73,000 Floridians Lose Unemployment Benefits – How Will This Affect The Rest Of Us?

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December 31, 2013

By: Robert Asencio – Florida Public Employees


Alex Leary, Washington Burreau of the Tampa Bay Times, reports:

“About 73,000 Florida residents lost unemployment benefits on Saturday as the safety net program expired due as Congress left for the holidays.

In addition, 3,665 additional people will lost (lose) benefits each week during the first half of the year, according to numbers provided Monday by Democrats on the House Ways & Means Committee.

The extension of benefits was excluded from the budget deal worked out between Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., but the issue is likely to resurface on Capitol Hill next week.”

Certainly, if directly unaffected, you are less likely to give much thought to the loss of benefits by so many Floridians.  But the reality is, as employed taxpayers we should be asking ourselves: How will this affect you and me?  Especially as Public Employees, who are employed by the public and are charged with performing the functions of public service.

As summarized in the Associated Press:

“The end of the program may prompt a drop in the nation’s unemployment rate, but not necessarily for a good reason. People out of work are required to look for work to receive unemployment benefits. As benefits disappear, some jobless will stop looking for work out of frustration and will no longer be counted as unemployed.”

— Do Washington lawmakers know something we don’t?

— Are they expecting a miraculous jobs growth in the new year?

— Or, are they once again playing partisan politics at the expense of fellow Americans?

Agreed we need to wean people off public assistance, but is this the best and only way to achieve this objective?  Especially when the urgency remains to strengthen our economy, reduce debt and expand upon the policies that stimulate public and private sector growth.

After all, the power of any country is its people and their contributions to it.

A congressional present that for many will amount to a horrible start of the New Year – 2014.


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