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Okie_Apparition
04-01-2011, 06:37 AM
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Thousands of people in Missouri who have been unemployed for more than a year soon will lose their jobless benefits, marking a significant victory for Republican fiscal hawks who are crusading against government spending.

When eligibility ends Saturday, Missouri will become the only state to voluntarily quit a federal stimulus program that offers extended benefits. Michigan, Arkansas and Florida also recently took steps to cut back on money going to the unemployed, although they targeted state benefits instead.

"We have to take a stand and say, 'When is enough enough?' and send a message to the federal government, and hopefully shame them into doing the right thing and quit spending money that they don't have," said state Sen. Jim Lembke, a Republican from St. Louis.

Lembke has led a coalition of four filibustering senators who have blocked legislation necessary to reauthorize Missouri's participation in a federal program offering long-term unemployment benefits. It's been a stunning setback for a bill that had passed the Republican-led House 123-14 two months ago and had the support of GOP Senate leaders and Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

As a result, more than 34,000 unemployed residents in Missouri could miss out on $105 million in benefits over the next nine months. Unlike some other stimulus programs, Missouri's unclaimed money would not be redistributed by the federal government to other states. It simply would remain unspent.

At issue is a provision in the 2009 federal stimulus act that allowed residents in states with high unemployment rates to receive up to 20 additional weeks of federally funded jobless benefits after exhausting the 79 weeks authorized under other federal laws. At least three dozen states, including Missouri, enacted laws to participate.

Although their unemployment rates were high enough to qualify, seven other states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma and Utah — never passed laws to join in, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Maryland is now pursuing participation, but many of the other states seem content to remain out of the program. Much like his Missouri counterparts, Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups said the states need to set an example of self-sufficiency.

"Somebody has to start pulling back from the federal government somewhere," said Waddoups, a Republican from Taylorsville.

That federal backlash is particularly strong in Missouri, where voters were the first in the nation to pass a measure challenging the new federal health care mandate and where Republican senators also are holding up federal stimulus money for education.

Missouri's unemployment rate has remained above 9% for nearly two years. Yet it is poised to become the first state to take the additional federal unemployment money, then later voluntarily stop doing so, according to officials at the federal Labor Department and the National Employment Law Project, a New York-based advocacy group for employment rights that has been urging Missouri to remain in the program.

Several other states could have been in the same situation. But the governors of Massachusetts, Michigan and Oregon all signed laws within the past week continuing participation. Michigan's action came with catch, also cutting state jobless benefits from 26 to 20 weeks starting in 2012. The Florida House has passed a similar state benefits reduction. Arkansas' legislature this week gave final approval to a bill shaving off one week of eligibility for state jobless benefits.

In Missouri, about 10,000 people would immediately be cut off from additional jobless payments, according to the state department of labor. And extended unemployment benefits would be denied to about 24,000 additional residents who otherwise are projected to become eligible.

St. Louis resident Peter Gordon, who has been unemployed for a little over a year, is among those who could miss out. A former patient care coordinator at a hearing aid company, Gordon has been searching for jobs over the Internet but said he can't travel far because he can't afford to license his car. He fears he could eventually be evicted from his apartment.

"They can provide money for government programs to take care of the elite and rich," Gordon said. "But when it comes to a small person like me — people who are just trying to make ends meet — it seems like the rights are being taken away."

Kimberly Clark, a laid off union organizer, says her post-tax unemployment benefit of $275 a week already is consumed by her rent, utility and phone bills. She's been searching for work since November 2009, and she's only a couple of months away from needing the extended benefits that Missouri is poised to reject.

"The mentality is we're just creating a bunch of lazy people, and that is not true," said Clark, 48 of St. Louis.

The National Employment Law Project says its supporters sent 15,000 emails in a roughly 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday urging Missouri senators to allow a vote on the legislation reauthorizing the extended jobless benefits.

But Sen. Brian Nieves, a Republican from Washington, Mo., who is popular among tea party activists, said he has no intention of compromising his position. "The people have been crystal clear for about the last two years in saying that they expect us to at least start the process of weaning ourselves off of the federal government," Nieves said.

chiefsnorth
04-01-2011, 08:22 AM
The impact is that it would cost people who have drawn unemployment for 79 weeks an additional 20 weeks.

As taxpayers, shouldn't we be entitled to ask some questions about why somone has had 79 weeks to find some sort of employment and hasn't? I'm open to exceptions for legitimate reasons.

FD
04-01-2011, 10:34 AM
The impact is that it would cost people who have drawn unemployment for 79 weeks an additional 20 weeks.

As taxpayers, shouldn't we be entitled to ask some questions about why somone has had 79 weeks to find some sort of employment and hasn't? I'm open to exceptions for legitimate reasons.

A legitimate reason like the deepest recession in the modern era?

KC Dan
04-01-2011, 10:38 AM
A legitimate reason like the deepest recession in the modern era?The recession has been over for awhile. Basically, since last January according to GDP numbers.

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdp_glance.htm

chiefsnorth
04-01-2011, 11:24 AM
A legitimate reason like the deepest recession in the modern era?

I feel that if you have been drawing benefits for 79 weeks under the guise of it being a bridge until you find a job, taxpayers ought to be able to ask why you haven't got one before they give you 20 more weeks. That is two bleeding years. I would like to see documentation of anyone who has been honestly looking constantly for two years and has through no fault of their own had no luck. That is almost enough time to get a new degree even if your line of work were hopeless. If you have been on the payroll for two years your "employer" has the right to a performance review.

Okie_Apparition
04-01-2011, 11:35 AM
They should of given a warning of say 6 weeks or so. Instead of just cutting people off. Some have paid tution or are in training, they may have to drop to support themselves. It's not a right, but a heads up..

FD
04-01-2011, 11:48 AM
The recession has been over for awhile. Basically, since last January according to GDP numbers.

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdp_glance.htm

So you guys really think that millions of people are just being lazy, and that they all decided to get lazy at the same time?

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=2f

Look at the number of unemployed people and the number of job openings. I'd call that a legitimate reason for extended benefits.

chiefsnorth
04-01-2011, 12:01 PM
Among the people I have known drawing it, many turn down jobs close to their old pay hoping for something better, or just take an extended break from looking for work if they don't find it immediately because you've got almost 2 years. One individual didn't want to commute to the other side of the city for a position that was different from what he was originally interviewed for - one example. We just had on this forum somone jetting off to Florida while drawing. I feel most people do honestly look but this system encourages people to take months off and then just scramble when benefits are about to run out. I don't see anything wrong with devising some system where abuse is checked.

KC Dan
04-01-2011, 12:07 PM
So you guys really think that millions of people are just being lazy, and that they all decided to get lazy at the same time?

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=2f

Look at the number of unemployed people and the number of job openings. I'd call that a legitimate reason for extended benefits.Just pointing out that the recession (The Great Recession) is over and has been for over a year

DJ's left nut
04-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Wow.

He's only been searching for jobs on the internet because he "can't afford to license his car"?

IIRC, don't you have to pay property taxes when you license? So in other words, he hasn't licensed the car because he doesn't want to pay taxes on it. Pardon me if I'm not broken up about the possibility of that guy losing his benefits.

And I'm sure he's spending 8 hrs/day firing out applications online. Hell - how much do you think internet access is costing him?

Everytime I want to feel sorry for the poor, I'm reminded that many of them got there because of the choices they make.

durtyrute
04-01-2011, 12:13 PM
79 weeks.......79 weeks....

blaise
04-01-2011, 12:22 PM
A legitimate reason like the deepest recession in the modern era?

79 weeks though? That's a long freaking time.

Cave Johnson
04-01-2011, 12:22 PM
Fantastic idea, cutting UI benefits for the least employable.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/average-length-of-unemployment-rises-again/

"[W]hile American employers have picked up hiring, they are disproportionately hiring workers who have spent less time looking for a job. That leaves more of the long-term unemployed in the jobless pool — right now nearly half of those unemployed have been unemployed for at least six months — with each of those individual workers racking up even more weeks. The net effect is to pull up the overall average length of unemployment."

FD
04-01-2011, 12:24 PM
79 weeks though? That's a long freaking time.

Look at my chart again. There are simply not enough jobs for these people.

blaise
04-01-2011, 12:28 PM
Look at my chart again. There are simply not enough jobs for these people.

Ok, and after 20 more weeks and still no jobs, then what? Just indefinite unemployment?

DJ's left nut
04-01-2011, 12:41 PM
Fantastic idea, cutting UI benefits for the least employable.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/average-length-of-unemployment-rises-again/

"[W]hile American employers have picked up hiring, they are disproportionately hiring workers who have spent less time looking for a job. That leaves more of the long-term unemployed in the jobless pool — right now nearly half of those unemployed have been unemployed for at least six months — with each of those individual workers racking up even more weeks. The net effect is to pull up the overall average length of unemployment."

You're right. Instead we should just make people wait 6 month for them.

Or hell, lets run them indefinitely.

I know you folks want to just keep spending money we don't have, but perhaps a tough decision should be made here or there.

Cave Johnson
04-01-2011, 12:50 PM
You're right. Instead we should just make people wait 6 month for them.

Or hell, lets run them indefinitely.

I know you folks want to just keep spending money we don't have, but perhaps a tough decision should be made here or there.

No one's advocating for indefinite UI, but enjoy punching that strawman.

Do cuts need to me made? Absolutely. Where I take issue, however, is that the burden should fall disproportionately on the working poor and other programs (e.g., NPR) that liberals support.

chiefsnorth
04-01-2011, 12:50 PM
Ok, and after 20 more weeks and still no jobs, then what? Just indefinite unemployment?

Indefinite unemployment... Why should I work at all? I can make more this way but hell, why waste your life working when you can be living?

blaise
04-01-2011, 12:57 PM
No one's advocating for indefinite UI, but enjoy punching that strawman.

Do cuts need to me made? Absolutely. Where I take issue, however, is that the burden should fall disproportionately on the working poor and other programs (e.g., NPR) that liberals support.

Maybe if we tax businesses they'll hire more people.

DJ's left nut
04-01-2011, 12:58 PM
No one's advocating for indefinite UI, but enjoy punching that strawman.

Do cuts need to me made? Absolutely. Where I take issue, however, is that the burden should fall disproportionately on the working poor and other programs (e.g., NPR) that liberals support.

You just said that the cuts are bad because they address those that are 'least able' to get off unemployment. You backed this by stressing that the longer you're unemployed, the less likely it is you'll end up employed.

Yet you say "cuts need to be made". Okay, set those cuts at 18 months or even 3 years - aren't you still cutting those that are 'least able' using your own stated calculous?

You're just talking. You have no point apart from grousing over any cut that might make things difficult for the disenfranchised masses. You thought you had a bit of pithy dialogue, but the only alternative to your complaint is the same indefinite unemployment you now claim you don't seek. Or you can say you want it capped at 2 years but that essentially indefinite unemployment as well (besides, you'll just move the goalposts again after 24 months...just think of how unemployable those folks will be then).

It's hardly unreasonable to tell people that have been unemployed for a damn year that the government teat is dry. I guarantee you that those folks that have been unemployed for a year will find SOMETHING to keep food in their mouths when that check stops coming in.

Have you ever considered the possibility that the reason the people that are being hired were unemployed for shorter periods of time is that they were more resourceful and worked harder than the folks that have been 'job hunting' for the last year? Nah, that doesn't fit the populist narrative that nobody ever brings their own negative consequences upon themselves.

vailpass
04-01-2011, 01:15 PM
They should of given a warning of say 6 weeks or so. Instead of just cutting people off. Some have paid tution or are in training, they may have to drop to support themselves. It's not a right, but a heads up..

Good point.

vailpass
04-01-2011, 01:15 PM
No one's advocating for indefinite UI, but enjoy punching that strawman.

Do cuts need to me made? Absolutely. Where I take issue, however, is that the burden should fall disproportionately on the working poor and other programs (e.g., NPR) that liberals support.

:LOL:

Cave Johnson
04-01-2011, 01:23 PM
You just said that the cuts are bad because they address those that are 'least able' to get off unemployment. You backed this by stressing that the longer you're unemployed, the less likely it is you'll end up employed.

Yet you say "cuts need to be made". Okay, set those cuts at 18 months or even 3 years - aren't you still cutting those that are 'least able' using your own stated calculous?

You're just talking. You have no point apart from grousing over any cut that might make things difficult for the disenfranchised masses. You thought you had a bit of pithy dialogue, but the only alternative to your complaint is the same indefinite unemployment you now claim you don't seek. Or you can say you want it capped at 2 years but that essentially indefinite unemployment as well (besides, you'll just move the goalposts again after 24 months...just think of how unemployable those folks will be then).

It's hardly unreasonable to tell people that have been unemployed for a damn year that the government teat is dry. I guarantee you that those folks that have been unemployed for a year will find SOMETHING to keep food in their mouths when that check stops coming in.

Have you ever considered the possibility that the reason the people that are being hired were unemployed for shorter periods of time is that they were more resourceful and worked harder than the folks that have been 'job hunting' for the last year? Nah, that doesn't fit the populist narrative that nobody ever brings their own negative consequences upon themselves.

I'm pretty ambivalent about the whole issue, honestly, hence the pithiness. It's not like the long-term unemployed (minus those displaced by structural factors) are paragons of virtue and hard work.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-31/why-unemployment-rose-so-much-dropped-so-fast-commentary-by-alan-krueger.html

"A recent study of 6,000 unemployed workers that I conducted with Andreas Mueller of Stockholm University found that the longer someone is out of work, the less time they spend searching for a job, and the more discouraged they become. The long-term unemployed are still seeking work, but without much enthusiasm or effort, and probably aren’t exerting much influence in terms of driving down prices or wages."

vailpass
04-01-2011, 01:24 PM
I'm pretty ambivalent about the whole issue, honestly, hence the pithiness. It's not like the long-term unemployed (minus those displaced by structural factors) are paragons of virtue and hard work.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-31/why-unemployment-rose-so-much-dropped-so-fast-commentary-by-alan-krueger.html

"A recent study of 6,000 unemployed workers that I conducted with Andreas Mueller of Stockholm University found that the longer someone is out of work, the less time they spend searching for a job, and the more discouraged they become. The long-term unemployed are still seeking work, but without much enthusiasm or effort, and probably aren’t exerting much influence in terms of driving down prices or wages."

I would be interested to see a follow-up study on what percentage found work after having their UI benefits cut off.

Chocolate Hog
04-01-2011, 01:53 PM
Wow.

He's only been searching for jobs on the internet because he "can't afford to license his car"?

IIRC, don't you have to pay property taxes when you license? So in other words, he hasn't licensed the car because he doesn't want to pay taxes on it. Pardon me if I'm not broken up about the possibility of that guy losing his benefits.

And I'm sure he's spending 8 hrs/day firing out applications online. Hell - how much do you think internet access is costing him?

Everytime I want to feel sorry for the poor, I'm reminded that many of them got there because of the choices they make.


Yup this guy has to be a lazy motherfucker. I got a temp job last August which just recently ended in March. I sent out a bunch of applications via craigslist and other online sites. Within a week I had 3 job offers so I don't feel sorry for those who've been unemployed for 79 fucking weeks and didn't find a job.

chiefsnorth
04-01-2011, 05:14 PM
Yup this guy has to be a lazy mother****er. I got a temp job last August which just recently ended in March. I sent out a bunch of applications via craigslist and other online sites. Within a week I had 3 job offers so I don't feel sorry for those who've been unemployed for 79 ****ing weeks and didn't find a job.

I'm not saying all are lazy. This has been an extraordinary time and unfortunately Washington has done zero to help.

I do think some are abusing the system. Others are just doing what it encourages which is taking it easy until your benefits start to run out and then scrambling.

We need a smarter system. I don't know how paying people not to work can be made to encourage people to work. Maybe every 10 weeks, the benefits should step down.