The Common Good

Help for the Unemployed, Now 60 Percent Off!

We're in a recession with four or five job seekers to every open job, according to the latest stats -- so it's not news that the government is sending more in unemployment benefits to those out of work than it did a few years ago. Today, the Senate is expected to vote on those benefits, after the demise yesterday of a filibuster by some who said the country could not afford the bill's benefits (although many of those senators do want to reinstate the Bush tax cuts, which were originally designed to sunset precisely because they are fiscally unsustainable).

With so many Americans hunting for work and being pushed towards the economic edge, the biggest question is the moral cost of not extending those benefits.

But it's also important to understand the economic cost of those benefits -- and that cost is much lower than you might think, because those benefits stimulate the economy. According to a report out this week about increased unemployment spending in the first part of this year (compared to 2007):

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)