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September 22nd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should Congress keep extending unemployment benefits?

ALT TEXT

(PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Hondros/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The House is considering a bill today that could help more than one million jobless Americans. It's an emergency measure, widely expected to pass, that would extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks for people living in states where the jobless rate tops 8-point-5 percent. That includes 27 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

This would be in addition to the 26 weeks of benefits that most states offer, and the federally-funded extensions of up to 53 weeks that Congress approved last year.

As this recession drags on and the jobless rate goes up, lawmakers have been under pressure to extend benefits... with governors from 22 states calling on Congress to act quickly. It's estimated that there are now more than six potential workers for each job opening - that's up from 1.7 when the recession began.

But critics say that additional unemployment payments can be a disincentive to looking for a job... and that it could be counterproductive to extend benefits now - when the economy is showing signs of recovery.

The bill's sponsor says it won't add to the deficit because it would extend a federal unemployment tax paid by employers... and require better reporting on new hires so the government doesn't keep paying them unemployment benefits. Senate Democrats say they'll address the measure as soon as the House votes.

State unemployment checks are around $300 a week, plus another $25 from the stimulus act. The national unemployment rate is now at 9.7 percent and expected to be above 10 percent for much of next year.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress keep extending unemployment benefits?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Marion from Birmingham, Alabama writes:
Obama needs to continue extending unemployment benefits until he gets re-elected, or he may be a one-termer.

Steve from Chula Vista, California writes:
Their idea to extend the unemployment tax on businesses to cover more weeks of unemployment is a job killer. As small business owners in California, we are hanging on by a thread and may not make it if things don't turn around soon. To extend and add more taxes will deter us from doing any hiring; the jobs lost won't be easily replaced.

Ray writes:
If anyone thinks that unemployment is a disincentive to looking for a job, then they really should try it. Some people are so out-of-touch with the reality of the situation. It is not like there are decent or even not-decent jobs out there. Day laborers don't get work either! Unemployment is 13.5% in Nevada. Thank god for the little money I get.

B. from Quarryville, Pennsylvania writes:
Yes, I think they should extend unemployment. I can remember back during the Reagan years when I got laid off. If it was not for Congress extending unemployment, I would not have made it. If we can find money to bail out Wall Street then we should find the money to help people who lost their jobs because of Wall Street.

Stephanie from Davie, Florida writes:
No. I've known people on unemployment. The hardworking ones were off of it ASAP and took the first available job – even if it was a bad one. The lazy ones stayed on it as long as they were allowed. Extending it would only help the people who didn't plan on finding a new job anyway or are too picky to find ANY job that pays!

Jimmy writes:
Of course they should, Jack. Unemployment benefits are the best stimulus check the government can give since it goes directly back into the economy via living expenses that many Americans are struggling to pay!


Filed under: Congress • Unemployment • Unemployment / Economy
soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. Mark, Sarasota, FL

    Yes, Jack since Congress allowed the outsourcing of all our jobs, the uncontrolled immigration of illegal aliens and since it bailed out worthless banks, car makers and insurers. YES Jack as long as our jobs are coming back.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Diane in Arizona

    NO – The way they are going Unemployment will soon become like Welfare..........permanent.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  3. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Being a recent addition to the ranks of the unemployed, guess what my answer is?

    September 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  4. Conor in Chicago

    Of course not Jack. We should let everybody starve and go homeless. Let the "Free market" sort everything out right?

    September 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Conor in Chicago

    It's my understanding that his main challenger raised the same amount in a shorter period of time.

    I'd also love to know exactly contributed the money, especially since i know plenty of people who detest Obama and can't believe Wilson did what he did.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Jayne

    Of course. Until there are more jobs, there must be a safety net. Do you want to see bread lines on the streets of America?

    September 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  7. pat

    yes.they are partly responsible for allowing foriegn companies to invade our job market and letting american companies send our jobs overseas to slavecamp factories

    September 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  8. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Since it is Congress that largely fomented the problem by giving Bush anything and everything he wanted, no matter how destructive to the country, that is the very least they should do. Besides, it’s no skin off their collective noses, the rest of us will be paying for it as we always do.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  9. Ray in Nashville

    Yes, but then, I'm biased since I've been out of work for a year and a half.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  10. John from Alabama

    Jack: Yes, I believe unemployment benefits should be extended. It will be January 2011 before unemployment starts to drop to under 8%. Many including republicans in congress believe people will not hunt for jobs if they know their unemployment benefits will be extended. In a small minority this is true, but remember children benefit from their parents unemployment benefits with food, clothing, and shelter.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  11. Independent Joe

    Jack,

    If your laid off and need to feed you family the answer is yes. If have employment and feel your being over taxed then no.

    Independent Joe (Brainerd)

    September 22, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  12. bill rupert

    Yes they should and here's why Jack: This country has reached a point where in order to survive and keep from having anarchy in the streets the federal government is going to have to provide relief for the people out hear who are hurting.
    It well may be that 200 years from now the history books will have titles such as the "Rise and Fall of the United States".
    Another thing: This Health Care debate is a joke. The government should just provide free health care to it's citizens period. Only then will they ever be able to get some control the "out of control" costs.
    Anyhting less is pure B.S. You know it and I know it.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  13. Al Bledsoe in Dallas

    No. I think 10% of America should go homeless and live in tents down by the river like the rest of the world's unemployed. (assume there is a river)

    September 22, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Jimmy in Houston

    Just gotta wonder how we are going to pay for all this? Unemployment is paid for by employers, are they going to raise that tax on businesses?

    September 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  15. JENNA

    Should Congress extend unemployment benefits?

    If we are still allowing outsourcing then we should still be extending benefits.

    JENNA
    Roseville CA

    September 22, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Yes, Jack, they should. Until they pass legislation that taxes companies the full amount of income taxes that WOULD have been paid by US citizens if those jobs had not been off-shored, unemployment benefits are needed. Perhaps if companies were punished rather than rewarded for getting rid of hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country, they would bring those jobs back!

    September 22, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  17. John in Miami

    They should check the political party the person is registered for before giving them unemployment benefits. If they're Republicans, they don't believe that this is a proper function of government, and won't want the money anyway, so we shouldn't insult them by offering. Republicans are anything but hypocrites.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Joe CE

    Yes apply some stimulus money not spent.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  19. Alice,AR

    No!! I know too many people on unemployment that are making very little effort to find a job. They are perfectly happy staying home and collecting a government check until it runs out. Each week they have to report so many attempts to find work. All they do is spend a few minutes finding a few businesses that are not hiring and list them.

    I don't think that everyone on unemployment does this, but a lot of them do. If we put a time frame on them, maybe they will make more of an effort to find work.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  20. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Yes. Absolutely. There are thousands of people facing a very long and cold winter with no hope of finding jobs, and they have to have those benefits to survive.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Considering that its governmental deregulation that got us into this mess in the first place, the government owes the people for this. Its not the peoples fault that they are out of work when there just aren't jobs to be had. Yes, they should extend the benefits. If they don't, they are going to find homeless numbers increase exponentially.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  22. Russ in PA

    Oh, boy, now it starts. More people will loose their jobs as others start to loose their unemployment benefits. Wonder how the government will solve this dilemma? I know, let's print more money!

    One by one, the grains of sand will start to tumble out from under the house of cards. But, just remember that the government can just spend more money, and print more as well! After all, we're in a recovery!

    September 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  23. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Yes......until the job market catches up with the rest of the recovery, unemployment benefits are vital to keep families afloat.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  24. jenny

    Jack,
    As an Employee of the Dept of Labor who deals with this every day I can tell you that unless the President/Congress can create jobs they are going to have to extend benefits to the people who are unemployed. It is sad and scary to see the people who come in appliying for unemployment and doing job searches.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  25. Joanne Buck

    Americans need to get off the couch and learn to be flexible. We have had to be flexbible in our work to make a living (never having claimed unemployment nor anything free). Americans have become lazy.
    Joanne B
    MN

    September 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  26. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Since they have no plans to create any real or lasting jobs, Yes they should. The only way to get the economy moving again is cutting taxes. This "cash for clunkers", spend "$15 mil on a DHS outpost in Nowhere, MT", is nothing more than short term illusions of job creation. When the government money runs out for the project, where will the new money come from? Unemployment benefits, I guess.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  27. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Probably just one more time. The jobs part of the recovery should be coming around fairly quickly.

    What Congress should do is goose the minimum wage a bit more.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  28. Eric in Denver

    No they should start doing something to help the unemployment rate. It looks as if the stimulus is a complete bust just like the president.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  29. ken

    Yes but only for people who don't hate the govenment. I think you should have to sign an affidavit declaring your allegiance to the u.s. goverenment before you can get any money from the government. If you hate the president, the congress and you especially hate government programs then you should not be asking for, or getting federal unemployment because it is a government program.

    DE

    September 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  30. jchildless

    Of course! As long as they do not reap the benefits, themselves!

    September 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  31. mike ca

    Yes,Yes, & Yes.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  32. Terry, Chandler AZ

    No way Jack. This governmental give away programs must stop at ALL levels.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  33. Carl D.

    Jack,
    Yes we should extend unemployment benifits. It's the right thing to do, of coarse our government doesn't know what that is, lining there corrupt pockets is the right thing to do in there eyes, we need to start getting rid of many of the Congressmen, Senators, take there pensions and let these corrupt idiots try to live on unemployment benifits, I for one, am very sick of all our corrupt, Leech government officials.
    Carl in Illinois

    September 22, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  34. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    Well Jack, they've sure helped to create the environment of so many unemployed, and do not appear to be interested in putting many back to work.... so the answer has to be yes.

    What has the "Stimulus Package" really stimulated except contempt for our congress? They have pulled the rug from underneath so many wage earners, let them at least put a band-aid on it...

    September 22, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  35. David in San Diego

    I think it is necessary as long as it remains difficult for unemployed people to find jobs. The country is better off when its people are able to meet the basic necessities of life. All of us benefit.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  36. Bonnie Lough

    My husband and my next door neighbor have been diligently searching for work for over a year and up to this point have been unsuccessful. They are both collecting extended benefits and will be extended again if it passes because of the ue rate in NJ. Although both households have a working partner we would not be able to sustain our households without these benefits including paying my property taxes which have just been increased by 36%!! I assume that this money comes from the economic stimulus package and as far as I can see that is only benefit to come to NJ as it has certainly not provided any jobs (which we would rather have).

    September 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  37. Mike, Michigan

    At age 56, being unemployed is very difficult emotionally and financially. I realize my plight is shared by many. Although unemployment checks aren't much it sure helps me financially. If the taxpayer should be so kind as to help me for another 13 weeks, I would be ever so thankful. My wife helps me with the emotional difficulties.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  38. william fitzwater

    YES;
    I'm unemployed Help me ! There are millions like me poised to flood a already flooded labor market this will depress prices already. Unemployment helps people who have lost their job hopefully until this economic storm clears up.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  39. Stacy st. Augustine fl

    They had better extend it. This is the only bail out that the working man is ever going to see. It will be interesting to see the Republican No votes. I hope the No boys are not forgotten about in 2010 & 2012.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  40. Terrence phila

    Republicans will say no because even though they created this mess the economy is in, they could care less about the condition of average Americans. Fortunately we have the Democrats who will say yes, knowing in reality that the jobs just aren't there.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  41. Darlene pennsylvania

    The republicans (the ones who bankrupted and ruined this economy) ought to vote for extending benefits and they should be taxed accordingly. We lost over 5 million jobs alone in 2008 thanks to their destruction. They should be held accountable.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  42. ken jefferson city mo

    Yes, they should that's the least congress could after all their the ones that didn't regulate wall street, but I bet the tea partier's would say no because it is a crutch that keep's people from getting a job.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  43. Pam holt

    Pam holt foley, al. why not? They keep extending benefits to themselves....

    September 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  44. Ed

    On the sinking ship America, to women and children first.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  45. Rich McKinney, Texas

    They better. They are the ones that created the unemployment with their legislation. Now they can just legislate us some more debt. It has become the American way in Washington.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  46. Scott - San Diego, CA

    Only if we cut off Welfare. Both are meant to be temporary to help people get their lives together. There has to be an end somewhere or else the majority of the country will be on public assistance and who will pick up the tab? Jobs are few and far between, but there is always something, someone can do to help themselves, even if temporary. I personally know several people who have turned down jobs, cause they could make more on unemployment, banking on benefits being extended.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  47. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    After Bush threw billions at Wall Street to keep them in caviar we sure as heck had better put some beans money in the pockets of working America.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  48. Fred R Deleon

    Well, is like this.....NO JOBS.....NO PROBLEM. another 53 weeks for the working people to support not working people. It is very cozy to play the roll of Robin Hood with some one elses money in this case the taxpayers. This will give Obama one more year for not worrying about JOBS FOR AMERICA. I do not blame President Obama. I blame Congress and Senate. We learn from our mistakes, don't we?

    September 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  49. Christian

    Yeah. People that is unemployed needs aid and assisstance in these troubling times.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  50. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Yes, I think they should extend unemployment. I can remember back during the Reagan years when I got laid off. If it was not for Congress extending unemployment I would not have made it. If we can find money to bail out Wall Street then we should find the money to help people who lost their jobs because of Wall Street.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  51. G. Johnson in Shreveport La.

    What do we expect Congress to do: let people suffer without coverage and alone and helpless??Oh wait, I guess I got that confused with health care.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  52. Jack in Florida

    Jack
    Why not? Common sense tells us that eventually the money will all come back in the form of income and sales taxes. Unemployment benefits do not fly overseas to offshore tax havens like executive bonuses might.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  53. george

    Yes, yes, and yes. People have to eat, and pay bills just like the billionaires do. Wouldn't it be a shame if we bailed out all of the Wallstreet bankers, and then let the poorer people fend for themselves. We have plenty of them on the streets now doing that. I just can't wait until the day that the law for tax that the rich are now using to shield their riches is appealed. Boy are we going to hear some screaming !!

    September 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  54. Maria

    Yes, with strict oversight. Children must be fed and many adults, having lost jobs or retired must be taken care of until times change in this country.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    September 22, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  55. Leonard

    Yes, because desperate people do desperate things.

    September 22, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  56. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    We are quick to spend billions or trillions on wars and then question whether or not we should help an American family in need. Wow, we really are looking thru the wrong end of a telescope. The answer is YES, plain and simple.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  57. Dennis North Carolina

    unemployment or welfare, their family still have to live,

    September 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  58. Charlie

    How about deport the illegal immigrants, give the work to the unemployed . Or is it make to much sense?
    Charlie Toronto Canada

    September 22, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  59. Gregory Miami Beach, FL

    Another extension for the unemployed to continue to look for jobs that don't exist is no longer the answer. That money would be better spent paying them to train for the jobs that are supposed to be coming, namely green jobs. There is a vast army of unemployed people who could help us quickly build a green infrastructure and gain energy independence. Afterwards we would have a green economy and they don't call it green for nothing because we would keep a substantial amount of money and jobs at home while keeping the world a little cleaner.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  60. Josh, Charlotte, NC

    I'm sorry, but 52 weeks of non-taxable income is enough.

    What have they been doing for a year? There are jobs out there, but why aren't these recipients being forced to take them. They might not like them or think they're beneath their dignity, but lets move on.

    All these millions drawing these benefits and what do we have to show for it? Just more debt and red ink. How about putting them to work on rebuilding our intrastrutures and pay them a decent wage. Kills two birds with one stone until the economy recovers.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  61. Jill

    No, it would be more effective if Congress stopped the off shoring of jobs instead. We are hemorraghing jobs in this country.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  62. vern-anaheim,ca

    yes they should until the unemployment situation improves.there are many people like me who have been unemployed for nearly 2 years and keep trying to find a job.many of these people are heads of families with kids with wives who are also unemployed,then i guess your only alternitive is to apply for welfare.fortunatly my wife is employed but we don't have the money to spend like we did when i was employed

    September 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  63. lou

    I just read today that Ford is opening a new plant...in CHINA! I guess it's easier to pay unemployment benefits for our citizens than to fight the big corporations on shipping jobs overseas.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  64. Steve

    The guy standing on the corner with his "Will work for food" sign makes more money than I do, and just think it is all TAX Free. Must be a prosperous corner, since there is always someone there. Point is NO – Unemployment benefits have already been extended and it is meant to be temporary, not permanent. There is always something someone can do to make some money..........if they really had to.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  65. Louie C Wingo

    Jack, Unemployment benefits is not the answer to this countrys problem. Yes it is a tempoary fix, but one thing would go a long way to fix the unemployment problem, and that is to bring back to america, all of those jobs that were sent out of this country to China, India, Mexico, etc. and stop all this H1B visas, and control our border to the south. Louie from port richey Fl.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  66. Mike L

    Well it is extend benefits or build more prisons. Maybe we could stop employing U.S. citizens as civil servants. This model of sending work over seas has worked quite well for companies like Dell, At&t, so on. With the monies saved we could prolong benefits for a while. Then of course we can still sell off public property. Save your life style employ a U.S. citizen today.
    Mike L
    Charleston S.C.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  67. Bud@Evansville IN.

    Since none of us have recieved raises for years I think we all deseve a hand out its better'n giving it to go the elites and businesses that have been treating all of us like step children.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  68. Tom from Philly

    Congress should take any money necessary for universal heathcare and unemployment benefits right out of the military so it would be deficit neutral, since all of a sudden that its a democrat running deficits for the common good, it seems to matter to them that their are deficits.

    Old question but still never answered, why was it ok to spend a trillion on a 10 year giveaway to the rich, a trillion for the wars, but when it comes to fixing the economy or helping EVERYONE out, its an issue.... wait i answered my own question the republicans dont care about the common good of the entire country only the special interests and elite....

    When you get laid off because one of your bloggers is willing to work more days per year with less pay than you, why dont you answer that question when you find that there is no job anywhere as good as what you got now...........

    Altho it is the american way to beat someone when they are down, so go ahead deny all future benefits, maybe someone else can get a good deal on the short sale of their house.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  69. Ray Kinserlow

    Absolutely, i cannot think of a better way to spend the stimulus.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    September 22, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  70. Blond Rocker

    From NYC –

    Jack: Yes, Congress should not only extend unemployment benefits, but should increase weekly amount. The top weekly benefit in NYS has been $405.00 per week for the last eleven years. In March, we got a temporary raise of $25.00 thanks to President Obama's stimulus package. Well done!

    You see, in NYC the employers pay the premium for Unemployment Insurance and the NY State government has been passive (I'm being nice here) in approaching corporations to increase their contributions (for eleven years now).

    I'm guessing the reason is the State representatives don't want to anger the corporations in fear they won't contribute to their campaign funds. Sad, eh? In New Jersey and Connecticut the weekly benefit is over $500 per week.

    I've never been unemployed and never without health insurance. I am not sad or depressed. I am very, very scared.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  71. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Congress should most certainly extend unemployment benefits as long as needed. Know this sounds didactic, but true: we must First be compassionate and consider our common humanity. How else can people survive without jobs? How can our children survive? Entrepreneurship won't work if no one can afford to purchase your service. As taxpayers, Americans work hard and pay into the system. The prior administration contributed to trashing the economy. We deserve a safety net if we need one. It's not a handout; it's our own hard-earned money.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  72. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Under the current economy, yes. As one of those who is receiving those extended benefits, they have been essential to allowing us to stay solvent. After paying into the system for 40 years, it's been nice to get an extra 13 weeks of help when it was needed the most.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  73. jyll from TX

    yeah, Jack if the government is gonna keep bailing out the banks and the CEO's of big companys who have received bailouts keep on getting big bonuses...some of their bonuses are more than I make in a year...

    September 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  74. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    Speaking as someone whose family is struggling with finding a job that will cover the rent and bills (which are barely covered by Unemployment benefits) our Congress needs to look at how hard it is for those who want to work but don't have available work before talking about budgetary cost to the country.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  75. Doris/St Louis

    Unemployment benefits should be extended for the same amount of time as it takes wall street to pay back it's bail out.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  76. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    If they can give billions to the financial institutions for their bonuses, they can extend unemployment for the victims of this economy and their children.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  77. Jay in Texas

    Yes, Congress should extend unemployment benefits for as long as they are needed. These workers paid into the system in order to get them, if they became unemployed, and they should.
    Brownwood, Texas

    September 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  78. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    If Congress can keep supporting banks and automakers, it can surely help unemployed Americans. Personally, I think individuals are better investments these days than any corporation.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  79. Paul Austin, Texas

    Well Jack it is the only true type of bail out that will actually help so many still out of work. So I would say yes and maybe they should even start back up the job core.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  80. Tina Tx

    Are these the same ones who are screaming because we bailed out everyone else? If yes then no. Let them eat what they are spewing. No Bailouts.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  81. Cheryl, cocoa,fl

    yes, it is important to extend benefits. I work in a convenience store, and we have 3 or more people a day coming in looking for jobs. Many of these people were working in good positions for "good" companies. When NASA starts laying off people, our economic situation is going to turn down very fast. People need to eat and have a roof over their heads.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  82. Lucy

    Yes. In response to the criticism that unemployment benefits are a disincentive for looking for a job; it is quite clear that this criticism is made with complete ignorance to the emotional impact of having a job and paying your own way has. It's not only a paycheck that a job brings, but something to do with your day, a way to be productive, and a way to contribute. For some, it even brings a sense of purpose and much more. Keeping the morale of unemployed Americans up remains very important, extending unemployment benefits is a small gesture says the government cares. Just think what an angry rebellion from dissatisfied, unemployed Americans against a cold heartless government would be like.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    September 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  83. David , Munhall , Pa.

    NO WAY !!!! After a few weeks or more they will be willing to work for less than peanuts and in a few years we can completely change this country into a 3rd would nation. Think about it .....meager wages , no health care, no pensions,no limit on working hours,no safe job conditions, you owe your soul to the company store (TEF) and if you want to step up in life and have health care and all you can rob a bank and get "FREE" health care,food ,cable TV, and admission to a complete gym . Who needs unemployment checks???

    September 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  84. Rob in NC

    I am confused by the statement the economy is showing signs of recovery. If 10% of the people are out of work, how is that recovery. I would hardly call $1300 a month an incentive not to work. People are hurting, regardless of what the talking heads say, and I can see no reason not to help them if they are looking for work. I know it is more money we don't have, but at least its going to the people.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  85. Jane (Minnesota)

    If they can't spend our tax dollars actually creating jobs for the unemployed, I think they do.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  86. Ted, Aloha, OR

    Yes extend them, and I think Hank Paulson should have to kick in about 100 million of his own money to help, and another 1 billion from Goldman-Sachs. Where is that guy anyway?

    September 22, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  87. Beth, MA

    Psychologically, there is a huge difference between collecting unemployment and being on welfare. In this economy, it is important to maintain the belief that being unemployed is a temporary set back in an individual's work history. Society may not admit it but there is a stigma to being on welfare and that creates a mind-set that employment is going to remain out of reach.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  88. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Why not? Arizona has over 9% unemployment, plus the state does not pay an average of $300 per week....On top of that, when the additional $25 stimulus was added by the Feds, Arizona promptly raised it's state tax to offset the amount of fed taxes lowered since the AZ withholding is based on the fed tax rate!

    September 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  89. Alex in Seattle

    Yes, Jack, as long as there are six people available for every job that hundreds have applied for. It is hard to say the unemployed are milking the system when there are no jobs available. I just wish I qualified, but I quit my job when we moved for my wife's better paying job.

    Jobless in Seattle

    September 22, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  90. moe highland village tx

    Sure,why not ?? We still have good money to give away ?? The unemployment benefits in many cases pay more than working anyway..What a great Country ! ! ! !

    September 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  91. Carla Martin-Wood, AL

    Anyone who has a family and has had to try to just exist on unemployment compensation knows that it is not enough to be anyone's "disincentive" - not even augmented a bit by the feds. I actually had to draw unemployment for a few weeks once. Believe me, you are watched, and you are required to do a certain number of interviews a week. You have to report those interviews, and they are checked. And you are not allowed to turn down a job - even if it may have a negative impact on some future employment you hope for. No one is trying to get away with anything here - certainly not like the moguls who get away with million dollar bonuses for nothing.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  92. Gail, Plano,Texas

    President Bill Clinton extended my unemployment benefits twice when he became President. If not for him, we would have starved! And my son worked two jobs so we could keep our home. So, yes I think that benefits should be extended. Perhaps Congress could take less money. God knows, they don't do anything worthwhile.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  93. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Yet another bill that supposedly won't raise the deficit because of some half-cocked idea that may or may not produce results in the future. How about we start saving money now instead of spending and promising we'll save later? I know, it's a crazy idea, but I think it might just work. This is a noble effort, but like everything else recently, it will fall flat on its face and cost us millions to fix.

    September 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  94. Nick, Phoenix, AZ

    ABSOLUTELY!!

    Every "little guy" could have been bailed out MUCH more cheaply than the raping we all took bailing out the banks, car companies, etc.

    And this country would be in MUCH better shape than it is right now.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  95. Mike Armstrong TX.

    I dont see as if they have any other choice because when people quit getting money there animal instinks are going to take over for survival and all hells going to break loose.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  96. Roy

    The only real alternative is more stimulus or bring back the WPA, but I hear echos of Scrooge from the Teabaggers, "Are their no work houses?"

    Roy
    Port Aransas, TX

    September 22, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  97. Marion/Birmingham

    Obama needs to continue un-employement till he get reelected,or he may be a one termer.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  98. Frank from Peterborough

    Well Jack anyone who claims $300.00 a week in Unemployment benefits will discourage people from seeking work are the same types who think misfortune only happens to the other guy so just let them swim for it.

    In most modern Countries helping the less fortunate is considered a responsibility of society and common decency but after reading some of the blogs and posts in America I'm not sure the United States culture is far enough advanced to cope with this concept.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  99. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    These people have to eat, yes extend the unemployment, these people need bailed out a hell of a lot more then wall street.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  100. Alveta, Maryland

    Yes if you contributed to unemployment and there are job shortage's in your state, then yes. The bills are not going to stop coming monthly so, what else are people to do. Extending unemployment is the american thing to do for our citizens. I'm sure most would rather work so they purchase some things they haven't been able to buy. You dang on sure won't get rich from it.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  101. Sylvia from California

    Jack,

    Yes, absolutely... I am blessed to still be employed and will gladly pay my taxes to help those who are unemployed. It annoys me to no end when I read that the people sent to Washington (Congress) are behaving irresponsible AGAIN with our money.... Just yesterday it was reported that millions of dollars were spent by them and their assistants on vacations overseas.... The arrogance of their behavior is inexcusable!!!! When are we (Democrates and Republicans) going to throw them out for this kind of abuse of power???? These are the idiots we are depending on to get this country back on track and make the right decisions for us......... God Help Us All!!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    I think CONGRESS should pay, After all they are the ones that let jobs go overseas, They should go overseas , May they should draw unemployment.,The same amount we draw.I bet they would not let the jobs go overseas

    September 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  103. Bob

    The unempolyment benefits should be extended.

    If it takes additional taxes to pay for them then the Wall Street Banks who brought about the economic disaster and who were "bailled out", but doing fine now ,should be the entities taxed.

    Bob
    Louisville, Ky

    September 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  104. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Since they have no plans to create any real or lasting jobs, Yes they should. The only way to get the economy moving again is cutting taxes. This “cash for clunkers”, spend “$15 mil on a DHS outpost in Nowhere, MT”, is nothing more than short term illusions of job creation. When the government money runs out for the project, where will the new money come from? Unemployment benefits, I guess.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  105. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Certainly, the market (Wall Street) depends on it. Just like any entitlement like social security, medicare, the military/industrial complex, and the trillions the treasury has supplied for federal and state grants. Those dollars found their way to the market through the consumer.
    May I suggest to those who complain about socialism, the trillion of dollars of taxpayer money and government borrowing has been the mothers milk of our economy. Without taxpayer money and borrowing we would never, never had the now diminishing standard of living we once enjoyed.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  106. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes, our daughter who is an architect, has been out of work for 7 months. She needs the extra unemployment.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  107. pat in lexington, Ky.

    Absolutely, yes! What will unemployed people do if unemployment benefits are NOT extended? Having once been on unemployment for a while, believe me, it's not as good as usual salary, there are no insurance benefits (except COBRA if you can manage it) – it was never so great that I thought I didn't have to keep looking for a job.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  108. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Disincentive for looking for a job. What jobs?
    The American workers need all the help they can get, unemployed
    through no fault of their own.
    We must do all we can as a country to help everyone, and, that
    includes passing Health Care Reform. With unemployment there
    are going to be many more uninsured.
    The politicians against extending unemployment, trying to destroy
    Health Care Reform, need to start representing and caring about the American people.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  109. Don (Ottawa)

    What would you prefer to see from the (once) richest country in the world, compassion – for a few more weeks, or bread lines.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  110. Annie, Atlanta

    It's either that or they will be collecting welfare. And either way its not nearly enough to survive. We need manufacturing jobs and a middle class again.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  111. Mike L

    Yes and out source civil servant jobs to free up funds to pay for it

    September 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  112. Fran, Brimley, Michigan

    Absolutely!!!! It's our previous government's fault for this debacle. They condoned an unregulated Wall Street, and loan companies, banks and the auto industry, which were driven by greed, to spin out of control. Many CEO's took their Golden Parachutes and left the employees without jobs, and home owners bankrupt. If the critics out there think unemployment is something to strive for in lieu of finding a job, then they are sadly out of touch with their fellow Americans!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  113. southerncousin

    Why not, it is just taxpayer money and this congress and administration believe all tax money is theirs and that we are to stupid to know how to spend it. It is a liberal article of faith. They are arrogant and the rest of us are stupid hicks.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  114. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    Absolutely not Jack. Their jobs are long gone and never coming back. As bad as the economy is , these lazy, unemployed whiners need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and get off their rear ends and find a job, anything to make a buck. Sell ice cream, flip burgers, scrub toilets, work as a night watchmen, whatever it takes to pay the bills. I'm self-employed, work 16 hours a day and 7 days a week so I don't care about these couch potatoes, and I'm getting sick and tired of supporting them. I don't get the same luxury. Stop sniveling you slackers, quit living on the dole and GET A JOB!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  115. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    YES! Obama and his crew are bailing out the banking, auto, and very likely soon the newspaper industry, so maybe Americans down on their luck should get a bailout in the form of extended unemployment benefits! One can only hope in 2010 that a few congressman and senators join the unemployment roles, i.e. Harry Reid, etc.,, and send a clear message to those individuals working on Capitol Hill that most Americans think they are doing a lousy job! Let's hear it for term limits!

    Ed Chapman
    Woodbridge,Va.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  116. Mark, Worcester MA

    The money should go into to building the job market, so people can receive paychecks every week. If it goes to extending unemployment "benefits" they'll be just as out of luck in thirteen weeks as they are now.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  117. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Well of course, that's what Democrats do, Jack! The government that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving. As long as they keep giving money for NOT working, guess what? The freeloaders will continue to NOT work! DUH! Why go to work when you can get more through unemployment, food stamps, Medicaid, state programs for the poor, and if all else fails, the charities that abound in our cities. OH, forgot, this works best when you tax the ones who do work to pay for those that don't, that way everyone gets THEIR fair share. RIGHT? Obamanomics 101!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  118. Pam holt

    Pam holt foley al. Yes , considering they have allowed the situations that have caused so many Americans to be unemployed and on unemployment, it"s the least that they can do ...

    September 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  119. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Of course Congress should extend unemployment benefits, it's the right thing to do. We have children and families who have been thrown into situations beyond their control and not because they are lazy and looking for a hand out, they are looking for a hand up.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  120. Talitha

    Our government continues to let companies take jobs over seas, and refuse to expel illegals from our country, so by all means, they should continue to pay unemployment benefits. As bad as our economy is, our politicians never fail to give themselves raises.

    Talitha
    Walnut, Ca.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  121. Barbara ,New Port Richey, Florida

    Instead of the government extending, why don't we just ask the big bankers to give up their bonus this year? Probably have enough left over for health care!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  122. Chris D., NY

    Yes Jack, but this should be the last injection of such a measure, as we are coming out of this recession now.......

    September 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  123. honestjohn in Vermont

    Absolutely not. There is no good reason for us to bailout the unemployed. We already gave the banks, Wall Street, AIG, and car companies more than enough money so that they can HIRE all our unemployed workers and provide them with good paying jobs.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  124. Thomas Livesay

    "I believe in a hand up, not a hand out. Abuse is the problem with Government Run Programs. How about before you get your check or your foodstamps, you pee in a cup?? And on the way out the door you are handed a work assignment that helps reduce local state and federal maintenance budgets.

    When you come back clean, and the supervisor says your a good worker, you become eligible for a paycheck and some food!!

    September 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  125. Ken in NC

    They have to Jack because half of them will be drawing unemployment benefits as they chose to listen to their Insurance Industry supporters instead of their voting supporters.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  126. Mike in Colorado

    Unemployment should be extended.If it isn't it will cause job losses to ramp up again as these broke people will not be able to buy the necessities or maintain any payments. Then we would have a whole new set of folks on unemployment as well as more people on the street.

    September 22, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  127. Jackie in Dallas

    Joanne, et. al.

    Unemployment benefits are not a handout or a freebie from the government. A certain amount of your paycheck is matched by each of your employers to pay that benefit should you need it. Yes, both in 2001 and this year, the government has contributed so as to extend those benefits passed their usual limits because of the economy, but if you hadn't earn any, you didn't get any! Just like if you don't have an insurance policy, it won't pay out.

    You are pretty free with your condemnation of those of us who have on occasion used those benefits. Personally, I resent your attitude that insinuates that I've been lazy. I've worked since I was 16, paid taxes since I was 18, served my country during the Vietnam era, and done all my civic duties, including jury duty and voting. I've volunteered, I've worked jobs well below my capability at times, and still have needed assistance on occasion WHICH I HELPED PAY FOR. Trust me, the amount paid out isn't enough to live on for long! So you might reconsider your snide attitude.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  128. Delia

    Yes, unemployment should be extended. Personally, I feel it's shameful to collect. This is, however, the first time in over 35 years in the workforce, that I've had to take advantage of it. People, like myself, are desperately seeking employment, but the phone doesn't ring and the email replies state only that they've received the application. Jobs are not yet plentiful, where everyone who wants to work can find one. It must be extended to provide another stop-gap for home foreclosures, homelessness and an increase in crime.

    Delia
    Katy, TX

    September 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  129. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I am 55 years old, and have never collected an unemployment check in my life. I wouldn't know where to go.

    But, I am in a profession that largely slips through the cracks of government assistance ... commission sales. You don't get laid off at a car dealership. You either 'make it,' or go away on your own. I can't tell you how many I've seen just 'disappear,' and never collected a dime from unemployment.

    So, why would I care about the folks whose jobs are associated with periodic lay-offs?

    Rick, Medina, OH

    September 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  130. STAN - ILLINOIS

    Yes it should be extended. If you have ever been unemployed you would know it is necessary. Regaen, Bush and Bush shipped many jobs out of our country, so it is going to be hard to get a job. Maybe they would like to contribute to the jobless.
    Let's vote out all of the republicans in 2010.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  131. Ryan

    Should Congress keep extending unemployment benefits?
    I think the current state and federal extension is long enough.
    If you cant find a job after a year, go back to school, and learn something new. I live in California and that is what over 53,000 out of work people are doing here.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  132. Dae in Mill Hall PA

    It is money that will go right back into our economy. Unemployment is only hafe of what the worker made on his job. Extending the benefits will keep this money going into our economy. This could save or create other jobs.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  133. Gigi

    Yes, they should be extended...We have paid into this insurance program...after all who allowed all the problems that made the rich richer and the middle class poorer. With all the bailouts to banks and mortgage companies Loans are still not affordable because of the high fees the banks are charging. Low interest is nice, but when they tack on thousands of dollars for fees you are right back owing your soul to the bank or mortgage company for life. They are not planing to give up those fat bonus or salaries. And our jobs are going to continue to go over seas because the government sold their soul for the almighty dollar. Then spread the word that if you got in trouble it was all your fault. There is a payday for everyone someday. Because you can't take it with you, Fat Cats. He that giveth can also taketh it away.

    Oregon

    September 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  134. Conor in Chicago

    Now that I think about it a little more I really don't see the point. The plan all along for the Neo-Conservative movement (largely but not entirely Republican) has been to enslave the American worker for their corporate benefactors and this is simply stage 3 of the process. Now corporate America and the government are so wed to one another that they are even debating in the Supreme Court on how to loosen campaign finance laws so that corporations can directly and openly fund political candidates. They've largely destroyed unions, have kept wages depressed for a generation, have let jobs go overseas in the name of "globalization", and allowed everything else to go up in price. Obama is basically powerless to stop the inevitable conclusion of an economic theory put in place that served the rich of this country (and the globe) for 30 years leading to none other than a major concentration of wealth that will only be redistributed through revolt.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  135. Robert Meskill

    Yes, So we can starve to death with dignity. Then who's going to pay there wages?

    September 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  136. SLM

    We would need to extend them if Obama had created all those jobs he promised to create. Government can help by encouraging business growth, instead of using them as their personal ATM.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  137. Just me

    Did I miss something? Why didn't the stimulus bill address this? The stimulus bill was written at a time when our elected leaders were tell us that we were in the midst of the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression .... why, in a 1,000+-page stimulus bill, did they not address extending unemployment benefits until our economy and jobless rate improved?

    I'll tell you why ... if unemployment benefits are not extended, people will eventually run out of benefits and will no longer be counted as unemployed, even though they may not have found a job. The jobless rate statistics only count the people who are receiving unemployment benefits, so once those folks are dropped, the unemployment rate will be lowered and everyone can turn a blind eye to reality and say - "see, the unemployment rate dropped, the stimulus is working" even though the same number of people will still be out of work.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  138. Nancy, Tennessee

    Unemployment checks as a disincentive to finding work is laughable. Who can survive for very long on unemployment. The state of Tennessee pays $175.00 unemployment max and with the $25 from the federal government unemployed people get a whopping $200 per week. I challenge anyone to find a way to feed, clothe, house, and look for a job on that amount. Tennesseans want to get off unemployment and off the poverty list as soon as possible. The jobs are not here. It appears that other states like Michigan and Ohio are facing some of the same woes. The jobs have dwindled and that huge sucking sound is the sound of jobs that left the country.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  139. SLM

    We wouldn't need to extend them if Obama had created all those jobs he promised to create. Government can help by encouraging business growth, instead of using them as their personal ATM to fund all their entitlement programs.

    CNN – Corrected version

    September 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  140. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Yes continue helping the unemployed, it is time to deal with the consequences of our collective actions and in-actions.

    It was and is the financial institutions and corporate greed, the governments blind eye, and all of us electing the same old policy makers and non-reformists over the last dozen years that has created our plight.

    Maybe if we hit everyone's pocketbook we will see the need for a real conscious change.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  141. Ken from Campbell River

    Yes. The government gave billions of dollars to the people that didn't need it, so of course they should give some to the people that do.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  142. Toni from OK

    If we can bail out Wall Street, this country sure should help the middle and poor who lost jobs after years of service.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  143. George from Tennessee

    Why shouldn't they be extended? Congress is using our tax dollars to enrich themselves, their friends, thier families, and thier contributors. So why shouldn't the working class of America reap some benefit? It should be extended and increased.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  144. DON, TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN

    Why not? We gave money to the banks and to Wall Street and they are still crooked as hell! This is what should have happened all along... the common man (and woman) should have been helped.

    Oh, and let W pay for it. He and his cronies are the ones who got us into this mess! Didn't the rock band U2 sing: Eat The Rich? I think it was US.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  145. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Absolutely!! How are they supposed to support themselves and their families? Do we really want families to starve because they cannot afford food; do we want families out on the street because they cannot pay their rent? Remember, desperate people do desperate things.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  146. Jackie in Dallas

    Rufus,

    UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS ARE NOT THE DOLE! The dole is Welfare. Those of us who work for companies are paying for that unemployment insurance! Employers match that money. It goes into a state fund and is administered on the state level, not the federal level. It is comparable, in some ways, to health insurance...you pay in in the hopes that should you need it, it will pay out. Of course, unlike our uncontrolled rapacious, grasping, and greedy health insurance companies, the states are not allowed to cancel your insurance just because you need it! For every quarter you work, you earn a certain amount of benefits - and believe me, it is not all that much!

    You people should really consider doing some research. The definition of the dole is "gift of food or money in charity distributed or doled out (the dole); specifically, various kinds of payments from government funds". Welfare can be considered a form of dole, I suppose, but the term "dole" is more likely used in by citizens of the United Kingdom.

    To receive unemployment benefits, on the other hand, you have to have worked and earned benefits, you have to apply and qualify and stay qualified, and you have to do a serious work search. Mine required five contacts a week (I averaged about 10). Randomly, the state (not the FED) audits your work search, and you have to be registered through your state's workforce commission (well, that's what they call it in Texas), and are expected to search the state's database and respond to jobs in your career or risk losing your benefits. Every week you are unemployed, the lower a percentage of your previous salary or earned income you are expected to accept. You must report in on a regular basis, sometimes you are required to attend seminars or meetings to discuss your work search, and if you turn down an offered job without a darn good reason, you risk losing your benefits, as well.

    In addition, being on Unemployment Insurance can allow you to take training courses to help get you a new job, and to support your family.

    Oh, and the last point - UI benefits are TAXED. Welfare payments are not.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  147. frankie

    Yes. Not the least reason to help people now is that we will feel better over the coming holiday season, and the retail industry won't have a disastrous holiday season again, which could drag down the economy. Money in the hands of low-income people can only trickle upwards, it's not like the money of wealthy people that only trickles down if they want it to.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  148. Bryan from Kansas City

    Yes, the economy is still in shambles, but getting a little better. Remember unemployment benefits are one of the social safety nets are great country has, that makes the USA stand above and beyond other countries.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  149. wade

    Absolutely, I get sick when I see the new G.M. commercial and the new CEO says I quote(we are putting our money where our mouth is) someone needs to remind him that it's not there money, but the money of U.S. taxpayers that all really hurting right now. Can he possibly be sharing pills with Rush Limbaugh!

    September 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  150. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    Yes, yes, yes they should. Government along with the corporate lobbyists and the corporations have cut deals that cut jobs. Not only should benefits be extended but they should also provide dancing lessons !

    September 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  151. toni boutwell, myrtle beach, SC

    since jobs are still hard to find the benefits have to be extended. It's going to take more than a few months of sane leadership to fix 8 years of corporate controlled corruption, we're on the way to recovery but not there yet.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  152. Joan in Lithia Springs GA

    It's more important for the President to be liked outside of the USA//People are more willing to work with him if they like him. He listens to other people's point of view. According to his book Audacity of Hope he has always tried to get people to like him so that he can get the things that he wants.I believe it's called compromise. Joan from Georgia

    September 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  153. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)

    Jack,

    None of the STIMULUS funds created jobs

    Extend them but only @ half the rate.

    This could get ugly

    September 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  154. Betty Galeles

    I wonder just how many people saying "no" to this question considere themselves christians and go to church every Sunday. If they are, and they do, they have obviously forgotten Christ's teachings. I think everyone who has said "no" should be forced to be out of a job for at least a year, it will certainly change their way of thinking. What has happened to Americans? Have we become so arrogant, so uneducated, uninformed and ignorant that we believe everyone on unemployment is lazy? Be careful, what you sow you will also reap. Yes Jack, unemployment should continue, if Congress can give itself a pay raise it can extend benefits to thos who are certainly living on far less than the average Congressman or Senator makes.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  155. Chris - Seattle

    As long as corporate America continues to outsource for talent, either bringing workers from India or taking the work to India, and other countries, then the US Government should do as much as possible to prevent families from becoming homeless. There are individuals that are milking the UI benefits they're getting, but they're also legitimate cases and more should be done to differentiate the two. I personally feel that we should prevent so much outsourcing of US jobs under so-called globalization, especially when some areas are seeing 15% unemployment, you really can't blame what corporate America is doing on the US Government!

    September 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  156. mark kjergaard

    We're not yet recovered from th Bush regime's economy, to cut people off now would be a disaster. We need more spending, and without thier benefits those who need the most would be the least able to spend.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  157. Linda in Arizona

    Just ask yourself what's going to happen to the unemployed if they don't extend their benefits. Of COURSE they should, unless you want to see tent cities and soup lines again. There are no jobs, hello.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  158. John from Alaska

    Yes Jack they should. If those in government believe it appropriate to bail out the richest among us (bankers and investors), than the neediest among us certainly deserve help when we are at rock bottom. Besides, unemployment benifits are the best way to keep the stimulus going. That goes for health insurance also. Medicare for all!

    September 22, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  159. Al from SoCal

    Yes but after so many weeks the amounts should be no more than what welfare pays. Too many people are incentivize not to find work because they would make more on unemploment than a min wage or lower paying job.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  160. Janelle in Missouri

    Yes unemployment benefits should be extended, but there needs to be some reform in the way benefits are paid. If you can work part-time, or find a job that doesn't pay as much as your unemployment benefits, then you should be able to take it and just get the difference instead of not working because you'll lose your benefits and not make as much as your benefits were.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  161. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    No way let these poor Americans learn to steal like the Banks, Insurance industry,and our congress men and senators

    September 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  162. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Yes, for awhile. The $$ that go into unemployment checks are returned several times over when they are spent to shore up the economy.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  163. kallie

    Only people who need these benifits should say one word for or against this. Anyone saying its close to or is welfare is an idiot. These are people who work and then don't. Scared, with children, people who depend on them. These people pay into this fund and it should be be there when they need it. They should not be made to feel less that or lazy or greedy because they lost there job. When you say no to the extention then they will be forced to go on welfare, and then they will have you to thank for that.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  164. Craig from Arizona

    Absolutely not. Welfare is the next safety net. I have never heard of anyone starving in this Country. If 20 million illegal aliens can find work, I would think an America with a good command of the English language and a High School Diploma might be able to do the same.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  165. Lynda, Greenville NC

    As much as it is a crappy situation for unemployed people, I think at a point we have to cut them off the payroll after they have lost their job. There has to be a limit. And saying it doesn't cause a deficit isn't really fair either – because employers, who we want to try to hire people, are the ones paying for it now and if its extended. If we want employers to pay new employees we have to stop taking money out of their hands with more taxes.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  166. Laura , Cockeysville, MD

    Yes as long as they can provide proof that they are doing everything they can to find a job. Looking for a job is like fishing; the more lines you cast, the better your odds are of catching something. If this makes it on the air, I just want to say "don't let the turkeys get you down Jack and I'll keep watching".

    September 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  167. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Yes Jack!

    this is one of the way to help people while they get back on track! It is in a way a temp bailout in order to get out! People who think it will stop people from getting back to work have a tiny bit of a prejudice attitude towards people.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  168. Nelly from Fort Lauderdale, FL

    They bailed out failed businesses like AIG, Citibank, GM, and Chrysler, why not the people and especially when we need it the most? Remember Jack: A country of the people, by the people and for the people.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  169. Debra~Arizona

    (Sarcasm On)
    No Jack,
    We should just let the "free market" work 'it' out. Isn't capitalism grand!
    (Sarcasm Off)

    September 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  170. Will Bean

    The government never gives you anything with one hand, without taking it back with the other hand. In this case, they take it from the former employer, to pay the employee for something that happened because of the governments rules or regulations they have instituted.
    The gov. should take the stimulus money that they have held back for more government hire's, and extend that to the unemployed and aged, who are getting the shaft with medicare.
    bill in california

    September 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  171. David Howe

    No. We're already $12,000,000,000,000 in debt. It's time to stop giving money away.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  172. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Thank you to Paul Begala...Alex...same song....! After a while you believe your own song...that keeps on repeating the same old way of doing politics! No wonder...republicans cannot find their new voice! In fact, they wrongfully represent the private sector ideals that are ahead of them in this century!

    September 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  173. Steve

    Yes Jack, I've been unemployed for 10 months and don't know where me or the rest of us that are in the same boat are going to find work. Beside they've paid everyone else, We need a bailout too. At least it would be for a good cause.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  174. Bruce - Delaware

    No. Let it crash. Start over.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  175. Bob - Rawson Argentina

    Sorry but my answer (I have had to use unemployment benefits before) is "No." And for the reasons stated. There are (unfortunately) a large number of people that scam the system and a number that are not "pushed" to try harder or accept less.

    As tought as it sounds we can not support all those people for as long as it might take and that tax they mentioned?? Is it a bottomless pit? Some businesses that pay into it are faced with hard times also.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  176. charlie

    Extend Unemployment restrict welfare

    September 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  177. Julia, Newton NJ

    If it helps a family whose main breadwinner has been laid off and are struggling to make ends meet, then yes.
    If it helps a single mother feed her young child, then yes.
    If it helps a young person just out of college having to support themself, and can't find a job in this crappy economy, then yes.

    Do I need to go on, Jack? Americans have become so selfish that we refuse to think of anything that may help another person who is less fortunate than we are, even in our own country. It's time we woke the hell up.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  178. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    Of course, who better than those that have actually worked to receive money? This welfare and disability is what should be stopped.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  179. Jasmine in Germany

    Difficult question, Jack. Your photo shows a "JOBS" publication with plenty of pages of offerings. Whatever happened to the American mentality that it is shameful to be unemployed, that it is okay to take on a lower position while you search for the real thing? I'm afraid some have become comfortable with being unemployed by blaming the meltdown. On the other hand, we want to protect our citizens (some call this "socialism") who are hard working folks really in need. As far as the deficit goes; what has FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax) done with all the money they raked in over the past eight years?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  180. Reid

    Absolutely, Jack. Heck, lets just pay everyone not to work so Obama can take care of us all and president-for-life.
    P.S. Did you know that unemployment benefits are taxed!? Smart, huh.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  181. Francisco Pagan (New York)

    I think Congress should. There aren't any jobs so what are people to do? I know there are some people taking advantage of the system collecting and staying home sleeping all damn day but for the vast majority they are looking and looking hard but no luck. This is why we pay taxes so that the money can be used for something good.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  182. Jimmy

    Of course they should Jack. Unemployment benefits is the best stimulus check the government can give since it goes directly back into the economy via living expenses that many Americans are struggling to pay!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  183. Ken in NC

    They have to Jack because half of the Senate will be drawing unemployment benefits as they chose to listen to their Insurance Industry supporters instead of their voting supporters.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  184. Aaron from Minnesota 15 yrs old

    Of course we need to continue this. Without unemployment benefits, people won't be able to look for jobs, they will be looking for food and a place to live. Only a fool wouldn't continue this!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  185. Mike D.

    Yes, Jack, many of us are still out of work and need to pay our bills.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  186. Stephanie, Davie, FL

    NO. I've known people on unemployment. The hardworking ones were off of it ASAP & took the first available job – even if it was a bad one. The lazy ones stayed on it as long as they were allowed. Extending it would only help the people who didn't plan on finding a new job anyway or are too picky to find ANY job that pays!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  187. Carol Sheehan, Red Bank, NJ

    Or what? Isn't the next logical step welfare?????

    September 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  188. Steve in Chula Vista, CA

    Their idea to extend the unemployment tax on businesses to cover more weeks of unemployment is a job killer. As a small business owner in California, we are hanging on by a thread and may not make it if things don't turn around soon. To extend and add more taxes will deter us from doing ANY hiring, the jobs lost won't be easily replaced.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  189. Ray

    If anyone thinks that Unemployment is a disincentive to looking for a job, then they really should try it. Some people are so out of touch with the reality of the situation. It is not like there are decent or even not decent jobs out there. Day Laborers don't get work either!!!! Unemployment is 13.5% in Nevada. Thank god for the little money I get.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  190. Diane Prater

    yes yes and yes I didnt ask for this .. i dont want it .. but .. how the hell can a single person survive ?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  191. Tim - Mountain View, California

    Absolutely. Unemployment in California (my state) has reached 12 percent. Without assistance, some families will be living in parking lots. Hey Jack, got an extra room or two at your place?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  192. Charles -NJ

    No more red ink !!!!! It has to stop somewhere. I feel bad about it but you can't give what you don't have.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  193. Nadeen

    Yes. Congress should extend UI benefits to all states. The economy may have made a turn but it is not full speed ahead. There are many that will become homeless if they lose their benefits.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  194. Jerry Davis

    "The bill’s sponsor says it won’t add to the deficit because it would extend a federal unemployment tax paid by employers"

    Hey as long as it doesn't add to the deficit and it's only passed on to employers it should be fine! Maybe we could increase the tax to the employers until they can't afford any more new hires and then everyone can get unemployment.

    I love the liberal silver lining, "Don't worry we can tax our way out of this!".

    J. Davis
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  195. Mark, Ga.

    Of course Congress should approve the extension. Anyone who thinks that getting $300 or less a week is a disincentive to seek employment has their head buried in the sand. I would venture to guess that most people made a lot more than $300 a week before the massive layoffs started. If there are doubts add up the house note, car pymt, gasoline, utilities, groceries and other incidental and then tell me that $300 is enough to keep you fat and happy.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  196. Norma

    If they don't want more people sleeping out in the streets then YES. People that think that unemployment benefits keep people from looking for a job, never received the benefit money that is usually much much less than what was received from working. The benefits may be just enough to keep a roof over their families head. It may be just enough to keep that car payment going, so that they can look for another job. Unemployment is a necessity especially right now when millions of people need it.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  197. andy mollman

    they appsolutely need to extend unemployment benefits. there are family's out there that cant even provide a gallon of milk, when the rich bastards on the hill don't have to worry about providing for there families.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  198. Raymond Detmann

    Yes Yes extend the benefits and Fund more Job Training

    September 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  199. Chris

    Yes, they should. They are the jerks that made me unemployed after 19 years of service. I have applied for over 50-100 jobs for the last year and still can't find a job.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  200. Steven Tsomedis

    To all who say that benefits shouldnt be extended, WAKE UP! I am 43; this is the first time I have been unemployed since I was 15. I have sent out many hundreds of resumes since Sept 2008. I am now trying to start my own business. Nothing seems to work so far. I would love to be making 3x by unemployement benefit by actually working again! There an incentive for you! Those that are safely employed should count themselves as lucky and stop their armchair "tough love".

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  201. Chuck

    Yes, with the unemployment rate so high and jobs so few, another blow to those families income should be avoided at all cost.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  202. Ken Kerckhoff

    No. – paying people for not working is no way to encourage job-hunting, especially at or near minimum wage.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  203. Prentice

    YES! Definitely YES! YES! The extra $25 can buy baby formula, diapers, pay a water bill and provide some level of comfort to a bad situation.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  204. Ed from Montana

    Normally I would say no, but in this special case, I agree to extend benefits. When you get down to it, the current unemployed are the very last people that should be blamed, or suffer from, the current economic situation. Big businesses has a hand in the problem, big finance had a hand, and even the government's failure to investigate and regulate contributed to the downturn in the economy. About the only people who didn't cause this problem are the ones in the unemployment line.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  205. Paul Armstrong

    I was laid off on 12/31/2006 from the real estate company I worked for. I had worked and paid taxes for 25 years.

    Despite my best efforts, job interviews did not result in another job. My savings ran out and then my ability to pay for medical insurance ran out.

    That's when the rheumatoid arthiritis.

    Since I was receiving EXTENDED unemployment benefits, I could not get on Medi-Cal.

    So I deformed without medical care over the next few months caught between a rock and a hard place.

    Once my unemployment ran out, I was eligible for Medi-Cal.

    Now I am an unemployed IT engineer with a deformed left hand, an impacted right hand, and arthiritis throughout my body with no unemployment and on Medi-Cal which has been cut back to treat only to stop from getting worse but not to actually fix any damage that has occurred.

    My life is ruined. I have to live out this nightmare until I die now.

    We have to make changes in this country people so my tragedy doesn't happen to someone you know and like... who knows maybe you.

    I never saw it coming.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  206. Sonny Onas (Netherlands)

    Yes.

    The opposite is continued poverty, that draws out the worst in individuals that could lead to all sort of adverse effect to the country..

    In anycase, the extention is temporary from individual to individual, meaning as the economy starts to come out of recession, individual needs on welfare will continue to drop....

    Thats Good Goverance.. What do you think Jack?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  207. Mike, Queens NY

    YES! Please! I'm 56 yrs. old, my 401k is gone, I have medical problems and I've never had this hard a time finding work in my life.
    After all unemployment cash goes right back into the economy.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  208. Jim Green, Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    NO-but not for the reasons you outlined–we need to change the system–specifically, we need a mutual insurnace owned by the employed–to provide the funds to hire/train the unemployed–and the policy cost could be deducted from our taxes because this is a cost- effective use of our taxes (a savings on food stamps, welfare, etc)–but no one is listening....see web page above.....

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  209. Janiene

    Absolutely, Congress should extend unemployment benefits. There aren't enough jobs out there. My father has been unemployed on and off for the last year and simply can't find work right now. It's getting dire. He's now looking for work a 3-hour commute one way. Once his unemployment benefits are gone, there is no way my parents will economically survive. We need to extend the benefits temporarily and create more jobs.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  210. James Richmond, VA

    Yes, the government should continue to help those without jobs especially since many people lost their jobs because of government actions. The lack of regulations, unfair trade practices and a plethora of other government actions have contributed to the dismal economic conditions we now have.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  211. Jean B

    Yes, I think the Congress should extend the Unemployment Benefits another 13 weeks so that those who have lost their jobs can at least be able to keep their life somewhat glued together during this terrible crisis.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  212. Don

    I think they should extend the benifits. Believe me I'm laid off and there are no jobs to be had at least in my area. What people don't undrstand is that everyday peoples unemplotment benifits expire and they are taken off the books. This means the unemployment rate is actually much higher than 9.7%.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  213. Laura Tyler

    We absolutely need an extension in SC, where our unemployment is pushing 12%. I've been unemployed for 2 years, competing for work with lots of other educated and qualified folks, and let me tell you that there are a lot of hands grabbing for the last chicken leg on the table.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  214. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    No.Jack if you are on Social S you don't need a check.I no a man that get Sosial S ,a retirement check from Navistar and had a part time job, got layed off and is now drawing unemployment check. That what I call double dipping.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  215. lee

    Yes congress should extend unemployment funds Jack. What are we not realizing that people and their children next meals may depend on this! Congress should use this as a way of showing a "direct" response towrds helping American citizens during this economic downturn. Cash for clunkers, and the 8,000 dollar tax credit for new homeowners were and are great programs, but these programs directly affect individuals that are in positions to make these purchases. What about those people who can't?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  216. Fred Dean Weaver Oklahoma City

    Jack yes they should heep unempolyment benefits going but no! NO! republicans will vote NO! Jack you said encomy improving Republicans will call l Reyou a Liar! GO JACK GO OBAMA !!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  217. Mark (From Michigan)

    Congress should keep extending them because while opponents to these extensions say that they are a disincentive, and while the economy may be improving, the job market isn't.

    Fact is that there are six people applying for every job. Businesses aren't hiring and retailers are skeptical of hiring new employees when they still have a dismal belief in the strength of the economy.

    Until businesses and retailers start hiring again, the economy will get worse. If these extensions don't get passed, that means there's millions of unemployed workers who don't have a job, aren't receiving unemployment extensions and which will affect the economy in a negative way.

    Also, I might add that those receiving unemployment extensions are boosting the economy and without these extensions, it will have a detrimental and cascading effect on the U.S. Economy and start a freefall process that could have an even bigger impact on the economy.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  218. mike

    Yes they should, Jack. and just not because I'm unemployed. you still don't the benefits people receive on welfare. Its not my fault they sent my job to Mexico with no chance of ever getiing a position I once had. . I think it should go on as long as necessary or the problem will get much worst then it is now..

    September 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  219. Jose, Elizabeth NJ

    Unemployment benefits most definitely should be extended! If the gov't can find a way to bailout to bumbling and not-quite-innocent corporations too big to fail, they should also cast a safety net catching the average joe who is genuinely a victim of this state of affairs.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  220. Brandon, Illinois

    to those "critics" who say that we should not extend unemployment, how many of them have lost their jobs and found new work?! i have applied to over 200 jobs and only had 3 interviews. they should step in our shoes and i bet they wouldn't have any objections then.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  221. Sheilah

    Its easy for some to say no for they have jobs...I suppose I was one of those up until I lost mine a year ago with a baby on the way.....still searching every single day. My husband and I are struggling and the unemployment checks are far from enough.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  222. Marlo Carthen

    Yes, they should extend the benefits. I am among the unemployed and to those who say they shouldn't because they are under some stupid notion that people who are unemployed are not out there looking, I say YOU ARE WRONG!!! I for one do not enjoy being unemployed and making less than half a week on unemployment. I am up every morning searching and sending resumes hoping for at least an interview. However, the phone is just not ringing. If it wasn't for my unemployment benefits, I would be homeless and alot of others too.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  223. Fin

    Absolutely, I find it insulting...whoever said it, that extending would be a dis-incentive for people to search for work. I've applied to no less than 300 jobs since January, including on the federal government's website; only to be told that I'm eligible, but not referred. That's with two Masters degrees and 13 years of work experience. I plan to attend yet another job-fair tomorrow (after having attended one each week this month). I'm sure I'm not alone in this never-ending search for employment.

    This is about survival; Congress should extend these benefits NOW.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  224. John Brumbaugh

    The extension of benefits is badly needed. The only jobs being created now are the "burger flipping" jobs at $8/hr. I am an experienced professional and can find no real job opportunities yet.
    Anyone who thinks living on unemployment benefits of about $300/wk while you look for work is fun should try it. We need help in just surviving until the economy starts producing jobs again.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  225. walkman56

    Yes. It's long time that the government of the United States started doing something for the average joes that take it in the shorts constantly from big business and in office too long corrupt politicians. If the government can waste billions on dumb wars,pet projects.etc.,they can surely help the unemployed,put in that position by their campaign donors,with a measley couple of hundred dollars a week.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  226. Lynn

    Anyone who thinks that unemployment is a disincentive to work has never been unemployed. It is the most humilating experience to have step into the halls of hundreds of hopeless looking people, get treated like a blip in the states standard operating procedure and feeling like you just begged for your next meal. Whats worse is to be kicked while you are down by having your unemployment check be taken away. We as a country need to extend these benefits as long as necessary to get people back to work. (Woodstock, GA)

    September 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  227. Jake

    Well Jack how can the millions of people that are now jobless and homeless fully pursue happiness which was this nation's idea. I'm jobless myself and it seem the only jobs that aren't in harms way are those in office city up to the federal level. Those jobs continually pay very well. So why shouldn't those that are in the position to help others (as their job states they do)?

    America will never be the dream it was thought of many years ago without the sense of heart.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  228. terence chapman

    Why not? America has the finances to aid other countries in need. Wall Street received a bailout, what about Main st.?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  229. Alena

    Definitely extend benefits. Too many people, including both of us, can not survive without it. We need time to ride out this economic situation until the companies start hiring again. We're not passive/inactive passengers, either. We are actively looking for jobs, even out of state.

    AND... Don't let them convince you that education has not been affected. I just got a Ph.D. and cannot find a job. Teachers are being laid off and they are packing too many students into classrooms, all so the districts can survive financially.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  230. FJC

    Yes Jack, I was layed off from my job over a year ago and decided to go school to better secure my future career. I would like to be able to just focus on my school work right now, and not worry about looking for jobs that are simply not there and also risk losing the little bit of stuff that I own.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  231. Cathy Winter

    Yes, my husband is an unemployed worker in the construction industry and every week he checks for work on line and there are no jobs posted for him to apply for. Companies who are posting jobs are just posting them in the hopes that they get work they will be ready. The recession may be over for some but it definately is not over for many families in this country.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  232. Big Tim

    Yes they should extend unemployment benefits, But To All STATES....what about the states with an unemployment rate between 7 and 8.4 percent, all states pay taxes not just 25-30 states....Congress shouls extend unempployment benefits to all unemployed people who have exhausetd their benefits and are still unemployed....basically I loose because I collect from the state of new hampshire but live in mass.....under the current bill mass will get the extra 13 weeks but new hampshiire does not....ALL STATES should get the extra 13 weeks

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  233. Jai

    Yes unemployment benefits should be extended. If the government can offer cash for clunkers and bail the banks out it needs to bail us little people out. At least, you are covering this issue. I read many blogs today where this issue is not getting coverage. Thanks Jack for covering this issue.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  234. Ellyn Zaia

    Fine if those of us generating the money don't have to pay higher taxes to fund the extensions.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  235. seth

    Those looking for jobs need help. The benefit of $300 plus a $25 dollar government extra is only about $8.10 per hour and taxes are taken out of that. Those that think this will prevent those of us from looking have never worked for minimum wage or have never been unemployed. I would bet that this wage is much less than what many earned before losing their last job. The economy will recover and we will get work. Without this meager payment things would be much worse

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  236. Tomaz (Slovenia)

    No. The generally idea of helping people is good, but in most cases people who receive the help are not willing to do what is necessary to make a living on their own. They just point the finger on the government and expect that somebody else will organize their lives as is the case in the former socialistic country that I come from.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  237. Dwight

    6 jobs for every unemployed person, hmmm let me think. They dont really need shelter, food, the ability to go out and find work. This would be an opportunity for them and their families to lose a few lbs. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHO WOULD OPPOSE AN EXTENTION?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  238. Michael

    Of course congress should cut-off unemployment benefits to these lazy people who have worked through thier adult lives and lost their jobs thanks to Wall Street greed. This will assure increased forclosure rates, backruptcies and suicides. Gotta keep the Realtors, Lawyers and Undertakers busy, don't we?
    Michael
    Camp Hill, Pa.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  239. Frederick

    Yes, and send the bill to Bush and his administration for creating this mess!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  240. my

    Without jobs and without unemployment benefits people will have no choice but to turn to crime. Either extend the benefits or build more jails. Unemployment benefits are about $18,000 a year, the cost to keep someone in jail is about $30,000 a year. Do the math. Your move

    September 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  241. Paul

    YES, they should extend unemployment benefits. Honest people are trying to find jobs, either employers are not hiring or some folks are limited to what they are quailfied for. so they go back to school, to try and make themselves more marketable so they can get back to work, by extending benefits it gives these people the time they need to accomplish that. while still trying to find even part- time work.

    Paul
    Florida

    September 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  242. Butch

    If congress can bail out billions to Wall Street , GM, Chrysler, AIG and all the banks.

    Why not bail out the unemployed with an extension who did not cause this mess but are the victims.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  243. dan in Texas

    I live in Texas and I'm one of the 6
    The future president of our state after we secede, says this kind of welfare costs business' too much in the long run.He can't take any political chances by looking out for Texans, so it doesn't matter to me.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  244. Shelby/ BELLWOOD.ALABAMA

    yes Jack congress should pass this extension,each worker has this
    taken from his pay each pay period. why keep it from him/her. I worked 50years and never collected one dollar of unemployment even
    though it was taken out of my pay each pay period.yes,yes,yes they deserve this help.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  245. Harry

    Hi Jack,

    The short answer is YES! The unemployment situation is Extremely Bad! We are desperate for jobs – even in Baltimore County, where chronic unemployment is unusual. For anyone to suggest that receiving unemployment benefits decreases one's incentitive to find work, they are completely wrong. Only someone who hasn't been unemployed recently would make such a rediculous comment. If anything, unemployment benefits need to be increased to cover the higher cost of living these days. Unemployment benefites should be extended indefinitely until everyone who is seeking employment is re-employed – no ifs, ands, or buts. Just do it!

    Harry, Baltimore MD

    September 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  246. LILIAN O.

    Yes! Since November/December I was laid off, I have being looking for job without any luck. With unemploye husband, two infants, one infant and one toddler, my extended unemployement will run out next month. I am scared about what will happen to us. I have put two business plan together, but have no money to get me to startup.

    Lily

    September 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  247. Jeremy, Ohio

    Jack,

    I'm one of those people on the extension right now. If I didn't have it, my kids and I would have to find a shelter to stay in. As a single father, I don't have a wife or someone I can fall back on if it gets any worse. It's so bad here that even my brother-in-law, who is a district manager for Taco Bell, could do interviews for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week and not be done with all the applications for 2 months solid.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  248. Jim Critser

    Jack,

    At some point unemployment insurance is missing the point. There is a time and place. Now is not it. As a self-employed it doesn't apply anyway. The point is the economy is stalled and employers need an incentive to hire. Making a profit is a good one. Making a future profit because the economy improves is the best one.

    Better to provide employment incentives rather than extending another insurance program destined to go bankrupt.

    Jim NH

    September 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  249. Melodie Watson

    Absolutely No!!!
    This is insanity – where's the money coming from?? Don't these people realize that their grandchildren will end up paying for this??
    I recently saw a CNN story on 2 more than capable people out of work – who both admitted, they could get jobs, either waitressing or in retail but that their Unemployment pays more...- so here we have 2 people capable of getting jobs but they choose not to..do the unemployed have to pass urine/drug testing...I don't think so...We are Rewarding people to be unproductive leeches......in the words of Charlie Brown "uuuggghhhhh."

    September 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  250. Charles

    Yes. Unemployment benefits are being spent on many things which in return stimulate the economy. If unemployment benefits dried up quickly more people would be filing for foreclosure, bankruptcy, and the homeless would increase dramatically. Funding unemployment is possibly the best way to stimulate the economy. The Government bailed out large bank and large corporation – bail out the individuals which are now suffering due to that.

    I really hope you're with this idea. We can not under no uncertain terms let the unemployed suffer further. The next step for the unemployed is homelessness and recovery from that would be much worst.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  251. Linda O'Neil

    I had worked for an auto transport company for 6 years prior to being laid off in April 2008. I am 55 years old and have some college education in the financial field. I live in the Port Austin, MI a rural area and there are little or no jobs in this area even part time. I worked for a bank for 22 years until restructuring eliminated my position along with 5 other employees. Although my husband is employed, without additional income it would be impossible for us to continue to pay our mortgage and we would lose our home. I have approximately 8 weeks of unemployment left. It is sad when the critics are so willing to condemn the thousands of people like myself that have no choice in the matter because of the economy. I have worked all of my life and being laid off without any work available along with worrying about whether unemployment benefits will be extended takes a huge toll mentally and physically. If the critics were in my position perhaps they would be a bit more open minded.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  252. Working for a Job

    I've been working all day every day trying to find a job. I'll work at McDonald's if need be because if it really comes down to it, revenue is revenue. But since I've lost my job and my health care, it's cost me all of my savings and now I'm about to lose my unemployment benefits... I just don't know what to do next. Food stamps? Welfare?!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  253. Clair from California

    This administration is playing politics with our lives.... Only 10% of the stimulus money has been spent todate..... Do you know why??? It's because this administration is purposely holding back on the release of the stimulus funds.... As rediculous as this sounds, let me tell you why........ They believe we all have short term memories and will not remember "all the good they have done" for us now. They believe it is better to wait and spend the stimulus money as close to the elections so that we will see them as "heros" and send them all back to Washington...... All those who are unemployed today or will soon join the ranks of the unemployed, send all those self centered politicians to the unemployement lines in 2010 for playing politics with our lives!!!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  254. Lloyd

    Hello Jack,
    Look! The decrease in jobs in this Country is totally attributed to Greedy Corporations having outsourced jobs to "THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES!", for attractive CHEAP LABOR!! Hell Yes, the unemployment benefits should be extended but at the expense of the American "ENTITIES" making huge profits outside the perimeter of the GREAT U.S..........IMPLEMENT A ONE TIME SURTAX on the aforementioned MONGULS....and PAY THE AMERICANS WHO LOST THEIR JOBS TO THIS STUPID IDEALOLOGY!!! After all, isn't it the BIG RED ELEPHANTS who claim that ONLY BUSINESS CAN CREATE JOBS???

    September 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  255. Mark

    Jack, with the pain most folks are going through across America, Congress would commit the most cruel of acts if it puts a stop on these benefits. This recession has hit us and continues to hit us really hard and in times like these, Congress shouldnt turn its back on us! Mark ,Toledo O.H

    September 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  256. Toney Young

    Yes I believe that they should extend the unemployment benfits because of the jobs being lost in the US. I'm a 51 yr old with little to no education and i've been laid off since Aug 2008. All I know is furniture and there are many others in this world in the same shape I'm in . So yes the government has send our work overseas so let the government keep us up.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  257. D Florida

    Of course yes. I am sick and tired of people saying how lazy unemployed people are. Stereotypes for 'human beings' who are in need of help to get on their feet; common on. It was ok for billions of dollars to help out the auto-industry; however, when the populace is in need of help, people want to turn their back. Oh, I forgot Jack, individualism is still embedded within society, paralyzing our moral obligation to help Americans.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  258. David "DUCK" Duckworth

    I am a 55 YO male with a master's degree, finding myself unemployed for the third time in the last 18 months. I have been working as a contractor (AKA TEMP) for the last 9 months for 2/3 of what my salary was previously. For 35 years I was steadily employed, never collecting. I registered for unemployment yesterday, and I was told I can collect for only 20 weeks. I have been looking for a job for 9 months, (even though I was working as a temp), with no result. Hell yeah, they best extend unemployment! The only people that would not vote for an extension are the pampered, elitist, silver spoon born snobs who worship G.W.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  259. Shawn, KY

    Jack let me answer that from a republican point of view. NO, we shouldn’t extend unemployment benefits and while we are at it lets also go ahead cut off food stamps. We need not stop there , lets also lower minimum wages, and lower taxes for the most greedy rich corporations and while we are at it bury health care reform. What a happy day all this would bring to the republican party.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  260. Marvin from Detroit, MI

    Yes, I feel the benifits are needed in this time of crisis, it's why we pay into the government throughout our working years. I have worked since age 16 to age 43. I'm 44 now, I was laid off my metal finishing plant job, because of the automobile industry closings. Everyday I look for work through the Michigan talent bank and through other means, putting in sometimes 7 or 8 applications. And I will continue to do so, because I look forward to working and living longer because I enjoy working. I'm an African American living in the middle of this ghetto. I'm not on the food stamp program and I'm not looking for a hand out. I'm only looking for the government to be a helping hand not a crutch.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  261. Andy - Nevada

    Absolutely Jack! I live in Nevada. The second highest state with over 13.4% unemployment. It's still very ugly out there! In this environment, we need all the help we can get!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  262. Jim

    Yes, of course they should be extended! Hand in hand with this, the administration must do more to improve job growth, the first step has got to be to stop blaming business for everything. The desire to tax business for everything, hate private industry all you want but to tax them to the extent that many prefer would push unemployment to 25% or more.

    Business did not just ship jobs off shore for the heck of it. Union demands contract after contract made our product too expensive to be competitive and they had to move. Even pro-union people would not pay the price it would take to keep those jobs here so what option would business have? Shut the doors?

    If we want jobs to come back we need to partner with business instead of blaming them for everything, government must ensure we have the same access to foreign markets as they do here.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  263. Anna

    Extended benefits? Yes. There also should be a requirement for those collecting to provide proof that they are actively searching for work. The government could also provide retraining in those hot job areas. How about providing incentives for agriculture work so that we can rely less on cheap immigrant labor.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  264. Liz in California

    I can't get an interview (let alone a job) unless I morph my resume into a complete lie; I live where unless you're nipped, tucked, tan, and under 25, you're considered over the hill and generally worthless. What "they" don't realize is that some day, "they" too will be facing age discrimination.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  265. Win Gould

    Unemployment extension is crucial for me as a senior citizen, because all my experience means nothing when younger people are doing the hiring and getting the jobs that are out there.  I only hope hiring improves sooner than later; maybe I'll have a chance to get back in the workplace.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  266. Ms. Russell

    Yes, I am for Congress extending the unemployment benefit program. It is very difficult finding work in this tough economy as there are very few jobs. My family still has to live and eat.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  267. Dennis.S. Toronto Canada

    Question: Should Congress keep extending unemployment benefits?
    Answer: YES!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  268. Lonnie A Johnson

    Most certainly! Let's see, increase unemployment with no income leads to increase crime. There is a direct correlation. Let's stop the outflow of jobs from the United States and provide tax incentives to companies – small businesses – to improve hiring. For example, provide a federal tax amnesty to companies that hire talent to complement their businesses. Too much taxation will deepen the situation. Cheers!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  269. Dan Townsend

    Jack,
    It's the worst I've seen in my lifetime. I am a 58 year old social worker who has been laid off after 16 years at the same agency. I was promoting low cost insurance offered by the state but much of the staff was laid off. If unemployment payments are cut we along with thousands of others will be facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. So much for the American Dream.
    I know many are much worse off and it scares me.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  270. Darrel

    Yes they should continue and its not a disincentive for those looking for work. Try living on $300.00 a week. Thats incentive enough to keep looking.

    Darrel
    GA

    September 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  271. AspenFreePress

    Yes, so long as Congress is bailing out banks and credit card companies.
    Sterling Greenwood/Aspen Free Press

    September 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  272. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    They may as well Jack. They've bailedout the auto industry and the banking system,finally they can do something to help the little guy. The holidays are coming. Don't let the backbone of the country starve. Whatever happened to higher taxes for those making over $250,000 ?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  273. jackie in San Diego, CA

    It is an "Employers Market"; they are getting in some cases overqualified people at very low rates! That will press down the job market even more. I've drilled thru hundreds of job descriptions and it appears quite a few request some very specific requirement for knowledge of some obscure software, etc. I found one job that required a Master in Science for a relatively simple software training position.

    A reduction in employment insurance will also put more pressure on the economy as that "start spending" mentality will burden the middle class as the jobless won't have any money.

    Yes, Mr. Cafferty, I would appreciate it if unemployment insurance benefits are extended. Like most people, I've been working on finding work for 6 months now and I've just about squeezed everything down to a minimum.

    And by the way, I very much appreciate your journalism – direct, succinct, factual and with some great subtle humor. w/r

    September 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  274. Peter M

    Yes, until they fix the economy. People must be able to feed and pay off their bills.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  275. lynne from NC

    Another trick question, Jack? The thing that one doesn't understand is that one isn't promised a job. All one can do is fill out job applications and send in resumes. It is up to the discretion of the Human Resource person to hire a person. If they don't, that person is not working.

    In the meantime, people need a stipend to survive so extending them is a must. Besides when they worked, they took care of other unemployed. It's just one hand washing the other. If we don't get over our selfishness and help each other, this country doesn't stand a chance.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  276. Bill in Minnesota

    Yes, they should keep extending Unemployment to every one unemployed until real economy turns around and more jobs are being created than lost. MN is at 8% unemployment, so no extention for me. I'm out of money, No IRA left, no 401K left, no savings left. I've been selling personal items along with my unemployment to pay Home Loan, gas and electric bills, also car and home insurance along with food. Can't pay credit cards, going to have to file for Bankruptcy. Doesn't make any difference what the unemployment level is, if State still shedding more jobs than being created, what do I do. I'm an older worker no retirement except SS left and now will probably lose my home, unemployed is unemployed no matter where.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  277. Lloyd

    JACK,
    Yes, continue to extend unemployment benefits to AMERICAN unemployed workers and do it at the expense of those GREEDY CORPORATE BUFFOONS who OUTSOURCED most of THE AMERICAN WORKFORCE 's security blanket, i.e., INCOME!
    Let the big fat RED ELEPHANTS on the HILL implement a ONE TIME CORPORATE SURTAX on all American Corporations having businesses beyond our borders.

    Lloyd in Las Vegas

    September 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  278. clinton gupton

    yes,people are giving out off unemployment every day and a lot homeless and you never here that in the new,think about it you can't pay health care with no job,focus on reality

    clinton ,north carolina

    September 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  279. Syl

    I do think that a "cooling off' period is necessary after one loses one's job during which time the payment of unemployment benefits could help offset some short term needs; however I believe that the continuous payment of benefits provides some disincentive to promptly look for a new job. The trick is determining how long to extend benefits for. I think that it should depend on each state's circumstances.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  280. Dexter

    Jack extent it! I would rather see my tax dollars helping a family down their luck, than re-electing Joe Wilson

    September 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  281. Nick Longmont, CO

    Jack,

    Yes, until the crisis is over. Rember, Congress in 1999 crafted the legislation which led to this economic disaster. The Bush Administration made thinsg worse by misguided tax cuts, fighting two wars and misguided tax rebates to make the economy look rosier than it actually was. The economy crashed because it could not be propped up any more.

    So, now we have people calling unemployment welfare, they are lazy, etc. Well, there are several people, and employers, who have not been directly affected by the events of the past 21 months; believe it or not. From personal experience, I have interviewed with some of these people. All I can say, is that if it was not for unemployment, I would have lost all my life's work many months ago.

    And yes, I have seen 20 to 30 people or more applying fro the same job that I applied for. I spend my days looking for work; I do not sit around collecting welfare. This is certainly not a vactaion; it is a warped nightmare. And we can point the finger at greed, and a misguided politicians in Washington, for taking aprt Depression Era laws to further the so call "feee enterprise system".

    September 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  282. I.

    Oh you mean Congress can act quickly when it wants to? Sad, how it's rush, rush, rush when it comes to lost jobs but well, it can wait a few more months when it comes to people losing their lives due to lack of healthcare. Thousands losing healthcare every day, millions losing lives for what would otherwise be treatable conditions.

    But, to answer your question, yeah it's probably necessary to keep extending unemployment benefits. Just wish Congress had the same urgency for other important issues.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  283. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    Yes! Extend it. I marvel at the fact that we forgive debts in the millions for
    other countries,yet, we cringe at caring for our own. At what juncture will
    we realize that it is our population who provides the taxes and sons and
    daughters that defend this nation in our endless wars.
    We must come to grips with what is best for the American people and
    provide it. When we are employed and on our feet the bills will be paid.
    We as a nation, are not slackers.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  284. rasmikel

    Dear Sir,

    I hope this read as you read the other blogs, Humanity and human rights are being violated every day in America, everyone who is human needs the least, food, clothing, and shelter. Who put a price tag on these necessities of life! If your plan is to starve out certain people and their families then say so, then we can move on. 99 percent of the media does not let the grassroots of different races speak or comment on headline news topics, are you afraid of what truths these people might say? Make it top priority that people get back to work, and get them employed! They took the stimulus money and hired very few. How would you like it if someone cut over half of your check. Everybody blackman does not like to sit on the couch all day, wait on the postman, and play video games.Who determines how much someone can live off of? All I want is to be comfortable with my family, and treated with some respect here in America. Where is the so called American dream? We would not be so much in debt, If we stopped depending on credit cards so much, and one would see life would have more meaning, think about that. Were all just humans. People need money in this capitalist society, everybody must work together, not against each other,be real, and stop confusing people.
    Sincerely, Rasmikeli

    September 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  285. Nora Palmer

    If the benefits are extended, why can't the government take those people and put them to work for the government in the interim until they find jobs.

    For instance, people who work in the IT field could get to work on expanding the infrastructure that would be able to handle electronic healthcare reporting.

    We should be looking at what these unemployed workers have to offer that would expedite what we are looking to accomplish to move the United States out of the dark ages when it comes to technology.

    By putting these people to work, just as we are looking for a return on other bail outs, we should also insist that the working public contribute as well. I am sure there is a whole host of, electricians, carpenters, construction workers, project managers, data entry, etc.

    Besides, if people have something constructive and of value to contribute, they won't have time to listen to the far right and all of their madness!

    Nora

    September 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  286. Aileen, California

    Yes of course! My husband just got laid off last Friday and has never been laid off before. The government wastes soooo.... much money on many stupid things, that, this is one of the few good things they can provide for those that need assistance.
    Of course I have a list of great things they could spend on, a real fence on the southern border, real infrastructure rebuilding, natural gas vehicles and refueling stations.....etc...

    September 22, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  287. CORRINE KAY

    should congress keedp extending unemployment benefits? hmmmm errr, uhh, YEA!!! jACK, I AM A RECIPIENT OF 'UNENJOYMENT' BENEFITS,, and I can tell you, if I did not receive them,, where would I go? I have been part of the unemployed since early April of this year, and have yet to be contacted for a single interview despite submitting hundreds upon hundreds of resumes nationally and abroad..being a 51 year old woman, a masters degree and in the same situation as millions of my closest friends, I depleted all of my savings, borrowed all I can borrow from friends,, reduced my expenses by renting a room, have sold all I can, and grudgingly went knocking on the door of my county's local social services department,,hey, they happily gave me the names and addresses of homeless shelters for women
    should I run out of benefits,, hey,,got work?? seriously though, got work?

    September 22, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  288. Justin in Seattle

    I just have to say, no jobs ehh? I do contract work during the day. Its something I have to look for but I can bring in $800 a week working about 60 hours doing this type of work, about half of which is tax free as I can deduct wear on my car, my meals when I am more then 30 mins away, and various other things. Just have to learn where to look. I never have a problem, I only do this to help save for a house. Its extra work. People might say I am greedy, but seriously theres still not enough people doing this.
    I was in school this year, but next year my fiance and I should break $150k alot of which will come from my on the side jobs.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  289. Fred Nerfganger

    @ the woman who said people should get off unemployment ASAP.. Honey, it's not welfare. That money is paid for by the employers. Sometimes taking a job-any job-can hamper your efforts to find the best fit for your career.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  290. Maude

    I learned something new this week – you can get unemployment even while your company gives you a severance check each week – this seems way too wrong – while the company pays, you should NOT be eligible for the unemployment check – just not right – just another example of poor government planning to me!
    Maude

    September 22, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  291. Palin Power

    No, we need Palinomics right now for Palinomics will create so many jobs around the whole world that the entire world will be employed. Unemployment will cease to exist worldwide!

    September 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  292. Moses

    One word---Yes--If a man is starving without any bright prospect of getting food on the table, would you think it's a good idea to give him a hand?....Yes-if you have any humanity or any decent heart

    September 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  293. Scotty

    Just saw your comments again. I appreciate the posts. I agree with Stephanie from California.

    No, hell no. Congress should not extend this. I am in the National Guard. That would be a part time job. I have ample opportunity for full time work if I wanted it. I'm actually holding out for a better full time job (I've turned down over ten over the past few months)

    I think, like Stephanie, that people that remain on unemployment are simply too picky and not willing to take a job they don't want.

    Hey, why not just enlist in the military. We could use you... maybe

    With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, you really don't need to worry about full-time employment.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  294. Mario Stanback

    Extend the unemployment compensation. I tired of closed minded selfesh people in this county who call themselves Americans. They're unreasonable and can't see pass than their own noses. But I'll try, just consider working, raising your family and paying your share of taxes for the past 25 years and now find yourself laid-off from your job with no other income. It might take you more than six months to find another job equal to the one you loss. We the people of this country, are the government, and if our government can't take care of it's own people in their time need, what good is it?

    September 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  295. Luis

    Is time to stop these extensions, there are people who have been drawing unemployment since 2007 and still have the nerve to complain about wanting more. For every six mo. you draw unemployment the more your chances go down to even be hired for one. Who wants to spend the money and training on someone who is not use to working anymore. Please stop the extension.

    September 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm |