How Long Should Unemployment Benefits Last?

Home Forums General Chit Chat – State And National Topics How Long Should Unemployment Benefits Last?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Beavernewbie 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #189015 Reply


    This thread is a result of reading the responses in the post “Republican Rothfuss stinks”. That thread got me thinking about things and I realized that there might be a topic worth discussing with this group here. Hopefully, the responses to this thread will help me better understand different perspectives and won’t degrade into “you suck”-style responses. If it does, I will simply stop reading the responses.

    A topic that jumped out at me in that thread was the fact that Keith Rothfus is disliked because he does not support extending unemployment benefits yet again. To me, this is a pretty interesting topic.

    Extending unemployment benefits – it seems that everyone has an opinion about this and what I am wondering is what percentage of people think unemployment benefit should be continued forever? Anyone think that it should be infinite? If so, why. If not, how long should unemployment benefits last? It is time to end the extensions? If not, how many times should we continue to extend them?

    To specifically address those who believe that unemployment benefits should be finite – what is the trigger to end extending the benefits? Is it basic duration? Is it the reported unemployment percentage rate? Should it be based on the fiscal reality that the budget doesn’t exist to pay them? What is the critera?

    Politicians are very good at spending other people’s money to make a group of beneficiaries happy and get their votes. This is simply how it works. It seems to me that that the easiest thing to do is for a politician to vote to extend the benefits and tell himself and his potential voters how is for the “working man”. …that move doesn’t cost him a penny and he just bought more voters with other people’s money. It seems to me that Keith Rothfus isn’t making his political position any better by looking to end the extensions. Does this make him a bad guy or is he just seeing the trigger to end the extensions?

    I personally believe that we can’t extend benefits forever but we likely will. Until the benefits are seen as finite, a percentage of those receiving them will continue to hold out for jobs and pay levels that might not even exist anymore. I believe that in 2008, there has been a shift in our economy similar to the late 1970s and early 1980s. It took us a long time to adapt to that and we still haven’t fully recovered in this local area. If folk are waiting around for a specific job that is “acceptable and up to their standards”, they might be waiting forever and as long as the gov’t continues to support this, we might stay stuck in an endless cycle.

    One interesting solution would be to extend unemployment benefits but on a sliding-scale of reducing compensation over time. This could set up a situation where as the benefits are reduced, the beneficiary will have to accept a wider range of potential jobs to continue to live. At a minimum, it would still be better than just slamming the door shut and reducing the benefit to zero immediately…

    Do you think benefits should last forever?
    If you think they should be finite, what should be the trigger for them to end for a given individual?
    Do you think a reducing benefit could have a positive overall effect on things?

    Fire away.

    #189704 Reply


    It’s all about whose ox is being gored. If one has lost their job and is facing a future of financial hardship they will most likely take a more liberal position.If one still has their job paying decent wages and thinks they will keep it they most likely will be of the opinion that the unemployed are lazy takers, until of course they lose theirs.

    #189706 Reply


    I don’t disagree that a percentage of people might change their position once they find themselves the recipient.

    What is your opinion? Forever? Abrupt end? If so, what is the criteria? What do you think of the reducing benefit over time?

    #190385 Reply


    What do I want? I want complete laissez-faire capitalism. Everything Rothfus and his gang ever dreamed of.You name it on any issues, min wage, labor law, social security anything. With the exception of a military draft.Then I want to see how far this system can stand on it’s own.

    #190386 Reply


    To be clear I want a military draft.

    #192442 Reply


    SILENCE Beavernewbie! SILENCE!!!
    A couple of points…before I give my answer…

    1) Unemployment compensation is funded largely through “employer taxes” NOT OUR PERSONAL TAXES that come out of our weekly paycheck. So some occasional extensions by Congress are made on a federally funded basis.

    2) At what point does a helping hand turn into a hand-out that people abuse? Some people suggest that extending jobless benefits discourages people from trying to find a job.

    3) In general, benefits are based on a percentage of an individual’s earnings over a recent 52-week period. Unemployment benefits were created as part of the Social Security Act in 1935, intended to provide the unemployed some portion of their income while helping the economy weather down times. In 1970, federal law was amended to allow for extensions within the unemployment system during periods of high and rising unemployment – like in today’s economic climate. Nearly two-thirds of the jobless collect unemployment benefits, which go only to those who have earned a certain amount of money in the previous year, and who lost their jobs through no fault of their own…if you combine the 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits and 73 weeks of an extension, it is for a total period of 99 weeks.

    MY TAKE:
    Unemployment extension, the jobless argue with me and are correct, keeps people from defaulting on their mortgages and turning to public services, such as welfare and emergency housing. The unemployment benefits (which are usually 45% less than a regular take home pay), and that money is still taxable by the government, but they keep food on the table and the utilities turned on for the unemployed while the unemployed STILL need to use their savings to pay the remaining bills, even after cutting back on things.

    The Unemployed looking for jobs now are discriminated against. Yes, if you were “UNEMPLOYED” in years past that usually meant “red flags” were brought up about you as a person (ie: work ethic, attitude problem, calling off work, being habitually late to work). In TODAY’S WORLD, unemployment is due to no fault of one’s own in this economy. It is due to corporate greed of making profits. It is due to CEO/Bosses making bonus’s by showing a company profit by any ways or means to do it (cutting staff and piling more work on the remaining overworked staff). You can do your job well and get “laid off” for any reason. Pennsylvania is an “at will” state which means you can get fired for any reason. The only people who are protected in this bad economy is UNION WORKERS. Those jobs are few and far between now.

    So in closing, it is of my opinion that the benefit extension should be based on the unemployment rate numbers and the state of the economy. I also think that the Government owes a former worker something of “a break” for working 10-20-30 years and getting laid off through no fault of their own as those people are losing everything that they accumulated over the years. My friend worked for 30 years and has lost his entire savings and now has tapped his 401K which wasn’t much he says – all because the politicians have stopped the extension payments. (He was on only 3 months of the emergency extension benefit payments- 12 weeks, out of 73 before the government stopped them because of the political games). A job at walmart does not come close to paying the bills/mortgage people. He needs a job that pays $45,000 a year to pay his bills and have no “extra’s”. A job paying above minimum wage at $10 per hour gross’s you $20,600 per year. So if you got 2 jobs at $10 per hour (working a total of 16 hours a day), that’s still not enough to pay the bills for him! So I see my friends quandary. So to call him lazy, or to take a job or even 2 jobs that won’t solve his problem is just plain foolish. The government is F’ing the people who worked hard all their lives. They don’t want welfare. They just want a good paying job. They want not to be discriminated against by prospective employers because they have been laid off for so long. They in my opinion should have this federal extension for a total of 2 years. That’s it. You have to cut the ties sometime and I think 2 years extension is a fair time in a bad economy. But withholding the extension money right now by the F’ing politicians (republicans) is just ruining families by mortgage foreclosure, cars repossessed, bankruptcy… and people who worked hard all their lives are looked upon by the republican politicians like they are welfare lifers. Wake up! Put yourself in their shoes. Not only dealing with unemployment stress, but financial stress, where are they going to live stress, lose your car stress, and family stress. Anyone who disagrees is heartless. And if you say “the answer is to create more better paying jobs” you can’t do that in a month, nor can you do it with your political BS paintbrush of creating new job training. You have to buy time for the people the best that you can with hope the economy turns around. My stance is still “Rothfus is heartless”, don’t care about the people in his district except to have F’ing coffee with them playing the political game. He has no solution (plan) to help the unemployed and thus turns his back on the people who voted him in. He just plays the political game in congress. Bottom line- he’s full of shit and heartless.

    #192443 Reply


    I forgot to say…

    #192444 Reply


    100% on target. Until you lose your job, then you don’t know what its like to lose your savings, your cars, your home etc. When your working you think people are lazy and not looking for jobs. But now a days unemployed people get discriminated against for being unemployed for so long. Even the government postal jobs, and the state jobs don’t hire them as workers…sad. I am off at 7am from night shift, then I go home and sleep. When I wake up at 2 or 3, I will read your reply if you have one. YOUR WELCOME!!!

    #193149 Reply


    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Keith Rothfus our so called “helper of our district”…
    It’s got to make you wonder how these people sleep at night or look themselves in the mirror knowing that they have flipped the bird at millions of people and not even asked themselves where these people will sleep tonight or get their next meal from. How do you simply just turn it off (unemployment extension) and not care? If those millions of people mean absolutely nothing in the eyes of our leaders, we all better wake up and start changing our leadership. Even people with jobs need to be angered by this, not buying into the bilge water about debts, deficits and spending by the republicans. These unemployed people are our fellow Americans and they deserve better than to be called lazy leaches and takers. How dare any of us look at our jobless neighbor and even begin to think they are stealing from our pockets, or are the reason we ourselves aren’t better off. How dare any of us even entertain the thought that they need to be cast off so we don’t spend any more money on them, when we have dozens of other things we can cut to help our own. Do we all not realize that most of us are just a paycheck or two away from destitution ourselves? The working should be especially angry at this because this would be the way you would be treated had not the grace of God been upon you in keeping your job.

    Boehner and Rothfus can’t even put together a draft of what they’d accept to approve to an extension because it doesn’t exist…This is all smoke filled coffee house crap. It doesn’t matter what Obama proposes because it will never be something they will agree to no matter what it is. They have no intention of passing anything, just throwing it back in Obama’s lap to propose things that they can claim over and over are failed ideas they can’t approve of the unemployment extension for one reason or another…Then say it’s his fault for not doing something. Well all I can say is Rothfus has no guts to help his district out and stand up to Boehner like some others in his party.



    He cannot control his own caucus.

    Per reports from the Washington Post, and the Atlantic Monthly there are 22 members of the GOP caucus from states with unemployment above the national average that are open to a “Yes” vote on unemployment renewal. The pressure from their constituents is growing – both from the unemployed and those whose businesses are hurt when the unemployed have no money.

    He is under pressure from both members of the GOP in the Senate and his colleagues in the House.

    BUT, putting the Bi-Partisan Senate deal on the House Floor is courting disaster for Boehner who will then be the target of Tea Party Ire AND might well hand the Democrats a victory since the number of votes needed to pass the Senate bill is less than the number of Democrats plus the GOP who seem willing to defect.


    ROTHFUS NEEDS VOTED OUT! HE DOES NOT CARE FOR OUR UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE OR BEAVER COUNTY PEOPLE, HE DOES CARES FOR A BIG PAYCHECK FROM OUR TAX DOLLARS!!! THAT MOTIVATES HIM…NOT THE PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP NOW AND HAVE BEEN JACKED AROUND SINCE DECEMBER FOR THE EXTENSION. Just try to live with no income for 4 months and now going on 5 months…embarrassing…degrading…bankrupt…heading toward the welfare line… thru no fault of your own…heartache…depression…loss of your dignity and pride… THANKS FOR TURNING YOUR BACK ON “THE PEOPLE” ON THE UNEMPLOYED SITUATION ROTHFUS!

    #193848 Reply


    Great reply but your wasting your time. This guy has the same agenda as the crowd Rothfuss represents and is not interested in anything else but promoting it.

    #193849 Reply


    Correction: you’re wasting your time.

    #193850 Reply


    I simply asked what people’s opinions are what the duration of unemployment benefits should be and what it should be based on. That’s it.

    If you believe that you can draw some sort of conclusion based on a basic question and make your additional statements based on your own unsubstantiated conclusions, that is your choice.

    I am promoting nothing. I am simply looking for folk that sit on the sidelines taking shots come up with their own firm position on a topic that they are taking shots at others on. I guess that is asking too much.

    When faced with the direct question – “How long should unemployment benefit last?”, I got one answer that it should be based on reported unemployment rate (plus a bunch of other stuff) and another claiming that question is promoting an agenda without any real answer.

    At least I knew what I was going to get before I started the thread.


    #194546 Reply


    Please!!!!!!!! You have a long trail of opinions here just as I do. We know where you’re coming from as you well know where I stand.

    #195946 Reply


    Let’s hear your take on unemployment extension benefits beavernewbie. Are you heartless too? How long should they last? (for some reason I think I know your answer already)

    Let’s hear your idea how to create more better paying jobs for the people who are 45 – 60 years old who are unemployed and losing everything. Let’s hear your ideas.

    Why is Pennsylvania’s home forclosure rate way over the national average?

    Stand up and be accounted for Beavernewbie! Let’s hear your answers to help the unemployed. Are you like Boehner and Rothfus who are not willing to help the unemployed in our area who worked hard for many years? Let’s hear from ya!

    “YOU’RE WELCOME!!!!”

    #195947 Reply


    Your Welcome, I read your comment on how Unemployment Benefits are funded, but have a couple of questions. If it is funded only “Largely by Employer Taxes”, where does the remainder come from? If some extensions are Federally Funded, where do those funds come from, if not the Taxpayer? Last, I’m sorry to hear about your friend, who only collected unemployment for 73 weeks, but have a couple of questions here as well. Why does he still have a mortgage after 30 years of employment, was he living above his means, and now can’t afford to maintain that lifestyle? Assuming most of those years of employment were with the same Company, is he now also collecting a Pension, which was common 30 years ago? If he is, has this lessened his need to look for employment.

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