Today, predictably, the New York Times criticized Congress for limiting unemployment benefit extensions -- that is, 99 weeks of assistance:
The checks are stopping for the people who have the most difficulty finding work: the long-term unemployed. More than five million people have been out of work for longer than half a year. Federal benefit extensions, which supplemented state funds for payments up to 99 weeks, were intended to tide over the unemployed until the job market improved.
The NYT calls these cuts "premature."
But the article also points out:
...unemployment benefits prolong joblessness and simply transfer wealth from one area of the economy to another without contributing to growth.
Exactly. Government handouts reward dependency and undermine job growth.
In a previous NYT piece, a reporter reprinted a chart from Denmark's Labor Market Commission. It shows that extending unemployment benefits...extends unemployment:
The reporter explains:
Struggling to keep [Denmark's] budget under control after the financial crisis, the government in June cut into its benefits system, the world's most generous, by limiting unemployment payments to two years instead of four. Having found that recipients either get work right away or take any job as their checks run out, officials are also redoubling longstanding efforts to move Danes more quickly out of the safety net.
Exactly. Get people out of the "safety net."