Thursday, April 15, 2010

About That Senate Finance Committee Hearing Yesterday

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After playing back yesterday's Senate Finance Committee Hearing, Senator Menendez was the only Senator to challenge the assertion from Doug Holmes' written testimony that extending unemployment benefits is less incentive for the unemployed to look for and acquire work.  Menendez injects common sense into the discussion and states the fact that there are not enough jobs for every unemployed American; thus, justifying the need for extended unemployment insurance. 

The hearing seemed to be more geared toward what government can do in addition to unemployment benefits to assist the jobless rather than only adding tiers of benefits. The hearing also addressed the lack of funds that states have for unemployment benefits and their need for longer loan durations and having these loans at no interest. 

Mark Sandi, Ph.D., Chief Economist and Cofounder, Moody’s Analytics, West Chester, VA, helped to make the best case for the current need for extended unemployment benefits as he spoke about each dollar the federal government spends on unemployment extensions equates to approximately $1.61 in direct stimulus for local communities.  Although he did not speak directly to a Tier 5 extension, he did express the need for these benefits to continue through the end of the year in order to prevent a backward trend from a recovery standpoint and stated that the extensions are necessary deficit spending and having any type of plan to offset the spending would be counter-productive to the fragile economy. 

Dr. Sandi's testimony seemed to make the strongest argument for the need to continue to extend unemployment benefits to the members present at the Senate Finance Committee.

The full hearing is available to the public at

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