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What life will look like if Republicans win the House, Part II

Despite 10 percent unemployment, continued job losses and a sharp rise on long-term joblessness, Republicans have, in recent months, begun opposing the periodic extensions in unemployment benefits that Congress needs to pass to keep the program running. The most recent extension took months to make its way through Congress, causing a two-month interruption in benefits. And that was when Republicans were in the minority. Now the benefits are threatening to expire again, and extending them may well become the next Congress's problem:

More than 1.2 million people would have their federal unemployment payments curtailed next month if Congress fails to renew jobless benefits when it returns to work following the midterm elections, according to a report (pdf) released Friday. ...

Congress has only a tight window to enact an extension, or risk having people thrown of the benefit program. After the upcoming midterm elections, lawmakers are slated to reconvene on Nov. 15. But they are scheduled to be in town for only a handful of voting days before leaving for the Thanksgiving recess.

By Ezra Klein  | October 22, 2010; 3:36 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Midterms  
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True, Ezra, but what if Republicans only opposed the extension of benefits because it helped make the Democrats look bad? That would certainly seem the tactic; then they can come in and make things seem smooth and how good Republicans can be for the common man and woman. Remember, the electorate has an amazingly short memory.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | October 22, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Apple needs to sell more iPads, so federal benefits to the "needy" must increase. The UK, Germany, France, etc. -- all of the EU States we're supposed to be following -- have ceased wasteful spending: when will the US join the "real world" which was so hotly touted during the health care debate?

We want to be more like the UK (19% cut in welfare spending), right?!

Posted by: rmgregory | October 22, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse


What is the majority party in both houses and the White House?

It’s hilarious that you libs can blame the Republicans for EVERYTHING when DEMOCRATS control EVERTYTHING.

Posted by: fire10091 | October 22, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse


You may be right... This is all an evil plot by GWB, the tea party, and the right wing nut cases to make the Democrats looks bad.

Are you serious or just stupid? Really?

Posted by: fire10091 | October 22, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm not opposed to extension of benefits in this terrible economy, but I ADAMANTLY oppose extension for six months at at time. IMO benefits should be extended for periods of 60 days at a time. I live in Michigan where the unemployment rate has been sky-high for years. I know MANY unemployed people, and the majority do not start to really look for work until about 4-6 weeks before their benefits run out. The system is so over-burdened that govt bureaucrats are unable to verify whether people are actively seeking work, and I know a few that make no effort at all to find work...they've adjusted their lifestyle and are content (if not happy) just to live off the unemployment insurance. Adjusting the benefit period to 60 days at a time will provide more of an incentive for people to really find work.

Posted by: JohnR22 | October 23, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Please Ez...don't let THEM take control. My entire family will be off unemployment and food stamps. If Nancy Pelooza is right, it will kill the recovery and trillions of pork will have been wasted. Hold might be zillions ~ let me check with Bumblin Joe B.

Posted by: freedom97068 | October 23, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Do you know of any government union jobs. If I had one, I still wouldn't have to work. I'm over 50 so I could just go on full retirement.

Posted by: freedom97068 | October 23, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

To all of those complaining about unemployment benefits, please tell me you would not ever look to your government for help if you lost your job, your home, all of your savings and now could not support your family and you could not find a job no matter how hard you try. That is what that Joe guy running for the Senate in Alaska has been saying. Unemployment benefits, according to him, are unconstitutional and should be stopped. Of course, when his wife was laid off by her boss who was the Joe guy she applied for unemployment. This economy has not recovered and there is a long road ahead. I would be careful of what
I said. You just may have to eat those words.

Posted by: gjs8 | October 23, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. The Dems took over in 2006, The economy crashed in 2007. Obama was elected in 2008. The unemployment rate has gone up 2% pts in 2 years under his administration with large majorities in both the house and the senate.

But if we elect the "other guys".....OMG!

This is what you get when journalist become journ-o-list

Posted by: manapp99 | October 24, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mr Klein exemplifies a problem. The problem the liberal elites (AKA "progressives") have yet to realize is this: Citizens no longer get their news from three TV networks, a couple of major newspapers and three or four national 'news' magazines. This intellectual opaqueness blinds them on several counts.

First, the overarching fear that any statement which is not qualified ad infinitum is seen as inherently and sometimes explicitly dangerous. Hence, Mr Williams' comments cannot be explained away after the fact. That they were made without sufficient qualification at the time is believed to speak to the great unwashed uneducated masses' gullibility. The poor sods will hear it, believe it uncritically and run with it. Soon mosques will burn and slaughter in the streets will follow.

Second, enamored of the very terms “liberal” and “progressive” (it does derive from the verb “progress”, eh?), the rightness, logic, and essential appeal of the views they hold are so obviously unassailable that it is impossible for them to conceive of any rational disagreement. Thus, difference of opinion can only be understood as stemming from ignorance or rancorous and nefarious political posturing (invariably by ‘enemies’ of freedom and the ‘little guy’).

Third, the world exists in a provincial vacuum of ideal frozen in time since 1968. Western liberal society in which everything is relative, all ethics are situational, and the Lennonesque Imagine dream, offer the only hope. In this metaphysic the whole world secretly shares the ‘reasonable views’ of the liberal progressives – all but the dastardly conservatives. What used to be called “Third World” countries are docile, peace-loving and politically neutral entities who only act violently when prodded by expansionist colonial powers that seek to exploit them. Thus, Moslem extremists and other unsavory types of malcontents are so only because they are reacting to Western oppression.

The liberal progressive blindness is at the heart of “political correctness” (AKA political censorship), the fear and loathing of Fox News and any other media/informational outlet that digresses from the Haight-Ashbury-centric world view, and the complete inability to recognize significant distinctions and threats from individuals and groups who don’t conform to the Romantic ideal of happy peace-loving simple folks in the real world. Stuck in an intellectual time capsule, this generation of thinkers will only change their opinions when an atrocity so fierce as to be undeniable confronts them with the magnitude of an apocalypse.

Or, perhaps some will widen their horizons through examination of other opinions and test their political assumptions. Perhaps they will weigh the real logic and correspondence to reality of their views and draw concrete conclusions. Perhaps such ratiocination will lead them to a different perspective that will not deny the truth and accept the consequences of cause and effect. Who am I kidding?

Posted by: ODIrony | October 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

In the short run, the economy will get worse. The upside is that individual liberty will prosper. And whenever liberty increases, prosperity will eventually follow.

The 21st century, powered by the information revolution, will be the century of individual liberty. Socialist governments will cease to exist.

Posted by: rwyoung | October 24, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

When Obama cites fear-mongering on his political campaign stumps, is he referring to Ezra?

Posted by: vatodio | October 24, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse


Look to the people who won the Nobel prize in Economics this year. There are good reasons to not extend unemployment benefits any further.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | October 24, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, Ezra, if the Rebulicans regain control, maybe they can implement some steps that might do something to lesseen the 10% uemployment rate, get Americans back to work and thus making the extension of unemployment a less onerous issue. As a small business owner, I have no plans to take on any new employees in this uncertain time. I have no idea what I may be required to do

Posted by: Jfaspell | October 24, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes Comrade. Very True.

Posted by: vintax1 | October 25, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

yes comrade.very true

Posted by: vintax1 | October 25, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Here's a great idea Ezra, how about finding a way to pay for those unemployment extensions? The problem for most has never been the extension of this poorly run, unevenly applied benefit, the problem has been coming up for the money for it. I'd like to add an extension on my home, it would generate jobs, make life comfortable for me, maybe I could rent out a room or something - but I can't afford it! Get it?

Posted by: ted22 | October 25, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

The BIGGEST losers in this election will be the JournoList Members and other Liberals shills in the media. They have Zero confident in their integrity or veracity. Ezra Klein may top the list.

Posted by: kalamere | October 25, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you just make the unemployment benefits permanent because that is what it has come to. Since you Democrats can only use the strategy of "hope" to create jobs let me explain something to you. We have had FLAT 9.6% unemployment because those jobs are gone TILL YOU ARE ALL GONE! So quit kidding the country that these are extensions. They are part of the permenant business model created by the SOCIALISTS in DC where 9.6% Unemployment in Europe is NORMAL! IF you don't change, the businesses WON'T CHANGE THEIR HIRING DECISIONS!

Posted by: pga301 | October 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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