Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Recession Knot ... Or Not?

Among the most despicable items on the Republican blackmail wish list for extending the payroll tax break and unemployment benefits, is the provision that out-of-work payments be limited to a maximum of 59 weeks.  That would constitute almost a 50% cutback from the current 99 weeks.  Mind you, every economic survey or bit of research since the Great Downturn began has shown that unemployment is not only higher than that of any period since WWII, but is perniciously longer lasting for most individuals than ever before.  In fact, much longer than the current maximum benefit period. 

And, of course, all the while this has been going on, the Republicans have relentlessly blamed Obama and the Democrats for these terrible times.  To be clear, it was the GOP which was most responsible for the collapse, but the Democrats sure haven't done an awful lot to make things better.  Nevertheless, even as the pitifully painful circumstances continue without relief or let up in sight, now Republican Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, comes out arguing that the unemployment benefit period should be restricted to "the more normal level typically available following recessions."

So, we are hearing the Republicans blaming the Democrats for unabated bad times, while simultaneously claiming this to be a post recession period.  Is this a recession knot ... or not?

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