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July 20th, 2010 10:19 am
Five Reasons Why Sen. Harry Reid’s Joblessness Ploy Is a Bad Idea
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Senate Majority Leader (for the time being, at least)  Harry Reid (D – Nevada) mistakenly believes that he’s got a winning card with his scheduled vote today on yet another unemployment benefit extension.  Reid, along with co-conspirators Nancy Pelosi and President Obama, predictably mischaracterize Republican opposition to the vote that will immediately follow the introduction of replacement West Virginia Senator Carte Goodwin.

But here are some facts.  First, Senate Republicans only request that unemployment benefit extensions be offset with cuts in other forms of runaway federal spending.  Second, Harry Reid’s proposed extension will add $30 billion to this year’s projected $1.4 trillion deficit.  Third, unemployment benefits already stretch for 99 weeks – almost two full years.  Fourth, there have already been seven extensions in unemployment benefits during the period in which Obama’s $1 trillion “stimulus” spending has instead managed to stifle what should be a robust cyclical rebound by this point.  Fifth, even Obama’s own economic advisers have proclaimed that jobless benefits actually perpetuate and exacerbate unemployment itself.

Here’s the better policy prescription:  prevent upcoming tax increases, slow the federal government’s breakneck spending expansion and reduce the threat of anti-growth regulatory uncertainty.  When we implemented those prescriptions during the Reagan Administration, we witnessed astounding two-year gross domestic product growth of approximately 7% over eight consecutive quarters in 1983-1984.  How much longer will it take Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to finally learn that simple lesson?

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