August 2, 2009

There's no shortage of wingnuts out there, so why would George Stephanopoulos invite on someone too crazy for even Bill O'Reilly? Only people with a Malkin brain would believe and push across the notion that Americans would rather collect three hundred dollars a week on unemployment insurance rather than get a job that supplies benefits and pays a salary.

Yea, because there are so many jobs available, people will just wait until the insurance ends and then immediately get hired. I'm sorry, where are all these jobs again? On ABC's THIS WEEK Malkin made this bogus claim. A quick Google search uncovers that when Michelle claims Larry Katz once said that the benefits could discourage people from seeking employment, Katz actually said just the opposite during our current financial mess:

Traditionally, many economists have been leery of prolonged unemployment benefits because they can reduce the incentive to seek work. But that should not be a concern now because jobs remain so scarce, said Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard.

For every job that becomes available, about six people are looking, Dr. Katz said. “Unemployment insurance gives income to families who are really suffering and can’t find work even if they are hustling to look,” he said. With the economy still listing, he added, a temporary extension can provide a quick fiscal stimulus. And, Dr. Katz said, when people exhaust unemployment and health insurance, many end up applying for disability benefits, which become a large, unending drain on the Treasury.

It does help to fact check what conservatives say.

Malkin: If you put enough government cheese in front of people they are just going to keep eating it and you're just kicking the can down the road and just to hammer this point about the unemployment benefits extension again it was Larry Katz, who's a chief labor economist under the Clinton labor department who came out with a study and there are a lot of these economists who say this that if you keep extending these "temporary" unemployment benefits you're just going to extend joblessness even more.

Stephanopoulos: I don't know if I follow that though

Malkin: That was a Clinton economist who said it George...

Stephanopoulos: Choosing to take the unemployment benefits when a job is available?

Malkin: Seventy nine weeks already and then they're going to extend it by another thirteen weeks and what happens is according to these economist who have seen it including this Clinton economist is that people will just delay getting a job until the three weeks before the benefits run out.

Tucker: Well, that might be true when there are jobs out there that are available, but there are very few jobs available at the moment so I don't think people are using that unemployment benefit to be lazy instead of going out and searching for jobs...

Malkin: I'm not making a moral judgment, it's an incentive problem.

Tucker: But when businesses advertise the few job openings they have, they'll advertise twenty openings, they have six thousand applicants so I don't think that's the problem...

Hunt: If Starbucks were hiring, suddenly you'll see lines around the block. Anecdotally George, I have a kid who has some friends from college and many of them don't have jobs and boy, they are looking.

Stephanopoulos: And there are other states especially that are hard hit.

I know she probably worked on her government cheese talking point for a while, but it makes no sense except if we've all turned into little mouses now. With unemployment so high, where are the jobs that people are not bothering to take that bears any of this out? There's good money to be made in wingnutland, so she can attack Americans just trying to stay afloat by receiving unemployment compensation. I never realized how wonderful not having a job is.

The NY Times:

Unemployment insurance is a lifeline for 9 million Americans, with payments averaging just more than $300 per week, varying by state and work history.

While many recipients find new jobs before exhausting their benefits, large numbers in the current recession have been unable to find work for a year or more.

Calls are rising for Congress to pass another extension this fall, possibly adding 13 more weeks of coverage in states that have especially high unemployment. As of June, the national jobless rate was 9.5 percent; it was 15.2 percent in Michigan. Even if the recession begins to ease, economists say, jobs will remain scarce for some time to come.

"If more help is not on the way, by September a huge wave of workers will start running out of their critical extended benefits, and many will have nothing left to get by on even as work keeps getting harder to find," said Maurice Emsellem, a policy director of the employment law project.

The Huffington Post adds:

Everybody just sort of looked at Malkin, like she was INSANE, and George Stephanopoulos very politely said, "Uhm...I don't know if I follow that." To which Malkin replied: "BUT IT WAS A CLINTON ECONOMIST, BLARGLE!" Stephanopoulos was still a bit dumbfounded, wondering why anyone in their right mind would take unemployment benefits "when a job was available."

Malkin's counter argument is that, for some reason -- who knows why really, maybe there was a presidential administration that recorded epic job losses for a decade maybe, it's a real mystery -- there has been unemployment insurance for many weeks. And for some reason, they are going to keep extending it -- as if there was some sort of ongoing economic crisis or something! And because of that, "people will delay getting a job until three weeks before the benefits run out.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We are currently migrating to Disqus

On May 14, 2022, we started migrating our comments from Insticator back to Disqus. During this transition period, some posts will have Insticator and some Disqus. For more information on the transition, as well as information regarding old C&L accounts, please see this post.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.