Thursday, November 4, 2010

The New Capitol Job

Meanwhile there's a hell of a lot to address here in the lame duck session.  800,000 Americans will lose their benefits at the end of this month, that jumps to two million by December 31.

Federal jobless payments, which last up to 73 weeks, kick in after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. These federal benefits are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.

Nearly 9.5 million unemployed Americans have collected federally funded benefits, which average $290 a week, in 2010. Almost 15 million people are without work.

Jobless benefits are credited with keeping 3.3 million people out of poverty last year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Unemployment benefits have become a political football, though the national unemployment rate has hovered just below 10% all year. Both parties have previously said they want to lengthen the federal safety net, but Republicans have temporarily blocked extensions several times this year because they do not want to add to the deficit.

When the deadline expired at the end of May, it took lawmakers 51 days to pass an extension until Nov. 30. The pricetag of that six-month extension was $34 billion.

It could be even more difficult to push back the deadline this time around now that the Republicans have won control of the House and gained seats in the Senate. Though the transfer of power doesn't happen until next year, Democrats will have to work with the GOP to craft a bill.

Congress has a narrow window to act. Lawmakers return on Nov. 15 for a week before taking off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Then they are back for only two days before the Nov. 30 deadline hits.

Expect the GOP to stall on this measure until next year.  Clearly blocking unemployment benefits multiple times for millions of Americans resulted in the GOP being rewarded with control of the House.  Why would they spend a dime now?

And when the new Congress convenes in January, expect "if we cut unemployment benefits, that will get Americans out there to look for jobs" to become our new "job creation strategy".

Meanwhile, Democrats should note that of the 16 Blue Dogs who voted against that Nov. 30 extension of unemployment benefits to convince voters that they are serious about deficits being more important than unemployment benefits, 12 of them lost and number 13 is fighting for their political life.


SteveAR said...

Expect the GOP to stall on this measure until next year.

Expect the Democrats to block any attempt at using any remaining Porkulus money (the ARRA) to fund this.

Zandar said...


You're a cartoon.

SteveAR said...

I sure as hell ain't gonna call it "stimulus" since all it didn't stimulate the economy nor put people back to work. Rush Limbaugh's nickname for it remarkably prescient. It's too bad you're ideology has so blinded you to the truth.

Zandar said...

CBO's own numbers:

[b]ARRA recipients reported that ARRA funded nearly 750,000 FTE jobs during the second quarter of 2010[b].

That's just the second quarter of this year. There would have been millions more jobs lost without it, but that's okay with you, I guess.

But "it didn't put people back to work." The only person blinded by ideology here is you, man.

Unknown said...

One indicator of capture by cult ideology is the extreme reliance on insider vocabulary and terminology. The possession of a shared language with terms that have unique meaning to the insider group and/or created language known only among the group heightens the sense of affiliation and belonging.

This is one of the reasons why members of the cult who are tasked with recruitment and messaging often fail at their tasks. Themselves so steeped in the insider terminology and lingo, and lacking the self-awareness to switch modes when dealing with outsiders, their messages are confusing and meaningless to the prospective recruits.

Fascinating, really.

SteveAR said...

Sure it did. Because the CBO said so.

Here's what the CBO really said:

Estimated Impact of the Stimulus Package on Employment and Economic Output

Note the first word: "estimated". They're guessing.

Here's what else they said:

Looking at recorded spending to date as well as estimates of the other effects of ARRA on spending and revenues, CBO has estimated the law’s impact on employment and economic output using evidence about the effects of previous similar policies on the economy and using various mathematical models that represent the workings of the economy...

Although CBO has examined data on output and employment during the period since ARRA’s enactment, those data are not as helpful in determining ARRA’s economic effects as might be supposed because isolating the effects would require knowing what path the economy would have taken in the absence of the law. Because that path cannot be observed, the new data add only limited information about ARRA’s impact...

Such reports, however, do not provide a comprehensive estimate of the law’s impact on employment in the United States...

Consequently, estimating the law’s overall effects on employment requires a more comprehensive analysis than the recipients’ reports provide.

Which translates to, "Even though we used the same methodology as the administration to determine these numbers, and considering how badly the administration did in estimating the success of the stimulus, our guess isn't even that good."

Let me put it another way; the Oracle at Delphi did a better job of guessing than the CBO or the administration. At least the Oracle knew how the Greeks would beat the Persians in 480 B.C.

Zandar said...

Right. So we're back to square one, which is "I disbelieve the validity of any facts that could be used to discount my position, so I cannot lose the argument."

Which is completely not blinded by ideology, or anything like that.

bughunter said...

I'm still amused by the fact that stupid people never fail to come to a blog named "Zandar Versus the Stupid" to argue with Zandar... and validate the title, every time.

SteveAR said...

Right. So we're back to square one, which is "I disbelieve the validity of any facts that could be used to discount my position, so I cannot lose the argument."

All you did was regurgitate the CBO's regurgitation of the government's bad guesswork about the impact of the stimulus. By any definition of the word "facts", none were given. Guesses are not facts, especially bad guesses.

Zandar said...


The CBO is nothing but "bad guesses".

As opposed to your "proof" that the stimulus "failed", which is mysteriously missing.

You're beginning to seriously bore me.

SteveASS said...


Unknown said...

Note the first word: "estimated". They're guessing. No SteveArgghh, "guessing" is how dittoheads estimate. Please return to the rest of the "El Rushbo" program, or, as the Chicenhawk division of the Armed Forces call him fondly, "El Pilonidal Cystbo." *

*Sorry, Zandar; "La Sacrococcygeal Fistula" is more elegant, but not as catchy. I think it's El Cystbo's drag name.

StarStorm said...

Eh, I still prefer Oxycontinfather.

Unknown said...

Epistemic closure: it's not just for breakfast anymore!

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