Archive for Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kansas seeking help from feds to pay unemployment benefits

State is also increasing businesses’ unemployment tax

December 23, 2009


Kansas officials will seek federal funds next month to help pay jobless benefits because the state’s unemployment trust fund is nearly depleted.

“We are going through the worst recession in modern times,” Kansas Department of Labor Secretary Jim Garner said recently.

In addition, payroll taxes paid by employers into the fund will increase next year. Employers have enjoyed three years of falling unemployment taxes, but the average rate, which was 2.02 percent on the first $8,000 of employee wages, will go to 4.37 percent next year, according to Kansas Department of Labor projections. Actual rates charged to employers are based on a complicated formula that includes a history of benefits paid by the company.

The rate of depletion of the trust fund has been unprecedented.

In November, there were 194,271 continued claims for unemployment benefits, compared with 86,048 in November 2008. The unemployment trust fund has paid out $751 million this year, as compared with $333.1 million in 2008, $236.3 million in 2007, and $221.8 million in 2006.

In January, the state will start borrowing from the federal government to pay out jobless benefits, said Kathy Toelkes, Labor Department spokeswoman.

The state has requested $65 million in January, $97 million in February and $81 million in March, she said.

The Kansas unemployment rate for November was 6.2 percent, up from 4.7 percent in November 2008.

Kansas will join 25 other states in borrowing to pay unemployment benefits. Projections show that 35 to 40 states will eventually be using federal funds to help pay state jobless benefits.


Mixolydian 8 years, 6 months ago

Perfect illustration of how government programs like social security, unemployment, medicare/medicaid and the soon to be government health care boondoggle are nothing but ponzi schemes.

calvin 8 years, 6 months ago

Too bad we don't have a democratic senator from our state, then we could cut a sleezy under the table deal and the feds could pump in money for this. It would be illegal, but it works for Nebraska and medicaid.

Jason Bailey 8 years, 6 months ago

Sweet! 35-40 states will need Fed help. I get a warm and fuzzy feeling in my tummy everytime I consider how well the Messiah has made our country. It's so much better now.

Thanks, Mr. Obama! You're the best!

(BTW: I want my cut from your stash too!)

Bruce Liddel 8 years, 5 months ago

I guess it is nice that we can just borrow from the Fed, who will happily print up whatever we need to borrow.

Truth is, we are simply stealing from our grandchildren.

No? OK, then the truth is: we don't know the truth, we can't know the truth, because Congress has steadfastly refused to audit the Fed.

leedavid 8 years, 5 months ago

Obama in the democrats are doing a heck of a job working without stop on putting people back to work. I tell ya, this is unbelieveable. The good news is...well there isn't any. He won the Nobel Prize...that's something.

Centerville 8 years, 5 months ago

Why don't we could just raise taxes on something associated with holding a job, like alarm clocks? According to the common wisdom and Wagnon-grade analysis, that would generate millions and solve the problem!

don_shorock 8 years, 5 months ago

Several years ago, when times were good, our Republican legislature decided the unemployment insurance reserves were too big, so the employer contributions were cut --- during a time when they could have afforded the payments.

Now that times are bad, it'll be necessary to increase the employer contributions to the unemployment fund.

The result of political grandstanding is that what should be a counter-cyclical program (UI) becomes a program that exacerbates the cyclical nature of the economy.

KS 8 years, 5 months ago

don_shorock - Without going into the details, many employers used that extra money years ago to expand their businesses and created more jobs. Just short of bringing a gun into the workplace, the KD of Labor just gives the money away. If they would tighten up the give aways in the state, there would be a little more to pass around in tough times like this. Keep raising this and other taxes, and guess what? You will again hear that "giant sucking sound" that ole Ross Perot talked about. We push our jobs out of this country. It is the American way. The chickens are starting to come home to roost. Ever heard that before?

Shane Garrett 8 years, 5 months ago

I got my Christmas Stimulas from Obama today in the mail. One coupon for 50% off at popeyes, An IOU for next 4 years tax returns. And a baggie of seeds and stems. What a grinch!

wastewatcher 8 years, 5 months ago

don shorock --- Do not blame the republicans, as I recall the facts this was another of Sebelius' ideas. She pushed it and bragged about the great things she accomplished. Check it out, if you don't believe it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

"Without going into the details, many employers used that extra money years ago to expand their businesses and created more jobs."

The devil is in the details, but the reason you didn't list them is that the whole "give me a tax break and I'll create jobs" is way more self-serving myth than fact.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 5 months ago

Too bad that money is going to Nebraska to pay off Reid's bribe for Nelson's vote.

Centerville 8 years, 5 months ago

I'd suggest that we encourage all our Medicaid clients to move to Nebraska. And that the rest of us invest in building acres and acres of Nebraska nursing homes.

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