Rand Paul: Extending Unemployment Benefits Is A ‘Disservice’ To Workers

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December 9, 2013 11:09am PST

The economy is in the can, and it has been for some time now and a new issue is coming about as it is time to vote on whether or not to extend unemployment benefits.  Rand Paul recently said during an interview that he thinks extending the benefits would be a disservice to workers.

Currently, Americans are allowed unemployment benefits that pay a portion of the wages they would have had if they were working for 26 weeks.  Under the current issue, politicians debate on whether or not to change the number from 26 to 99 weeks.

As of November, 10.9 million Americans are considered unemployed.  If the vote does not pass, 1.3 million Americans stand to lose their benefits once the original 26 week runs out.

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Recently, Rand Paul took to a TV interview on FOX, in order to express his concerns with extending the benefits. During the interview, he said, “I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers.” He went on to say, “There’s a study that came out a few months ago and it said if you have a worker that’s been unemployed for 4 weeks and on unemployment insurance and one that’s on 99 weeks which would you hire? Every employer, nearly 100%, said they will always hire the person who’s been out of work 4 weeks.”

Paul concluded by saying, “When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”

This isn’t the first time that Paul has taken this stance on the issue either.  In 2010, he stated that, “You get out of a recession by encouraging employment, not encouraging unemployment.”

That being said, the issue facing the House and Senate is whether or not to deny the people who depend on these benefits.  Where do you draw the line on an acceptable amount of time to find a job in an economy like this?  The decision could potentially hurt families in the process, but there has to be some form of incentive, otherwise it turns into another freeloading welfare type situation.

Senator Paul of Kentucky gestures at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Maryland

There are always going to be people who look for a handout and manipulate the system, but what about those who are actively searching for employment?

Studies have shown that, “extended unemployment insurance does not encourage workers to stay home and watch TV rather than looking for jobs.”  Princeton University economist Henry Farber said that, “It didn’t seem to reduce the job finding rate. They didn’t affect people finding jobs quickly. But for people who were unemployed a long-time, it kept them in the labor force.”

Going forward with the extension means that taxpayers will be responsible for another $25 billion that America doesn’t have.

What is your stance on the issue—extend it or leave it the way it is?

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