By Bill Wilson — It’s time for Obama to put up or shut up on unemployment benefits extensions up to 99 weeks. He wants to claim that the apparent drop in the jobless rate means the economy is turning a corner. If he really believes that the emergency is over, then it is time to rescind these extensions that have cost taxpayers an additional $275 billion since 2009.
A failure by Congress to roll back this welfare program will be seen as an acknowledgement that the most recent jobs report is much weaker than Obama is suggesting. 4.7 million Americans who were a part of the labor force have simply given up on looking for work since Obama took office, which is artificially keeping the unemployment rate down. If those people were included, the real rate of unemployed working age adults would be 11.01 percent, and the underemployed would be 17.6 percent.
Even if one were to look at the data honestly, 99 weeks of unemployment benefits have already run out for millions Americans anyway and the program should be repealed. The welfare state has failed to restore real growth to the economy.
The solution to the problem is not perpetual extensions of welfare, but for government to enact pro-growth policies that will have a job-creating effect. These include rolling back the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, undoing the harsh regulatory climate in health care, the environment, and energy, lifting restrictions on capital creation, and restoring sound money.
Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.