Jobless Benefits Extension Voted Down As Republican Opposition Sinks Latest Attempt For Perpetual Entitlement State

Tyler Durden's picture

A last minute attempt by Democrats to pass a 90 day extension of jobless benefit just failed to pass in Congress. Before the vote, which only sought a 3 month extension instead of a year long one, Steny Hoyer said: "I think every Democrat will vote for it. I'm hopeful that the Republicans will vote for it." However, since democrats brought the measure up as a "suspension" bill, meaning
that it required the approval of two-thirds of the House to pass, instead of under normal house rules which would have allowedthe vote to pass, the extension failed. Therefore just like the last time this extension failed, look for up to 4-5 million unemployed to fall off EUC and extended claims over the next few months, with a hit of up to 2 million by the first/second week of December. To be sure, there was also a political flavor: as NBC reports "But with suspension bill now coming to the floor on the last day of
votes before the Thanksgiving vacation, the vote will give House
Democrats the opportunity to argue that the GOP blocked unemployment
benefits for the jobless during the holiday season."

From the Associated Press:

Republicans in the House have blocked a bill that would have extended jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed beyond the holiday season.

The most recent extension of jobless benefits expires Dec. 1. Two million people will lose benefits averaging $310 a week nationwide by the end of the year.

The measure would have extended jobless benefits through the end of February at a cost of adding $12.5 billion to the nation's debt. Republicans opposing the measure said that the measure should be paid for by cutting unspent money from last year's economic stimulus bill.

Democrats brought the measure to the floor under fast-track rules that required a two-thirds vote to pass, so the measure fell despite winning a majority.

The bottom line is that billions in disposable income courtesy of Uncle Scam are about to be taken out of circulation. Now add the possibility that the Bush tax cuts may not be extended, and the economic picture could suddenly be turned upside down.

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Bastiat's picture

And add a VAT to that.

Instant Karma's picture

WTF? Get a job, get fired, and collect a check for life. It's the new way.

VegasBD's picture

My buddy in only a couple months in on his unemployment and loving life. He WILL NOT look for work until it completely runs out.

I envy him. I pay to live in a beach house and he gets to enjoy it 7 days out of the week unlike my 2 days. At least he watches my dog. But if/when i get unemployed (and trust me im fucking hoping for it) I will be doing the same thing.

Looking forward to my two years off. I make 100k+ but fuck it, rather have a nicer lifestyle than a job.

"i got 99 paychecks and a job aint one" -not jayz

I Am The Unknown Comic's picture

Now that's the spirit!  Be sure your buddy is on food stamps (that's about $200 a month I think), and also enrolls in Medicaid.  I am told by people I know that their Medicaid plan is better healthcare (and 100% totally free) than the health plans they had at P&G, WalMart and Merck - all of them as mid-level executives/managers/dogs.  They feel they have paid so much in taxes throughout their lives, and with the outright fraud in our country, that the age of "giving back" has now turned into the age of "getting back."   

I sincerely hope your buddy and you are able to "get back" as much of your paid in tax money as you possibly can, via welfare programs. 

Good luck to you and don't be afraid.  I know lots of people who are getting by just fine, and some would argue that with much more time on their hands, their quality of life has improved dramatically.  One friend of mine is raising his kids (his wife still has a job), another is writing the play he always wanted to write but never had the time, another is travelling and is presently in Germany, another is taking care of her Mom who is terminal.  Another started his own business (yeah, good luck on THAT one in this economy, but oh well, he is following his dream).

Take 99 weeks off and go John Galt while the shitstorm rages. 

As for the moral issue of right or wrong...well the Fed, the Treasury, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citibank, two American Presidents, and a multitude in congress have already set the precedent about what is right and what is wrong (hint: there is no longer a rule of law and without that, there is no moral or social contract to bind us together as a society).  Don't be the only one at the table playing by the rules.  If you are, then YOU are the MARK, sucka. 

Tortfeasor's picture

I'm not exactly sure John Galt would approve.

Ludwig Van's picture


I am exactly sure Galt would not approve. It has to do with a refusal to undergo the mental contortions required to get okay with it.


snowball777's picture

I am exactly sure I don't give a fuck what a fictional character in a braindead novel would find acceptable.

GoinFawr's picture

 "It has to do with a refusal to undergo the mental contortions required to get okay with it."


Oh please, I don't know very many people, wealthy or no,  who can get through a day without a couple of these:

"...mental contortions..." gimme a break. right.


wisefool's picture

Careful kid. The sarcasm flag is optional here.(read the manifesto  If you can get by on subsidy for yourself (while taking care of your parents) you are john gault.

If you use the system for illegitimate love children, then we will name a bank, a school of economics, and a park after you.

I Am The Unknown Comic's picture

I'm gonna need a bigger sack.  ;>)   

Ludwig Van's picture


Wisefool -- Thank you, sir, for your kind attention, and for calling out my ambiguity (along with my misspelling of *Gault* [gack!]).

Because unemployment is a circumstance, there is not -- and should not -- be a distinction among who gets it as long as they qualify. The cost is so small its issuance should not be questioned.

We all need help at some point in our lives. It is the assumption of the attitude of *entitlement* to a free ride to the limit that I've seen make mushy the thinking and bodies of once-crisp, once-firm people.

If I'm "entitled" to something, I've got no gratitude because I'm just taking what belongs to me.

If I'm accepting help, there's some pride I shed in acknowledging  that. We're a nation of compassionate people. "No problem, happy to help." With humility comes gratitude, an earnestness to pay it back, or pay it forward; to get back into the game, whatever form that takes, whatever the new position -- even if it's a position without title or pay.

For every earnest guy, I've seen another retreat from life -- basically check out for two years. He could have taken what he considered "menial jobs," but held out for the better, because he could, a better job that never came, and in fact got more remote the longer he stayed out of the workplace. By some point, the new habits and routines he'd adopted excluded much if any productive activity, even if just self-improvement -- reading, exercising, whatever. He no longer had time for a job, actually began to dread the day of the end of the checks, and the motivation to do anything outside his little sphere of life waned. He descended into a life of living free, for free, for himself, equating the end of it with the end of the new world as he knew it.

He finally takes a job -- he has to -- as a security guard or something. He doesn't try to make the best of it, but marks time 'til he can get laid off again.

I really don't believe there are social moral issues here. I simply find lamentable the wasting of time, of life. The *opportunity* to take off work two years can ensnare some people. It can quash -- I've seen it many times -- that grand old fuck-you American revolutionary spirit, and reduce a man to merely pitiable.

Only the recipient can judge what's right for him. The point is that whatever one chooses, there is a cost.


wisefool's picture

Sarcasm partially on:


Your post is inspiring. I think everyone without a PhD in Economics and unpaid back taxes should follow you to our post keynsian economy. We need to backfill alot of positions in government,media and academia.

thefatasswilly's picture

Mencken identifies Homo stultus' primary desire as security: the security of an inmate in a well managed penitentiary.

Millions of baby boomers loved Social Security, proving Mencken correct once again. Truly hilarious.

GoinFawr's picture

You paint a dismal picture in your tall tales of the vicious cycle of unemployment insurance colletion woe LV, but everyone should keep in mind that is all they are; anecdotes or fantasies tapped to illustrate a point supported by nothing more than LV's credibility and rhetoric.

It is exactly the same as writing "anyone who drinks ends up waking up the neighbourhood, sleeping on a park bench, beating their kids, etc." While such annoying/tragic things do indeed occur,  it certainly isn't just to imply that such disgusting behaviors are the end result of all drinking.

Squashing this bill is the right idea, but with the wrong focus.



mkkby's picture

You morons missed the point.  Without the extensions it's 26 weeks max.

snowball777's picture

They can still afford pitchforks?!

RockyRacoon's picture
6 Million Benefit-Paying Jobs Vanish in One Year!

Really sobering graph....

Covered Employment Stats of Merit

  • Covered employment is back to 2004 levels.
  • Close to 6 million benefits paying jobs have vanished in a year.
  • Over 8 million benefits paying jobs have vanished since the 2008 peak.
snowball777's picture

Lest we forget that money they are (all but) forced to divert to things like medical necessities doesn't get spent elsewhere.

goldfish1's picture

A 20 yo unmarried mother at work makes min. wage. She gets free food, medicare and babysitting. She jut now cut back her hours to 8 per week because the father who she lives with makes more in one day of work than she does in a 24 hour week. This way she can stay home with the little one and get by. It's a better life. 

wisefool's picture

Somebody should do a PhD thesis in economics about this man woman and child. It might be too radical for the state universities. But U Chicago or Yale might assign an advisor. It'll rattle that 100% employment mandate of the fascist fed and their backwoods Harvard grads on staff.

oldtech's picture

By the time we join them, it will be down to 13 weeks of unemployment and then you can starve....  even your(our) Social Security will be changed so you can't collect until your 70 or about to die..

Bananamerican's picture

after 70, you'll be allowed to be a security guard in society..

sgt_doom's picture

Negative, sonny, perpetual entitlement is about GE offshoring all the jobs and not paying any fed taxes in 2009, a continuing repeat for many years.

And ExxonMobil, and all the other over 70% American-based corporations and multinationals.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Again. Corps do not pay taxes. They collect them. Tax them all you want, in the end we individuals and consumers are the ones who pay.

cosmictrainwreck's picture

sgt_doom: AMEN to that. Now we're getting somewhere....[don't I wish]

JW n FL's picture

by Instant Karma
on Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:55

WTF? Get a job, get fired, and collect a check for life. It's the new way.

Instant Karma,

Republicans don’t want to extend the un-employment benefits for working Americans that are out of work.

The Republican Party did sign off on $700 billion dollars for TARP for the Banks, along with the 0% FED Window used to pay back those funds… as well as QE1 and now QE2…


$700 Billion Dollars for TARP for the Banks?

20% un-employment costs the United States of America $2 Billion a month in benefits coverage.

$700 billion dollars to the Banks equals 350 Months of unemployment coverage for un-employed Americans or ruffly 29 years of coverage.


The Republicans don’t want to help un-employed Americans but LOVE! Helping the Banks and Wall Street FUCK! Main Street un-employed America.


Make no mistake, Obama is Bush part Duex… so there is no difference between the parties really, only what 5th Ave. sells the sheep as differences… the lobby owns all of the whores within the beltway.

Agent P's picture

Perhaps the government should take preferred stock and warrants in the people receiving extended unemployment claims that pay a handsome dividend back to the Treasury and can be bought back at a future date?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not endorsing TARP, etc., I'm just saying it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

nmewn's picture

It's not apples to apples at all.

The republicans are the minority party...the dims have the same majority they had when they rammed through a "shovel ready jobs" package that only bailed out governments...local & state, along with tenured professors.

The same dim majority that passed Obama-Care that will now cost me $1,200 dollars more a year.

The same dim majority that passed the Dodd financial deformed bill...I could go on.

Obviously I have an issue with the title of this piece...the dims are the majority party in the House until January 3 2011.

They can still do whatever they want. They control all three legislative branches of government.


Sabibaby's picture

about freaking time. An emergency act will probably follow to extend the entitlements forever.

Sabibaby's picture

Sheesh, I wonder how whoever junked me would feel if I collected unemployment for 99 months or however long it is now? If you junked me because you're unemployed and feel you're entitled to the fruits of my labor just think about what would happen if everyone started collecting unemployment. Unemployment is a temporary help, not a perminant free ride.

I'd scrube toilets to support my family. Many of the unemployed are too good for that type of work.

GoinFawr's picture

Excellent! Have I got a job for you! Special deal too: I won't flush 'til you arrive with your little scrubber in hand <oh and I only pay min wage; and you have to get here yourself; it's only a temp contract position, so no benefits. and I expect a big smile on your pasty little face the whole time you're swabbing around in there, or it might take some time before you get paid. oh, and I plugged it with newspaper B4 I... nm>

I know, I know: U bene's are supposed to be only for dire situations: well guess what, there's been a dire situation happening to the US going on 3 years now, hello.

"Many of the unemployed are too good for that type of work"

Well, I'll be honest, I don't know too many unemployed where I am at so I can't go making broad, sweeping generalisations like this with any credibility, can you? But wtf, forget my arrogance and ignorance, let's just lump most of 'em into the 'too lazy to get off their fat asses' meme, forget all the others that are really trying. Hell let's kick to the curb the hapless peon who would gladly scrape feces for 12 hours of the day to feed his family, but all the feces scraping positions are taken everywhere he has looked, so he's been trying to get into urine sponging, but with no luck yet (it's a new field for him). There has to be at least a few of those poor sods around, no? Well, there must be now that YOU (yah YOU) had a hand in shipping all the decent low skill jobs overseas so that YOU could get a 15 dollar pair of mittens at Malwart for 6 bux.

Your obvious lack of empathy, your 'I'm all right so f all the rest' perspective, doesn't absolve you of your portion of responsibility, sorry.

Personally I agree that spending needs to be cut yesterday, but there are other places to consider first, rather than potentially putting another 4 mil or so unlucky, likely armed, people out on the street at the beginning of Winter, no?

Mainstreet or Wallstreet, freaking ONE of them is getting that cash whether the Ubene's end or no.

What are YOUR priorities?

Ask yourself,

"What would Ralph Nader do?"

(I mean before he was shot for doing it or trying to do it, of course)

We'd save, what, 8 billion or so by cutting these benefits?  I say there are far, far bigger fish out there to fry. Too Big To Fry?


midtowng's picture

It's weird non sequitur on ZH: Everyone here thinks we are in a depression and the economy is fucked. Yet at the same time they blame unemployed people for not getting jobs.

   Do people on ZH not realize that a fucked economy means there are no jobs?

While we are at it, for the people who claim that cutting off UE won't have any effect on hunger, I'm curious where they think the money from UE has been going?

Bill - Yes That Bill's picture

It's not a question of "blaming" the unemployed for being unemployed; it's a question of fairness and affordability.

Inflow MUST have some concrete relationship to outflow or before too long...


Beyond the math... no... I don't want a welfare state. 12 weeks of unemployment should cut it, however... for the sake of discussion let's just assume that 24 months is appropriate.

Bottom line... 99 months plus AIN'T appropriate.



lawrence1's picture

You got a welfare state, welfare for the rich and corporations, yet you want to limit help to people who, most of them, need it.  I have a niece, very competent, who lost her job two years ago, spent 50 hours a week looking for work, finally found and took a job at much less pay... and that was two years ago before things got worse.  When the rich and corporations start paying taxes, we can discuss the appropriate cut-off point.  By the way, as an independent contractor most of my life, I never even qualified for unemployment benefits, and just think of other persons or small business people who have gone bankrupt or simply closed down and dont even qualify and you get an idea of the extent of the unemployment problem. When there jobs no being taken, then lets worry about the cost of unemployment benefits.  As GoinFawr suggests, there are other places to cut expenses that would yield more bang for the cut.

Bill - Yes That Bill's picture

I'm not saying we don't have a welfare state in the sense of crony capitalism - we're on the same page; what I'm saying is that two wrongs don't make a right. What I'm saying is you don't compound one problem via expanding a different problem.

Second... (*SIGH*)... corporations don't pay taxes. If you don't understand that... (*SHRUG*)

We need major tax reform in this country. Taxes need to be based upon individual behavior - period. Not "family" behavior and decisions... not corporate behavior and decisions... but INDIVIDUAL decision-making.

(And on that note may I add the less "progressivity" the better!)

As to "the rich"... (*SIGH*)... who do you suppose is funding state and federal spending...???

Tax "the rich" fairly; tax "the poor" fairly; tax the lower-middle, middle, upper middle, and upper-upper middle classes" fairly.

If we're gonna have income taxes, then basic rule of thumb - NO American should have more than one-third of his or her earnings taken by the federal government. Period.

Finally... (*GRITTING MY TEETH*)... if you REALLY want to know what the future "employment" problem is we'll be facing, it's this: Most liberal arts degrees aren't worth the paper they're written on and we simply don't have enough Americans who KNOW HOW TO DO THINGS to keep this country running longterm.

Hope the truth doesn't burst your bubble my friend.














Agent P's picture

It's 99 weeks, not months...I think you meant to say this.

Bill - Yes That Bill's picture


Yeah... weeks. Thanks.




lawrence1's picture

Well said, GoinFawr.  I wish republicans would start their own country and you would see the most heartless, nasty country in the world, maybe rival Israel.

snowball777's picture

I'd settle for letting Texas secede.

Sabibaby's picture

I work all day and live across from an apartment complex that I can't live in because I make too much money (which really isn't a lot). The people who live there have bbq's and enjoy the pool during the day while I come home to make myself lunch. The apartments also have central AC and I don't. My rent is also a lot higher for less space.

How long do you propose we keep people on unemployment?

Maybe instead of having two years of unemployment we have some kind of government related jobs force. I'm the bad guy while I loyal pay my taxes and support the unemployed but now I'm supposed to support those people forever.

snowball777's picture

If you really make that little money then you CAN'T be paying much in taxes, dipshit.

Why should we feel sorry for you because you did fuck all with your life, but not empathize with people who were most likely doing something more useful than you are in 2008 before the fucking bankers destroyed our economy?

Here's hoping you lose your shit job too so you can understand firsthand what it's like.

You want a fucking sob story? Try this on for size, asshole:

My dad went to work for a start-up in CA which was working on chips for software-defined radio. They were doing an excellent job on the technical front (sending high-bandwidth video over the air successfully), but were run into the ground by an idiot CEO who spent more money attempting to rebrand the company (while shuffling money to his friends). They cancelled the employee's healthcare without notice...people got bills in the mail as their first hint of this shit. They were stringing them along with promises of bonus money once they landed a deal with a Chinese backer and getting later and later on their payroll. They refused to lay anyone off, so they couldn't even collect unemployment. They weren't paid up on their SS taxes, but of course didn't inform the employees about this. One guy was so desperate to take care of his handicapped wife and infant son, that he blew his fucking brains out so that they could collect social security and cover her healthcare costs.

Here's a paper he wrote:

And you're sniveling about your fucking pissant peanut taxes?! Fuck you, prick.

Sabibaby's picture



Yes, it's mean to ask people to support themself and their family.

Yes, it's mean to tell people they can't have a free lunch.


SRV - ES339's picture

You lack so much more than empathy... attacking the least fortunate among us is a sleazy, cowardly, act.

The homeless man in this clip has more class in his little finger than you could ever hope to have...

Bananamerican's picture

thumbs up!

THAT'S how we'll get through this national mess (if we do)

GoinFawr's picture

My my, you are one helluva useful idiot (see:'tool'), aren't you?  



WTF does that mean? Why the hell would I be grateful to a self centered insignificant toe rag like yourself?!

 Careful my well-conditioned little Babbitt, practicing what you're preaching may come back to bite you on the ass one day...

It's not about poor lazy people who are subsisting on a tiny bit of your money, it's about the uber rich lazy people who are buying yachts with wealth that they are constantly stealing from you and everyone else while they have you distracted by making war on the poor and unfortunate. The worst part of this is that you go for it like a rabid dog, apparently just because you are so damn relieved to find that there is actually someone worse off than yourself, and you desperately feel like you deserve a laugh at someone else's expense.

You're falling head over heels for their 'pit the middle class against the poor as ruse while we rape everybody' stratagem, dupe. "Divide and conq..." do I really need to spell this out for you? Could you truly be that stupid?

I'd wager, your useless anecdote aside, that most people on Ubene's would rather be working, and are doing the best they can to get there.

Anyway, the bill has been crushed, so you can celebrate your dubious victory. I wonder if your taxes will still go up anyway? Want to make a bet?




RockyRacoon's picture

Well put.  I'll be for stopping unemployment benefits when the atmosphere of promoting moral hazard stops at the top: the Banks. 

Sabibaby's picture

I guess I thought that when unemployment benefits run out people would move to the next layer of support with welfare and food stamps. I apparently have no clue how the US support system works. I had no idea people wouldn’t be able to use those things after the unemployment benefits ran out. I believe unemployment insurance is a good thing. I didn’t mean to imply I don’t think it’s important I just thought a limit would be a good thing. As some posters have pointed out “…when the atmosphere of promoting moral hazard stops at the top: the Banks….” If the banks and Wall Street are going to take advantage of everything than so should regular people and when the moral hazard stops things can go back to the way they were in the past.


I really think this economy is a perpetual motion machine.

Sorry for typing in all caps and swearing. I actually have met people who collect unemployment but do other jobs on the side and are “double-dipping” and I guess I made that a stereo type for other unemployed people.