Thursday, November 25, 2010

Governor Calls for the Extension of Unemployment Benefits

Governor Ed Rendell joined the Center for American Progress this week in asking Congress to renew benefits for the long term unemployed. Rendell says Pennsylvania will feel the impact - "83,000 Pennsylvanians will lose benefits in December if benefits aren't extended...We estimate we'll lose $4 million in taxes in December and $8 million in January if these benefits aren't extended and although that's not a huge amount of money, at a time when everyone is grappling for every dollar it's fairly significant to say the least." For legislators who worry that the constant renewal of benefits will become an entitlement, Rendell says they should simply tag it to the unemployment rate. He commended four republican Pennsylvania Congressman for voting to extend benefits, including Congressman Tim Murphy of Allegheny County. Heather Boushey, Senior Economist with the Center for American Progress noted that Congress has never before allowed benefits to expire for the long term unemployed when the unemployment rate was above 7.2%, currently the national unemployment rate is about 9.5%.

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