearly six job seekers for every available job in America right now. We have the highest rate of long-term unemployment in this country on record. The average job search now stretches a record 34.4 months - more than eight months.
One of the most surprising things about politics since the crash happened and since unemployment spiked is how many politicians apparently hate people for being unemployed, hate the unemployed. At least they're willing to voice for political reason. After you pay for unemployment insurance when you have a job, a bunch of politicians apparently think that you are a leech and a bad person for taking those benefits when you need them.
Yesterday the Senate Republicans filibustered away a $110 billion jobs bill that included funding designed to stimulate growth in employment and help for people who still can't find jobs. Now 1.2 million Americans stranded in this lousy job market are at risk of losing their unemployment benefits.
Conservative politicians apparently hate them just for being unemployed. After you pay for unemployment insurance when you have a job, a bunch of politicians apparently think that you are a leech and a bad person for taking those benefits when you need them.
Republican Sharron Angle, running for Senate in Nevada: "[W]e have put in so much entitlement into our government that we
really have spoiled our citizenry and said, you don't want the jobs that are available."
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona): "[C]ontinuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work."
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): "We shouldn't turn the safety net into a hammock. It should actually be a safety net."
Rep. Dan Heller (R-Nevada): "Is the government now creating hobos?"
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): "You know, we should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to blow it on drugs."