Emergency Unemployment Insurance: The Costs


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Congress still has significant amounts of bickering ahead, before 2013 is done. Image by Vcelloho

It is important to note, however, that these are gross numbers. They do not take into account the increase in the potential economic activity generated by additional household income provided by the program. Furthermore, it can be argued that these costs represent a relative drop in the bucket as compared to the over $2 trillion in total stimulus spending incurred by the United States since 2009 alone. Nevertheless, the program has become a bit of a political football, as many austerity-minded Republicans believe the federal budget simply cannot afford the cost, versus Democrats who feel the U.S. cannot afford not to offer extended benefits.

Expiring Jobless Benefits

Regardless of the political opinions surrounding the topic, jobless benefits were extended an additional year. It appears all but certain they will finally expire at the end of 2013, but after a likely-to-be-contentious set of negotiations between the Obama administration and House Republicans yet to come, full resolution remains to be seen.


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