Long-Term Jobless Benefits Succumb to ‘Mission Drift’

By Susan Jones | December 16, 2013 | 5:55am EST

Former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Extending long-term unemployment benefits is a “big deal” for people who depend on them, but “it’s not that big a deal for the economy,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office during the George W. Bush administration.

Long-term unemployment insurance was intended to tide people over when they’re between jobs, but it “is now trying to be all things to everybody,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” on Sunday.

“This is mission drift. We have a big problem with (job) training. We have a big problem with unemployment. We need programs that match those problems.”

Holtz-Eakin said the economy is not growing fast enough. “We still have to grow much faster, take all the workers who've given up, all the workers who've been long-term unemployed and get them back to work. That's the top priority.”

But Peter Orszag, former CBO director and Office of Management and Budget director under President Barack Obama, said with unemployment “still really elevated,” the nation needs to extend those long-term unemployment benefits.

“I mean, the point is, we have always extended these benefits when unemployment is really elevated," he told CNN's "State of the Union.'"

Orszag said extending unemployment benefits stimulates demand, and is “one of the most effective ways of getting money into the economy quickly.”

He called it “unfortunate” that Congress has not extended the program.

Orszag predicted that the economy will continue to improve next year: “2014, I think, is likely for the first time in several years to be materially not as strong as we'd like but better than 2013.”

CNSNews Reader,

The liberal media are terrified of the truth, especially when it leads to uncomfortable questions about their own leftist worldview.

CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism — not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.

CNSNews relies on the support of our loyal readers to keep providing the news and commentary that matter to the American people, not just stories that prop up the liberal agenda.

Make a donation today. Just $15 a month would make a tremendous impact and enable us to keeping shining the light where the liberal media are afraid to tread.

— The CNSNews Team



Sign up for our CNSNews.com E-Brief to receive the latest news.