View Poll Results: Good Idea?

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    7 58.33%
  • No (e.g., it will do nothing except hurt the unemployed)

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Thread: Cutting Unemployment Benefits

  1. #1
    Politically Correct

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    Cutting Unemployment Benefits

    A growing number of states are looking to cut back on jobless benefits to minimize the increase in unemployment taxes businesses pay. State officials are concerned that these tax hikes could deter companies from hiring.

    . . .

    In Florida, those laid off after Aug. 1 could receive six fewer weeks of benefits, if a bill that recently passed the state House of Representatives becomes law.

    And if Florida's unemployment rate should fall to 5% or less, the jobless would receive only 12 weeks of benefits. (Currently, the unemployment rate stands at 11.9%.)

    Right now, companies are scheduled to pay a minimum of $72.10 per employee, up from $25.20 last year, to help cover Florida's $2.2 billion debt to the federal unemployment trust fund.

    The bill would reduce the tax hike by about $18 per employee, sending companies a message that Florida is business-friendly, said Rep. Doug Holmes, a Republican who sponsored the bill, which is now before the state Senate.

    "It's a disincentive to move to the state of Florida with a new business or for a business that's here to expand if they have to pay all this money per employee," Holmes said.

    Limiting benefits to 20 weeks won't affect that many people, according to Holmes. That's because the unemployed claim an average of 17.7 weeks of state benefits.

    Is this a good idea? Will it cause companies to hire more individuals, or merely give them more money at the expense of the unemployed?
    Last edited by Cameron; 03-23-11 at 10:16 AM.

  2. #2

    MaggieD's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Unemployment Benefits

    Quote Originally Posted by Krhazy View Post
    Is this a good idea? Will it cause companies to hire more individuals, or merely give them more money at the expense of the unemployed?
    I had never thought of tying length of benefits to the rate of unemployment.

    I've never collected unemployment benefits in my life. An awful lot of the people I know who have never seriously looked for work until their benefits were about to run out. I know that's anecdotal, but... (And probably less true today.)

    Unemployments benefits are not paid from a self-sufficient fund paid for by employers. They are heavily subsidized with state and local funds. In many states, employees themselves also contribute to the fund. With this most recent downturn in the economy and Federal stimulus funds propping up these programs along with benefit periods extended, almost every state is going to experience large increases in costs, I think, because when the Federal stimulus funds run out, more of the burden is going to be born by the state, employers and (in some cases) employees themselves.

    I applaud Florida for looking ahead because it's very hard to 'take away' what's been 'giveth.' It isn't always about the evil corporations. It's about fiscal responsibility and attracting companies/jobs they provide.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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