Should the federal government look at state actions concerning unemployment benefits?
There is currently a battle in the United States Senate concerning the authorization of continuing unemployment benefits which have expired for thousands of individuals. While there is a compassionate side of the issue the reality of this action must be accepted. Continuing to fund unemployment benefits for individuals who have been out of work for weeks or years is an issue that requires bold steps. Unemployment benefits are the result of actions taken or not taken by the current Congress and the reasons why so many are out of work or have stopped looking for work and must be examined.
There are cases though what the numbers are may be difficult to determine which provide more funds to individuals than they can earn in some jobs. The process and/or policy of unemployment benefits must not provide incentives for individuals to keep taking these benefits. Conditions need to be changed to provide earning more money by working than by receiving government benefits.
The percentage of individuals in the economy which are unemployed which is being reported is better than it has been but whether this is an accurate figure is a question which must be answered. The current rate at the level that is being reported is still too high and efforts to improve this statistic must be generated whether it is at the federal level or the state level. Actions by some states have been taken to restrict unemployment benefits to a specific number of weeks. Statistics have shown that restricting the continued payouts for unemployment benefits to individuals in their state has seen a dramatic reduction in their unemployment percentages. The bold action by some states is refreshing to say the least.
The federal government by continuing unemployment benefits over the last few years may have been necessary to provide some relief and support for families who have needed it should not be a continuous act. The present culture in Congress to solve problems is to appropriate money to solve it but it does not solve the causes. The fundamental purpose of continuing support for individuals out of work is an admirable one and the objective is a sound one but at some point the causes need to be addressed.
Many issues are involved in our economic situation and unemployment is one of them. Resolving the problems causing the unemployment numbers those being reported and those not included in the numbers must be addressed. The federal government does not have all the answers to the unemployment situation which exists across the country but it does not mean solutions or approaches do not exist. One such example can be seen in some states that have taken steps to restrict unemployment to a specific set of weeks which is the intent of the law as it was written. The result as previously identified amounted to a reduction of the cost to the state the funds of which were being borrowed from the government. Additionally the result has seen the unemployment rate be dramatically reduced within the state. The impression created through this action was individuals found jobs who were cut off from unemployment benefits found jobs.
Continuing unemployment benefits for some individuals may be needed but it should be the exception rather than the rule. When individuals lose their jobs they do need some financial support through unemployment benefits as provided in the law. It is wrong to create situations where individuals earn more through unemployment benefits than they could if they were working. The federal government needs to look at state actions to resolve issues facing the country such as the unemployment situation but the causes in some cases can only be resolved through congressional action. Appropriating money toward problems does not solve the causes but solving the causes does not appear to be the objective of Congress at this point in time. Both political parties need to come together to solve the issues regardless of which political party has the answer. Sometimes the answer can be a combination of proposed solutions but outright the solutions of one party over the other only pushes the problems further into the future for other legislative sessions to address.