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Help the Long Term Unemployed – Stop Warring and Spying

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The U.S. Finances Wars and Spying Yet Cannot Afford Unemployment?

We hear a lot of buzzwords and talking points in the news regarding the fight over extending unemployment for the long-term unemployed. Much of the talk centers on the notion that we can’t afford to extend such benefits. But is that true?

The U.S. Dept. of Defense has budgeted nearly $633 billion for military spending for fiscal year 2014.  Of that amount, nearly $81 billion is targeted for the war in Afghanistan. When you include other departments that support the military, the total amount balloons to over $759 billion. The U.S. has a $392 billion contract with Lockheed Martin to fund the manufacture of F-35 fighter jets, which includes parts made in China.

And exactly how much does the U.S. spend on unemployment?

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending emergency benefits to the long-term unemployed through December 2014 would cost a net of $25 billion (CBO website, publication 44929). The CO further goes on to say:

CBO estimates that extending emergency unemployment benefits would raise gross domestic product (GDP) and employment in 2014 relative to what would occur under current law. Recipients of the additional benefits would increase their spending on consumer goods and services. That increase in aggregate demand would encourage businesses to boost production and hire more workers than they otherwise would, particularly given the expected slack in the capital and labor markets. However, those positive effects on output and employment in 2014 would be partially offset by the effects of an increase in the duration of unemployment for some people. Specifically, in response to the extension of benefits, some unemployed workers who would be eligible for those benefits would reduce the intensity of their job search and remain unemployed longer—which would tend to decrease output and employment. CBO estimates that those negative effects would be modest, though, in 2014 because most of the jobs that would not be taken by some of the people receiving the additional benefits would instead be taken by some of the many people searching for work who would not be eligible for those benefits.

So if the our government cuts military spending by $25 billion, which is  a mere 3% of the total military spending for fiscal 2014, then we can easily afford to help the long term unemployed. It should be the goal of Congress and the White House to reduce military and NSA spending, especially the NSA spending earmarked for illegal hacking activities.


Written by voiceoftruthusa

January 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm

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