Economist: unemployment benefit cuts hurt

SUNBURY – Roughly 1.3-million out of work Americans lost their unemployment benefits on December 28, after Congress declined to renew an emergency aid program for the jobless. Stephen Stamos, emeritus professor of international relations from Bucknell University says these cuts hurt many people.

 

Stamos said, “The long-term unemployed have become victimized in our society today in our news and our political process. We are talking about a very large number of people. Out of the 10-million people officially unemployed, 5-million have been unemployed longer than 36 weeks. We are talking about people now having been unemployed for 99 weeks and cutting off their benefits.”

 

Stamos says Congress is making a mistake in cutting these benefits. Stamos said, “I think the country does not spend enough time thinking about who these people are. In fact, by the end of the year, the first wave of the people being cut off represent about 1.3-million people. There are subsequent waves of people this year that will follow them, in which case, this year alone will represent about 5-million people having their benefits cut off.”

 

Senate Democrats have said they will continue to try to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program for another year, which would cost about $25.2-billion. You can hear more from Professor Stamos from WKOK Sunrise online at www.wkok.com. (Ali Stevens)

Stamos