Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2012

Statehouse Live: Jenkins says some are happy to stay unemployed to collect benefits

August 30, 2012


— U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, said some people "are happy" to stay unemployed to collect benefits rather than work.

Jenkins' Democratic opponent, Tobias Schlingensiepen, criticized her remark.

Jenkins statement about the unemployed came during a meeting on Wednesday in Columbus, which is in Cherokee County in southeast Kansas.

According to The Joplin Globe, Lori Johnson, chairwoman of the Cherokee County Republican Party, said some residents remain on unemployment rather than taking a low-paying job, then they claim a deduction on their taxes.

The Globe reported that Jenkins responded, saying, "Right now we have people who are happy to collect unemployment and not work. We have a problem with people working the system."

Schlingensiepen said Jenkins' comment was insulting.

"Congresswoman Jenkins sounds like she has spent so much time in Washington she has forgotten what real life is like," Schlingensiepen said.

"Nobody is happy to be unemployed. To offer a catchphrase instead of a solution is insulting. When I go to Washington, I'll work with both parties to create jobs for the people of Cherokee County, not criticize them," he said.

Southeast Kansas has among the highest unemployment rates in the state. Cherokee County, which borders both Missouri and Oklahoma, had an 8.6 percent jobless rate in July compared with 6.7 percent statewide. Cherokee County also has a higher rate of people living below the poverty line — 17.5 percent compared with 12.4 percent statewide, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Bill Roe, who is campaign manager for Jenkins, said that Jenkins recently met with a small businessman who said that when he tried to make a hire, the applicant said he couldn't start for a few weeks because that is when his unemployment ran out.

"It's precisely this type of abuse of the system that is siphoning money away from folks who legitimately need it," Roe said. "Unlike Tobias Schlingensiepen, Congresswoman Jenkins has no intention of standing by silently while thieves steal money from individuals in need," he said.

Schlingensiepen said Roe's comment represented more of the same insulting.

"In two days time, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and her campaign have called the people of Cherokee County thieves and happy to be unemployed," he said. "Besides the obvious insult to people who are trying hard to get jobs, it’s that kind of tone that is never going to solve problems for the people of the 2nd District," he added.

Jenkins is seeking a third two-year term to represent the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Lawrence and much of eastern Kansas. Schlingensiepen, a Topeka pastor, is making his first run for elective office. Libertarian Dennis Hawver of Ozawkie is also on the ballot.


Roland Gunslinger 4 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately she's right.

Because minimum wage is so low people make more money when they collect unemployment than if they went to work at one of these low paying jobs. Now maybe if these businesses paid a wage where people could make ends meet then there would be an incentive to get off unemployment. It's common sense. Most people aren't going to take a cut in income when they're already hurting.

sleepy33 4 years, 1 month ago

She's not right. Unemployment is based on a percentage of what your weekly pay was before you lost your job. The maximum unemployment payment is $444 (before taxes) per week, and that is only if you earned $52,000 or more during the previous two calendar years. If you earned less than that, you get 44% of your former weekly pay, with the minimum set at $111. If you were earning enough that your unemployment payment is more than what you would make at a minimum wage job, then chances are that you are too qualified for and should not be working a min wage job, even if you would be willing to do so. From personal experience, if you have an education and work history, it's very difficult to be hired for even basic service jobs.

Also, there's no 'tax deduction' for unemployment; in fact, you must pay taxes on the unemployment money you receive.

What's really galling is this fallacy that unemployment is the same as welfare. Unemployment insurance payments come from a combination of money that you personally have already paid in to the system, and money contributed by your former employer(s). It doesn't come from other people's tax dollars. It is finite, and does run out eventually.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

And with unemployment somewhere between 8% and 18%, depending on how you count it, the availability of jobs is quite limited, even for someone who badly wants a job.

And given that Republican policies would make those rates even greater, and even more permanent than they are, what does Jenkins propose to do for the millions of people with no hope of finding jobs?

jackpot 4 years, 1 month ago

You can opt to have some tax money taken out, by lowering the weekly amount paid to you.

George_Braziller 4 years, 1 month ago

In 2001 I was "temporarily" cut to half-time. The hours were scheduled to go back up to full-time after four months. I was eligible for unemployment for the lost hours but it wasn't worth the hassle. My salary I was still making counted dollar for dollar against what I could have potentially received from unemployment, and I was required to apply for three jobs a week that I didn't want or need because I was going to go back up to full time.

Had to document and submit every job application and the status each week. I filed once and said screw it. Not worth the effort each week for $87.00.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 1 month ago

This is a myth based idea that the Republicans love to exploit because it paints a false image that there are millions of deadbeats living off the government.

All they need is a couple of examples of real losers somehow living in a commune or a friends couch somewhere and people believe it.

I find it disgusting that a program that is basically an insurance policy to provide some supplemental relief in desparate times is used to browbeat the recipients as being deadbeats simply to score political points.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

Who ya' gonna believe? Me, or your lyin' eyes?

Yes, all we need is a couple of examples, but if one lives a longer, and sees more than just a couple, then what. When that "just a couple of examples" expands to dozens, and then to hundreds, then what? Do I believe you or my own eyes? If you work in the field of social services (I did), and you come into contact with significant more of these types than perhaps someone with a different occupation, a different set of experiences, then should I believe you, or my own eyes? If that number of examples expands into the thousands, should I believe you or my own eyes?

Is the number in the millions as you rhetorically ask in your first sentence? Maybe, maybe not. But is the number a couple as you suggest in your second sentence? Certainly not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

And with several decades of living behind me, I call BS on your contention that this is highly representative of those unfortunate enough to need to draw on the unemployment insurance (that they to a large extent paid for.)

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

You're calling BS on my experiences? On what I've seen with my own eyes?

Please do note that I did not say "highly representative" (I'm not even sure what that means). I said the truth lies somewhere between a couple of examples and millions. And even that last number, millions, I'm not so sure about as the numbers of people unemployed reaches into the tens of millions, then the number of slackers (is that a representative expression for someone not highly motivated to get a job because they are receiving benefits?), but if the numbers do reach into the tens of millions, then saying a million or more might still be accurate even if it doesn't reach a majority, which is how I interpret "highly representative".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

So answer this question-- do you favor severely restricting unemployment insurance, even in the midst of extremely high unemployment, based solely on the possibility that some percentage of people drawing unemployment supposedly don't want to find a job (even if there were any available?)

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

Define "severely restricting"

"based solely on the possibility that some percentage of people drawing unemployment supposedly don't want to find a job" - It's not supposedly, it's an absolute certainty. The only question remains is what percentage. From my experience, it's higher than some people would like to admit. And I suspect you fall into that category.

(even if there were any available) - There are jobs. Many jobs. Not highly paid jobs, but jobs. Not jobs I would like to have, but jobs. Not jobs that provide the levels of satisfaction that people may have become used to, but jobs. And of course no mention of the possibility that with a wee bit of entrepreneurial spirit and a whole bunch of hard work, people could create their own job.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

From my experience, it's lower than some people would like to claim. And I suspect you fall into that category.

"And of course no mention of the possibility that with a wee bit of entrepreneurial spirit and a whole bunch of hard work, people could create their own job.'

Oh, get off it, life ain't the movies.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

Let's see, I've mentioned before that after working in social services for several years, I then opened from scratch several successful (and one very unsuccessful) businesses, employing hundreds along the way. Maybe my life should be made into a movie. (I'm certain it would be dull as could be, maybe a documentary. Or better yet, Bozo, you can simply believe that other people have different experiences from your own. And if you can't learn from those experiences, simply acknowledge that they are true. And that that explains why they come at things from a perspective far different than your own.)

BTW - I mentioned above that there are jobs available, not ones I would like to have ... I'm reminded of the fact that while attending K.U., I worked at McDonald's, the one on 23rd. Interesting that from a business point of view, I learned more there than I did while up on the hill. So if someone tells me that working at that type of job is a dead end, I would say only if you choose to limit your horizons. Keep your eyes and ears open, because you never know if some day you might be opening a restaurant of your own.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

You have to have actually worked a job in order to get unemployment. It's a system we pay into with our work. Therefore, people who get unemployment are not lazy shiftabouts unwilling to work. Some may be making a temporary cost benefit analysis about whether it's better to take a less preferred job, but that's not the same as deciding never to work. The system itself takes care of repeat offenders, because, again, you have to have worked and paid into the system in order to receive benefits.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

Unemployment, like social security, assumes certain things. I may pay into social security until age 64, die, and receive nothing in the way of benefits. Or I might live to be 100 and receive far more than I paid in. Of course, we all assume the risk that we might be the one who dies or the one who lives to 100. Unemployment works is similar ways. The only way for it to work is for some to pay into the system and receive less (or nothing) of what they paid in while others pay in and receive more.

I knew a person who worked seasonally. He worked 9-10 months per year and then could not work during the rainy season (in Northern California, the rainy season typically coincides with winter). While the rainy season varied year to year, employers frequently shut down for those weeks (about two months). During that time, he filed for and received unemployment. The bottom line is, that if he does this year after year, and he did, then he will receive far more than he pays in. Others who work at year round jobs and continue to be employed will never get back what they paid in.

But the question becomes during this particular recession is should unemployment last for 50 weeks, 60 weeks, 99 weeks? At a certain point in time, the benefits outweigh the downside of being unemployed and begin to discourage a job search. When exactly that is will vary person to person, as opinions on this thread will vary. But I am of the opinion that having unemployment benefits last beyond 6 months becomes counterproductive. You may feel free to disagree with me. But that is my opinion.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes. That's why it's called "insurance." Some people will collect more than others, just like car, health, home, and every other insurance out there. Difference being that virtually all of us are in the risk pool if we work somewhere, so we don't tend to feel a hit from it unless we've got a case of ginormous economic downturn. And in that case, ending payments would be more disastrous to the economy than continuing them. I've never collected a dime of unemployment myself. I don't begrudge a seasonal worker who gets a bit during the off season. I'd rather have my job. It pays better. The off season, btw, doesn't last 99 weeks.

Personally, I'd decrease the age of social security retirement for the next couple years in order to take some of the oldest workers out of the workforce and allow younger workers to fill their places. They're one of the groups most likely to find themselves looking at that 99 weeks of unemployment, but I'm sure it's because they're all lazy bums that have been disincentivized by the massive gravy train of a fraction of what they used to earn.

Not only do I disagree with you on the length of unemployment benefits and motives for job seeking behavior, the data does too.

Katz, Lawrence F. and Bruce D. Meyer. “The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment,” Journal of Public Economics (1990), pp. 45‐72.

When there are five applicants for every opening, it's mathematically impossible to employ all job seekers. So even if there are a few people making the choice to take the paltry payout from unemployment insurance instead of actively seeking work, they're allowing perfectly good workers to get gainfully employed. Removing them from the system would just further depress the economy. A high level of job applicants doesn't create jobs. It just makes the jobs pay less, and I really doubt 4/5 of all recipients are demotivated to job seek.

Jimo 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, if you're delusional........

I'm not saying you're lying. I'm just saying you're allergic to Truth. Jenkins? Yep, Liar Extraordinaire! Only a Zero of the first order would believe that 48 months ago, millions of Americans suddenly got lazy and decided to stop working because the unemployment benefits were too grand to turn down. What part of stupid does she best represent?

Jenkins needs to find a new comedy act on someone else's dime!

Richard Payton 4 years, 1 month ago

With gas prices going up along with food price spikes people need all the money they can get. We are witnessing a broken system that needs a fix. How to fix it in a down economy will create some hardships with no easy solutions. As a nation we need to focus on helping our neighbor.

Peter Macfarlane 4 years, 1 month ago

Working the system: the rich do it all the time. why should we criticize the unemployed and the poor for doing the same thing?

Paul R Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

Because the rich deserve it and the poor do not?

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Let's not forget that the layoff-recall pattern is something rich employers do to save on labor costs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

This is the problem with the current Republican Party-- they make policy based on anecdote, and it doesn't really matter how representative of the real world that anecdote is.

Sure, there are some people who will milk unemployment for all it's worth. But anyone who lives in the real world knows that that is a small minority. The vast majority of people want to find work, if for no other reason than it's very difficult to keep the bills paid while on unemployment, but mainly because most people understand the value of work, and happily do it.

Making policy based on lies has become official Republican policy.

blogme 4 years, 1 month ago

"This is the problem with the current Republican Party -- they make policy based on acecdote". OK, but then you back that up with your own anecdote. "The vast majority of people want to find work..." Where's the facts Bozo? Or are you just a member of the Republican Party you rail against?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Jenkins was making her statement based on a single incident and a single individual, with second hand information.

My statement is based on several decades of observing lots of people. And that observation is that most people aren't lazy slackers just looking for a handout. That doesn't mean that I don't know a few slackers-- I do. But I stand by my observation.

I feel sorry for you if you're surrounded by lots of lazy slackers. Maybe you should seek out a better group of people to associate with.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Why won't the Republicans vote to give tax incentives to companies who will bring back jobs to the US. Then we can test whether or not people want to to work. My money is on the people. Turn the US into a country where people make things again. It wasn't the workers who were greedy and wanted more profit. It wasn't the people who gave tax credits to people who take jobs out of the country. Quit pitying the billionaire, and start feeling sorry for the people who just want a decent job.

Republicans talk about making the US great again, but they were the ones who set up this economy that took the jobs out of the US. Make the US great again by bringing back manufacturing. Yet, they blocked that in Congress. Why?

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

Says Bozo!! I make the same comment based on years as both an employee and employer. Some people abuse the system. Yes, it is illegal to do so. It is also illegal to speed. What percentage of the latter do we catch? We do not catch all (or even many) of the former.

Why can so many of you not admit that social services are abused. Are you fearful they will be terminated. Would it not be better to clean them up and better direct our resources or are most of you unconcerned because you are not paying the bills??

snitty 4 years, 1 month ago

If the voters of this district un-employ Jenkins, she will still get a pension that is far more generous than unemployment benefits for workers. And then she can easily cash in as a lobbyist. Her remarks typify the schadenfreude her party displays toward the poor and the unemployed. Talk about working the system!

Paul R Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

I would be honored to help pay for her retirement.

JayCat_67 4 years, 1 month ago

If she puts in the same 20 years a Soldier has to put in to collect his/her retirement, fine. But anything less than than, heck no! And that goes for any elected official. It's time for them to get back to going to Washington, representing their neighbors, then coming home and going back to work. Yeah, like that's ever going to happen again.

aweshootpearl 4 years, 1 month ago

'speaking' from past experience are we?

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

My first job out of the Army was shovel-ready. I had a shovel in the big hole the backhoe was digging cleaning out where the big shovel couldn't go. That and carrying around 12 inch water pipe.

Reagan was president.

A few months later I got into an entry-level trade position and moved up from there. Soon enough I could afford college.

Terry Sexton 4 years, 1 month ago

He isn't clown; he is bozo & you've been drinkin' too much tea.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

Typical republican attatudes, unemployed poeple are lazy, indifferent, and sucking off of the state. Jenkins is a stunnhing example of someone who should have never been elected, but was elected by the clueless, stupid and ignorant voters who have an axe to grind with the black dude in the White House.

And since the JW did not include the print edition story about Ryan's speech at the conventiion last night, my comment on the print story is here:

Blah, Blah, Blah, same old bait and switch from the republican facists. Blah, Blah, Blan, we will promise it now, and forget it after we get our hands on "Obamacare" Blah, blah, blah, lies, deceptions, and misrepresentations. Blah, Bllah, Blah......usual GOP pablum. Nothing new here. B ut you won't see it in this forum.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

In my experience, people often make rather irrational decisions regarding money.

JayCat_67 4 years, 1 month ago

I think that's unfortunately what a lot of people vote on regardless of whom they voted for.

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

The people I know who are out of work (including myself recently) are going nuts being without work and not having a place to go every day. They are thankful that unemployment comp (BTW something we have all contributed to for many years) is there to help pay some of the bills. For most people, unemployment comp does not pay all the bills, and you watch your savings account go down each month.

Sure Miss Jenkins can find an example of a deadbeat, take that one example, apply said example to whole set. I find this insulting.

Lets not also forget this is a safety net. it gives people disposable income and helps economies from falling even more sharply.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"If the black dude"

Too bad this site does't let you use the word you really intended, right?

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Amazing that some are so open about it, isn't it?

When was the last time this poster called a President the "white dude" in the White House, I wonder?

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

Terms like this are reprehensible should be criticized. Of course, I've seen posters remain silent in the face of other terms equally reprehensible, perhaps because they were mentioned by those supporting their particular political position. Sad.

optimist 4 years, 1 month ago

If you look above it was Yeoman2 that first used that to reference our President. He used it in his effort to childishly attack Republicans for whom he disagrees which undoubtedly makes him a raving left winger. So (the liberal) Yeoman2 isn't a racist for referencing Presidents race but the likely Republican (justfornow) that essentially quotes the racist liberal in an effort to dispute him is the racist. I like you liberals; you're both foolish, and funny.

somedude20 4 years, 1 month ago

OK, so at the Klan rally when the grand wizard says a racists remark and all the other KKK members parrot what the wizard said, they are NOT racists because they are just repeating?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

I didn't see yeoman2's post before posting my comment, and you have a valid point.

That said, it's undeniable that there is a very powerful "us and them" attitude in the Republican/Tea Party, and Obama is definitely viewed as "them," and there is a very strong racist component to that.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 1 month ago

S&P, Aug. 5, 2011: The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. …

Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee [of Congress] decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.

Most financial news and analysis also refers to the instability in Congress. The same media understand the need for cutting costs and increasing revenue.

Alceste 4 years, 1 month ago

Too, when offerred a job whilst one is receiving Employment Security benefits (what most people call "unemployment"), one must take that job. If one does not take the offerred job and reports that one was a offerred a job, but declined it, benefits are suspended while dept. of labor workers sort out the matter. Of course there aren't that many dept. of labor employees left and the filing process for benefits, as well as the weekly reporting is automated.

The instance being sighted by the "....small businessman who said that when he tried to make a hire, the applicant said he couldn't start....." is possible.....but the person who refused the job needs to report that refusal.

But we're in Kansas.....and in hard times, Kansans like to blame the poor.

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

But the system has no way to know you refused a job or botched an interview to avoid being offered one.

bad_dog 4 years, 1 month ago

If the prospective employer notified the state agency they would know and could take appropriate action. That's what I would do.

sr80 4 years, 1 month ago

Your wrong Alceste ! If the job doesn't pay more than your benefits you don't have to take the job.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 4 years, 1 month ago

You're (note the spelling and punctuation) wrong sr80!

From the Kansas Unemployment Insurance Questions and Answers Brochure, page 10:

Benefits What if I refuse a job? You will be disqualified for benefits if you fail to apply for or accept suitable work when offered by a workforce center or another employer without good cause. You will be disqualified beginning with the Sunday of the week in which the refusal occurred. After completing a temporary job assignment, you may be disqualified if you fail to request an additional assignment on the next workday, if required to do so by the employment agreement.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

I imagine they define "suitable" somewhere.

sr80 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh Lord !! What am I to do !! I guess since I did collect UE that I would not know what I was talking about. By the way SS, do you still carry a ruler around ?

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Wouldn't part of "suitable" include something that pays more than your benefits? They're not requiring an architect to accept the first burger flipping job offer, I don't imagine.

Keith 4 years, 1 month ago

Some people are so reliant on government handouts that they come back every two years and ask for more.

blindrabbit 4 years, 1 month ago

just: Another Navy vet; please spell out your military service record so we can criticize your specialty!

Shane Garrett 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, Jenkisorous you just lost another republican voter. (ME).

John Hamm 4 years, 1 month ago

Jenkins is right some unemployed are quite happy to sit back live off the public dole whilst picking up money (unreported of course) and continue their lives until the unemployment runs out. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see and hear examples of it all over town. Sure there's many who are actively seeking and want work but more than an Liberal will admit that simply love the time off.

John Hamm 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh heck! I missed this quote, "Bill Roe, who is campaign manager for Jenkins, said that Jenkins recently met with a small businessman who said that when he tried to make a hire, the applicant said he couldn't start for a few weeks because that is when his unemployment ran out." You got that right baby!

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Did the employer pay less than unemployment? Detail not included.

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

I hated the time off. Worst 5 months of my life. I will work til they put me under.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

So if you know who these people are, why haven't you turned them in oolnly Bonly. I just makes you either a liar or an accomplice.

bad_dog 4 years, 1 month ago

A quick review of your comment history indicates you excel at wasting time; mostly however, that of other readers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

I saw that, too. Quite a few of those billboards appeared overnight. They're so big that they probably should have pulled building permits to erect them.

You might be right that it's on city property, but the I think the Schwadas own the lots to the east where the sale barn used to be, and it could be on that property.

hedshrinker 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh, I LOATHE that monster sign; have to go past it several times a day and it totally messes with my attitude...I have to practice serious deep breathing to calm down, but it reminds me I have to work harder on Tobias' campaign to get shed of her.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 1 month ago

there will always be people that work the welfare system. i see them in court all the time. however they are a minority. most folks want a job that can provide their families a life. job creation should be the focus of our government. however welfare queen stories always draw attention.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

No one is suggesting it's a majority, as in 51%. But if it's 20%, that's too damn high. If it's 10%, that's too damn high. If it's 5%, that too damn high. Now if you're saying that the number of cheats, the number of lazy is in the low single digits, I will tell you you are wrong. But whether it 8% or 12%, whether it's 16% or 18%, it's too damn high. And any system that fosters that type of behavior needs to be changed. And while the welfare queen story does indeed make a good story, sticking one's head in the sand and pretending a problem doesn't exist won't make it go away. Both of those strategies lead nowhere.

ioconnell 4 years, 1 month ago

She's not going after the 20%. She's going after the 100%. If she were trying to fix the system, she'd propose ways of doing that. Meanwhile, the majority of people receiving unemployment are trying to keep their families fed and shopping local businesses in order to do so. Nobody benefits from unemployment. Nobody.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

You'd have 92% starve to punish 8%? For someone who claims to have worked with the homeless and disabled, you sure are one heartless curmudgeon. Dang.

James Nelson 4 years, 1 month ago

I am sick and tired of the same old, same old republican response to the country's problem of high unemployment. Its always the same. No one drawing benefits is legit. They are all gaming the system. This is just like Kobach's claim that illegals are swaying election outcomes. Well you know, it is against the law to do these things. If they think this is happening then why in the hell don't they prosecute the offenders. "Oh, you want me to prove it? Thats too hard and there might not be enough evidence for that. I'll just sit here and continue to make all these fase accusations and keep people riled up."

Lynn Jenkins, go to hell!!!!!

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

I see our resident “communist” has taken us off on another wild ride. Unemployment funds are paid by the employer (you could argue they might have gone to the employee). When one is unemployed a number of other government programs may be available depending on state, condition, martial status and so on. There are food stamps, housing assistance, child care, Medicaid, chips, family assistance and more. The combined total can be significant.

I find it intriguing that every time this subject arises we are bombarded with comments about how somebody hates the poor. Another wild ride. The safety net is there to help people who need help. Many, many of us are aware that the system is abused. Instead of acknowledging that fact and providing hard data on how many and for how long (highly disputed) some on here throw rocks at the accusers. Maybe we really should know the answer to that accusation and either put it down or fix it up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Who is denying that it gets abused? But Jenkins and the Republicans aren't using that fact to argue for reducing that abuse, but rather as a pretext for dismantling the social safety net in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy.

That ain't rocks-- it's just the facts.

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, ever Republican I have heard defends the safety net. What am I missing. Maybe the Huffington Post?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Well, ever Republican I have heard defends the safety net."

That's just lip service, given that they just don't want to pay for it.

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't want to pay for it as countless of others. I do and I pay a lot I in return demand that it be efficient and effective. Instead of hearing from liberals about more more more I would much prefer a joint effort to make it more efficient so that current resources are mor effective. Then we can talk about more.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Efficient and effective would be to tax the wealthiest and directly invest in infrastructure programs that get people working and off of unemployment while making things more appealing for private business investment. But apparently people would rather have the inefficient method of tax cuts to the wealthy and pretending that the rich "built that."

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Guess you haven't been listening lately.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

If we shut down all the systems that suffer some abuse, would that include the military, the farm program and all the no bid contracts the government hands out to their buddies?

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

Read the post above, Moderate. It is against the law to abuse the system. You must answer some questions each time you fill out your weekly claim. If you are untruthful or dishonest, you are subject to prosecution and/or monetary obligation to pay back past claims recieved.

KansasPerson 4 years, 1 month ago

"Bill Roe, who is campaign manager for Jenkins, said that Jenkins recently met with a small businessman who said that when he tried to make a hire, the applicant said he couldn't start for a few weeks because that is when his unemployment ran out."

Okay, let me get this straight. Roe says that Jenkins told Roe that Businessman had told Jenkins that Applicant told Businessman....

Yep, sounds like hard evidence to me!

cowboy 4 years, 1 month ago

Lynn Jenkins has been collecting benefits and salary for doing nothing for years...

Lynns crowning legislative acheivment in 2011 ... drum roll please....

The Affordable Footwear Act 2011

I kid you not , look it up , to reduce or eliminate the duty on cheap imported footwear , probably for Payless ya think , yeah Lynn USA jobs , no lets import a bunch of cheap crap from God knows where.

You can't make this crap up

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

I worked part time while collecting unemployment. Though this lowered my weekly benefit, I much preffered working the hours and it kept my spirits up. I also preserved some of my benefit for a later period should I become unemployed or laid off in the near future.

I worked hard for twenty years and payed into the system. I was glad it helped me in my time of need. Even at that, I still watched some of the balance in my life savings go down each month.

I also am thankful that President Obama introduced a 2nd tier of benefits as an extension to those who were still out of work and looking. I was hoping that I would never need that, but it provided some peace of mind. I know this 2nd tier has undoubedtly been a lifesafer for those struggling. For individuals and families just like you and me, who would have a lot to lose.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years, 1 month ago

You did not pay into the system. Your employer did. Your employer was taxed at what ever his rate was due to his experience on the first 4 or 8K of your wages. YOU paid nothing. Sad thing is, in most cases, it is the thieves, malcontents, druggies, no shows, and other types of losers that generally get these benefits. If you are a good employee, you generally will be able to keep your job, or when a place closes, your boss refers you to someone he knows as good employees are very hard to find.

ioconnell 4 years, 1 month ago

Only "bad" employees lose their jobs? Wow. You are one unhappy dude.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

In addition, unemployment is only available to those who lose their job through no fault of their own, so he's completely wrong.

globehead 4 years, 1 month ago

Some citation of statistics please! Bank of America laid off 30,000 people last year in one move. Please show me where the majority of those were " ...thieves, malcontents, druggies, no shows, and other types of losers..." I'm dead certain the CEO of BoA did NOT get on the phone and make 30,000 calls to his buddies and say, "hey, I've got a good worker here for you". A little realism is in order please.

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

I "know" someone who left a job, because the employer was using "questionable" practices. Is a good employee supposed to be unethical until he can land another job?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

The main reason Republicans hate unemployment insurance is because if they could eliminate it, it would create desperation among workers. Without it, employers could drive down wages and benefits under the threat that what they have to offer is better than nothing.

This is much more the reality than the "abuse" they like to focus on.

oklahoma 4 years, 1 month ago

Bozo, so many uninformed comments in this one thread. Employees do not pay for unemployment insurance. The unemployed will be the first to tell you they choose unemployment benefits over taking a lower paying job. The lion's share of employers are small businesses, and those employers are not wealthy, so a cut in the rate would not be a benefit to the 5%ers, as the tax itself is regressive. Finally, if you do your homework, you will find that you can be employed and still get unemployment benefits due to the system being broken. This is not a conservative/liberal issue, it is a waste of taxpayer money and an example of broken government systems that every taxpayer should be concerned about.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Reality check time.

You know how much a business owner pays for unemployment insurance if they have no employees? Here's a hint-- nothing.

Whenever any business considers hiring a new employee, they look at all the costs involved in making that hire-- wages and benefits, including worker's comp and unemployment insurance. They only make that hire if they believe the work that person will perform will bring in enough money to cover all of those expenses (all of which are tax deductible, btw.)

So the reality is that it's the employee that's paying for unemployment insurance, not the employer.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, not really.

The employee is "working" for those benefits, but not paying for them. Customers are paying for them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

It's a transaction-- workers perform work in exchange for the money that the customer pays for the good or service. That money pays for the salary and benefits of the employee, plus profit and overhead expenses to the employer.

Bottomline, the workers earn the amount of money put into unemployment insurance. It's not a gift.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

It's not a "gift", it's a "benefit".

If it weren't required, I bet employers would neither pay into it, nor increase salaries by a commensurate amount.

Kevin Millikan 4 years, 1 month ago

Yet another example of how the GOP has lost interest/caring/compassion on those that lost their jobs because of the prior president.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

So if you are correct and someone lost their job during the last administration, and has yet to find a new job, you would support unemployment for 180 weeks? (3.5 years) And as it appears there is no statute of limitations for blaming the previous administration, may we assume you favor extending unemployment indefinitely? Or until that statute of limitations does arrive. (5 years, 10, 50 years).

Kate Rogge 4 years, 1 month ago

Man, you just love to argue. What part of this massive recession have you found hard to understand? LHS1980's point is that the GOP has lost interest/caring/compassion for those who have lost their jobs in this recession. I agree with him. What seems to bother you most is that he calls out Bush's appalling economic policies (two off-the-books wars?) as the cause of that recession and its resulting jobs loss. So why not throw Clinton's deregulations into the mix? Feel better?

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

You are misinterpreting my posts. First, and I've said this many times, I worked in social services for many years. I saw all sorts of abuse. Frequently, with the complicity of case workers (their complicity was achieved by willingly sticking their heads in the sand, not wanting to see what was in clear sight). This was many years ago, long before this recession. It was before the recession of the early '90's. Maybe human behavior has changed. I doubt it. So this has nothing to do with this particular recession, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc. Nothing.

As to the off the books spending for these wars, again, I've frequently said I am opposed to that. I am not in favor of deficit spending. It's way too easy to spend when you're using someone else's credit card (future generations). I strongly believe in substantial tax increases for everyone to pay for whatever we choose. I believe when we are really forced to pay for everything, then we will decide to spend very differently than we spend now. I think these wars will end. I think waste and fraud will be substantially reduced. I think the social safety net will be reduced. But I think we the voters will be returned to our rightful position as the decider of what exactly our priorities are and what they are not. Tax everyone at much higher rates and there will be long lines at the polling station.

blogme 4 years, 1 month ago

Really? So when does this economy become Obama's economy? He's only been in office 3.5 years now. And he had both the house and the senate under DNC control the first two years of office. He could have laid the ground work to fix the economy easily then. But the thing you don't understand is that when the head of the nation keeps berating the companies and evil corporations that make jobs in this country, and hang a millstone around their necks called Obamacare, no right minded biz leader would think about expanding biz. They think about how to pay for all these new mandates that could have been money for hiring employees and expanding biz.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

The D had a filibuster proof majority for a couple of months here and a couple of months there during the 1st 2 years.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

WE have a problem with the republican party putting millions out of work and out of medical insurance.

WE have a problem with the republican party home loan scams depleting property values thus owning a home becomes a very risky investment.

Republicans cost the USA too much money! Meet the Republican DEFICIT EXPANDING/JOB KILLING PLATFORM.

ENTITLEMENT - TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets!

ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

Tax cuts = the ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again.

Yep Still A Bad ENTITLEMENT Idea – Bush Tax Cuts aka The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Kevin Yoder and Lynn Jenkins recently voted to continue the Bush Tax Cuts for the 1%.

I am extremely dismayed that Rep Yoder and Rep Jenkins voted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

When we're brutally slashing the budget for government programs that help people, there's nothing more fiscally irresponsible than giving money to millionaires and billionaires who literally don't need it.

Rep Kevin Yoder, 202-225-2865 Rep Lynn Jenkins 202 225 6601

The very same politicians who are pleading poverty and yelling the loudest about the need to make brutal budget cuts had no problem voting to give away more tax dollars to the rich and the ultra-rich.

We saw this again recently when Congress Rep Lynn Jenkins and Rep. Kevin Yoder, voted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans.

There is very little that so clearly demonstrates what's broken in Congress than those simultaneously demanding to give the Koch brothers a tax cut while pushing benefit cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare. The republican platform of the past 30 years.

optimist 4 years, 1 month ago

I see many hardworking people that are out of work looking for work and taking any work they can find to pay the bills whether it pays more or less than unemployment. Many are willing to do anything possible to avoid taking unemployment. These are the example making up the vast majority of the people in our state. But to be clear the exceptions to this are far more than exceptions. I've spoken to many people that say that they haven't even looked for work after loosing their job two years ago because they have worked for years or decades and wanted to take as much time off as possible. Then once they hit 2 years and benefits run out they begin looking desperately trying to find a job only to learn that having been out of the workforce for two years has given others whose experience is more current a leg up on them in a competitive market. I've even spoken to people that decline jobs paying more than unemployment because it doesn't pay what they were accustomed to earning even though unemployment falls even shorter. I've even spoken to people that declined to accept a job that paid more than unemployment because it wasn't worth going to work for when they could earn almost as much on unemployment. While I can't say for sure how many people are abusing the system I can tell you that in my broad experience it's far more than 10% and that doesn't include those that are earning income on the side while accepting unemployment. To me any abuse is unacceptable and is tantamount to theft from those who are working and those that want to work and can’t find a job.

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

But the fact remains, unemployment is 8% (and much worse if you consider underemployment and those who have stopped looking alltogether). The supply of jobs available is not increasing. For every job refused by a deadbeat who is collecting unemployment, 10's if not 100's are right behind him/her and are willing to take the position.

parrothead8 4 years, 1 month ago

I hope you recognize that the formerly unemployed also used to pay into the benefits they are now receiving.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years, 1 month ago

No they didn't. Their employer is Taxed on wages paid usually paid thru their insurance company. Get your facts straight. Unemployement insurance is paid into a pool. This pooled money is then paid out to what ever group needs it, whether it be work share or straight up unemployment insurance. So if that rickshaw dude last summer would have been doing things legally, then when he went out of business, anyone he had employed would have drawn from that pool. I had a person tell me last week that they got on unemployment and were going to ride it for a while. They too, believed it was a benefit where they paid in a buck and recieved 5 bucks in return. Talk to any CPA or bookkeeper about how unemployment works.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

As I noted above, a business owner who has no employees pays nothing towards unemployment insurance. They only pay it when they hire employees, and they only hire employees when they believe that the employee will generate enough work to pay for that insurance-- hence, it's the employee who covers that cost, not the employer.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

I never see withholding for unemployment insurance on my pay stub. You might want to check yours and see if it's being withheld illegally. I suggest you report the crime anonymously.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years, 1 month ago

You never will see it on your paystub as it is an additional (Huge) cost to your employer. Do your research.

tbaker 4 years, 1 month ago

"Nobody is happy to be unemployed. To offer a catchphrase instead of a solution is insulting. When I go to Washington, I'll work with both parties to create jobs for the people of Cherokee County, not criticize them," he said.

False. There are generations of the same family more interested in collecting their handout check than they are working. Welfare and FoodStamps and the other 70+ handout programs have gone from a last-resort safety net to a career choice for millions of people. It is very sad.

That said, Jenkins was foolish for making such a remark in the middle of a campaign. Nothing good comes from it.

Shane Garrett 4 years, 1 month ago

Exactly why she just lost my vote. I am sure there are abusers of the system. Just like phony medicare claims by fake medical suppliers. However, to come off sounding like a dumb bunny in an election year? Why not just go skinny dipping?

Shane Garrett 4 years, 1 month ago

And let me apologize to all rabbits every where for insulting their intelligence.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

You only get unemployment insurance if you had a job, and you get laid off for no fault of your own. This has nothing to do with the welfare queens with Cadillacs.

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

Well maybe. She stokes her conservative base and the liberal base helps her by arguing against what is in the way she said it factual. Can you imagine the impact of some of the arguments above about being entitled would have on hard working Kansans (about 90% of us)

By the by, in many states the unmployment pools went negative and states borrowed from the feds (wonder if they will ever pay it all back or will the big debtors get forgiveness)

dabbindan 4 years, 1 month ago

shocking revelation! of course she's right (pun not intended but enjoyed anyway) and unfortunately more correct than tobias' statement in response.

there are people out there who are content being a parasite. some even revel in it. it's human nature. some of them have never voted. some vote democratic, some republican, but all just lack character. i sure ms jenkins can't imagine one of those despicable persons voting republican, but let me assure you, they do.

the trick is ms jenkins, how do you prevent gaming the system without penalizing the person who unemployment is intended to help? and the important thing to know is, just how big is the problem, and where does it rank in the list of problems we have to deal with?

i suspect this is primarily campaign fodder to help get to the base. here's something that really needs fixing: the republican party platform plank that doesn't allow for abortion in the case of rape, incest or threat to the life of the woman.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

With more than 11-15 million out of work jobs are not going to bounce back anytime soon. A lot of jobs lost to the 2nd repub home loan scam went to other nations that provide health care or health insurance for the people.

Neither Yoder nor Jenkins have done anything significant about jobs. Just bring us more Reagnomics warmed over which has done nothing but produce wreckanomics, Neither deserve one more day moochin off the taxpayers.

gbulldog 4 years, 1 month ago

The uemployement rate (including the undemployed) is too high because the economy stinks. I know serveral that would like to start a business but can not get financing nor comply with government "red tape" This nation's credit polcies, especiually consumer interest is holding our economy back. People are hurting financially, and yet all we see is the growth of "pay day" loan companies and lack of incentives to better oneself. Why not reduce the workforce by limiting the number of hours and the pay of the undeducated and non english speaking workers. Does the US need more highschool dropouts and government raising their kids?

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

I have an uncle (a right-winger btw) who pulls in 6 figures a year from his pension as a retired school administrator. He took a part-time job, got laid off, and now collects unemployment. This may be a limited sample size, but most of the so called moochers I know are angry right wingers who cannot see there own hypocrisy. I also know some right wingers who rail against "Obomacare" yet receive Medicaid and other governmental assistance, and are alive because of it.

patkindle 4 years, 1 month ago

seems like everyone has a story to tell Gina Rinehart, World's Richest Woman: 'Spend Less Time Drinking And Smoking' And You'll Be Rich my wife and i worked very hard and paid taxes for 40 yrs now we are being harped on for being greedy because we want some of the money we paid into social security... and we are far from rich, we owe very littel, but we own very little .... the ones who have not paid taxes seem to be winning the battle

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 1 month ago

Go, Tobias, go. Keep her feet to the fire for her ridiculous and insulting remarks.

KEITHMILES05 4 years, 1 month ago

I dislike Jenkins intensely. I didn't vote for her prior and won't ever in the future.

However, her comments have a certain amount of truth to them. I have a friend who got himself "fired" from a job he didn't like and then drew unemployment for at least 36 months if not more. This was 3-4 years ago. He had NO intention of getting another job and enrolled in a masters program and finished. He did everything he could to squeeze every available dollar from unemployment.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Also, from a quick reading, you don't get unemployment if you're "fired" - you only get it if you lose your job through no fault of your own.

Lori Nation 4 years, 1 month ago

I would say she is correct lazy people.

mareeIowa 4 years, 1 month ago

This is nonsense. It's easier to make ends meet and it's better for the family if you invest your time taking care of domestic life rather than flipping burgers or scrubbing toilets. We make our choices with cold, economic numbers. The Republicans think that the equation can balance if you make not working suck bad enough, the Democrats want working to benefit enough. If you've ever been poor you get it, if you haven't, you never will. Happily for Tobias, the poor vastly out-weigh the rich in Kansas. If they vote, and vote with their interests, he will win.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 1 month ago

I recently heard about a contract employee who withheld crucial information so that he would be selected to implement the project he did some work on. His bid was much higher than the competition, but the company was forced to select him. Now, this person works hard to stay employed, but his ethics are questionable. Indirectly, his finagling will cost consumers. My point is that we cannot make assumptions about the integrity of any group. Without data, generalizations are mere speculation.

blogme 4 years, 1 month ago

And your point works both ways, er, should I say, from both political angles. :-)

Armstrong 4 years, 1 month ago

Money for nothin and your chicks for free

globehead 4 years, 1 month ago

Undoubtedly, Lynn Jenkins is correct. Some folks would rather collect benefits than work. It is, however, unreasonable and unbelievable to assume that most would rather sacrifice their good homes, nice automobiles and children’s education to receive benefits that most people would consider meager at best.

My problem with Ms. Jenkins and most politicians of her slant are that they never, ever admit the need for these programs. They instead want to destroy them because SOME abuse them. They want to end food stamps because they’ve seen or heard of some able bodied individual buying steak or shrimp with them but fail to educate themselves to the fact that most recipients are elderly or children or disabled and are NEVER seen in a line buying anything.

They want to end Medicaid because people should pay for their own health care, but they don’t educate themselves to the fact that the vast majority of users are elderly, disabled or children who are unable to work, let alone pay for themselves. Many of the most costly recipients are developmentally disabled who require 24 hour care literally to stay alive, a very expensive proposition and yes, many of them are very young children.

They hear of silly regulations by the EPA or OSHA which admittedly exist, but the vast majority of such regulations are quite needed. Otherwise, we experience events like the BP blowout which was caused by a major international corporation trying to save $500 on a lousy valve, which resulted in putting 80,000 people out of work for several months and killing 19 platform workers. We see cancer causing chemical spills by such corporations in Venezuela where there were no regulations, constant oil spills in Nigeria, child labor abuse in Central America by our shoe companies who seek cheaper labor and fewer industrial safety and work condition regulations.

We see the Donald Trumps who extol the virtues of the free market system (which NEVER existed in this country) as the reason for his success and all other things good, failing to mention his father’s gift to him of $50 million or the fact that the government bankruptcy system bailed his sorry haired butt out not one, but three times.

The problem with Lynn Jenkins is that rather than correct good programs with some obvious flaws, she refuses to see virtue and would destroy such programs totally because it’s just too easy to plaster her position on a bumper sticker than to really learn about problems, educate her constituents about them and lead. She is too much like the majority of politicians who have such simple solutions to every problem and don’t have the understanding or courage to admit that most issues are quite complicated. Unfortunately, she is not alone.

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

Trump also made millions with government assistance in the form of loan guarantees and other benefits for investing in troubled real-estate in NYC.

Munsoned 4 years, 1 month ago

"They want to end Medicaid because people should pay for their own health care, but they don’t educate themselves to the fact that the vast majority of users are elderly, disabled or children who are unable to work, let alone pay for themselves. Many of the most costly recipients are developmentally disabled who require 24 hour care literally to stay alive, a very expensive proposition and yes, many of them are very young children."

It's easy (easier) to be pro-life when it is just about babies. Add in all of life's complications and the money gets cut. Nice PRO-LIFE stance, eh?

geekin_topekan 4 years, 1 month ago

Falsy, when did welfare and unemployment become one in the same? ++++ Also: "Falsy knows 'females' that have babies father'd by whomever to get government 'welfare' bennies.

I too have witnessed this very example; Two older women walking with a young girl who had very, very recently hit child-bearing status uttered sentiments like "When she going to start having kids, a girl needs to get paid" and "You'd better start having babies, you're gonna need that check."

Sad. Inter-generational social disease.

Munsoned 4 years, 1 month ago

It's easy to forget that Pro-Life means Pro- Everyone's Life.

Tomato 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm surprised at how many people seem offended by this suggestion. I've known plenty of people who planned to ride out unemployment. They re-worked their budget to account for the lower income and they took time off from work. They did not seriously look for jobs until it was running out.

Most of these people were not poor. They had good jobs and were laid off and were perfectly qualified and able to get new jobs (and indeed they did - once they became serious about looking). They just wanted to take a break from working for a bit and unemployment insurance allowed them to do that.

I have heard many people say, "Well, I paid into it so I may as well use it!" Although many people on this board have pointed out that the belief is factually incorrect - workers buy into the idea that if employers weren't having to pay it, then the employee would have a higher salary (or they're simply misinformed and not paying attention to their pay stubs).

Because of the myth that unemployment tax is actually paid by the employee in some way, there isn't a stigma attached to milking unemployment, where there is a stigma about milking welfare, WIC, foodstamps or other programs when there isn't legitimate need.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Because of the myth that unemployment tax is actually paid by the employee in some way,"

It's not a myth-- no employer with any business sense hires any employee unless they believe the work that employee does will cover all the expenses that come with hiring them, including unemployment insurance.

That's not to say the milking unemployment insurance is a good thing, but it doesn't change the fact that it's employees, not employers, who generate the money that goes into that fund. In time of economic stress, the government may put in additional funds to extend benefits. And while some may have ideological problems with that, not doing so would mean even deeper recession, and even greater unemployment.

Tomato 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, I don't really agree with you, but we can't really know the truth unless unemployment insurance is removed. I just don't believe that if unemployment tax was lifted that employees would see an equal increase in their payroll.

That said, it might have been more apt to rephrase that as: "Because of the BELIEF that unemployment tax is actually paid by the employee in some way..."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

You may be right that if unemployment insurance were eliminated, that (some) employers would just pocket that amount rather passing it along in higher wages. But that doesn't change the fact that it's the work of the employee that's generating that money, whether they get it or not.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, that's still a little simplistic.

What about the business that's doing so well they have to hire additional people to keep up with demand?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

It's not simplistic at all. A business sees unmet demand, or potential demand for their products or services, and hires additional employees to meet that demand. But hiring that employee HAS to include unemployment insurance, so the productivity of that worker has generate enough money to cover all the expense of paying the wages and benefits for that employee, including unemployment services.

Bottomline-- it's the work that the employee does that pays for that insurance. If it doesn't cover those costs, they won't have a job. Why is that so difficult to understand?

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Sure it is.

If the demand is there before the new employee is hired, they're not creating it.

So, it's not necessarily the work of the employee that's generating the money, it's the demand from the customers, which may predate that.

I agree that employees are working for their salaries and benefits, including UI, of course, and that the employer must have enough business revenue to cover all of those costs.

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

I am more troubled that politicians would speak so ignorantly about such a valuable program. This was started after the great depression, and has been hugely succesful in minimizing and shortening economic downturns. These benefits are circulated right back into the economy. Without it, unemployment would be even higher and local economies would suffer even more. The lack of this in 1929 showed. Since then, we can see how it has helped.

Trumbull 4 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Tomato and Bozo. I don't think unemployment insurance should ever be removed. There is enough evidence that it has done an excellent job helping to minimize economic downturns since the great depression.

It may be worth investigating transferring the tax from the employer to the employee or perhaps sharing payroll taxes.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Unemployment insurance is only paid on the 1st $7,000 of salary, a number that has remained the same for the last 30 years or so.

As such, it's a cost to an employer, but not a "huge" one, unless you have hundreds of employees.

Only people who lose their job through no fault of their own qualify, so it's not paying a bunch of lousy slackers who got fired.

As I understand the idea, it's supposed to generate revenue into a fund when the economy is good, and then be available to cushion the blow if the economy is doing badly. An interesting idea. There are a couple of flaws I see - one is that even though it's only paid into on the first $7,000, benefits are given based on total salaries. So employees draw significantly more than was put in on their behalf. The other is that although it may work well if we have many years of a thriving economy combined with short periods of bad ones, it becomes unsustainable if that's not the case.

Then, the government has to step in and fund it from other revenue sources.

Perhaps if it were paid into commensurate with salary, or if benefits were paid equally, it would be more sustainable on it's own.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"As such, it's a cost to an employer, but not a "huge" one, unless you have hundreds of employees."

But no employer is going to hire an employee if they can't produce enough goods or services to cover the costs of that insurance, which means that the employee is actually covering that cost, although it's the employer who writes the check on their behalf.

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

Actualluy you and I are covering the costs when we buy the product

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

Actually, it's just another tax on the employer, which will then be passed on to the consumer.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

I was responding to the idea that UI represents a "huge cost" to employers, which was stated above, and is untrue.

What about businesses that are thriving, and need more employees to meet the demand? You can't really say that the new employee is bringing in that business, right?

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

Huh?? Your logic escapes me. First the n+1 employee will not be hired unless his/her costs will be met by new business. I seriously doubt it works the otthher way around - except government.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

One can't predict "new business" with any certainty, in my view.

Seems to me that it's the other way around - when businesses experience so much demand that they need to hire additional employees, they do so.

The reason they're not hiring now is that they're not experiencing enough demand.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

Businesses also hire additional employees when there is the expectation of future higher demand. So the "business climate" plays a part.

As an example, a company may be gearing up to sell products associated with the anticipated release of the next generation of iphones. Businesses that wait to see if the iphone 5 will become popular will miss the boat entirely. So they are producing now, hoping for demand. But right now, they are hiring, developing, innovating, without any certainty.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Could be.

Then they're taking a risk, and there's no certainty that their new business will cover the costs of their new employees, right?

And, then, if that doesn't happen, they'll just let them go.

JackMcKee 4 years, 1 month ago

The KSCPA should sue Lynn Jenkins for defamation.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 1 month ago

Jenkins' comments are an embarrassment to all of Kansas.

George Lippencott 4 years, 1 month ago

Probably not to the many conservative hard working Kansans in her district!!!

Dan Eyler 4 years, 1 month ago

I agree with the congresswoman. I work with a guy who has told me for two years now his brother has been on unemployment and has no intentions of working because he is happy with the free ride. I agree we need unemployment insurance but many, many are not working because they are getting by just fine on the taxpayer's dime. Just listening to some of you validates congresswoman Jenkins comments. Some of you think your entitled to not working when jobs are available. Free cash, free health insurance, couple hundreds in food stamps, subsidized transportation. Ah the life. But there are millions of Americans struggling and working jobs that are low paying but they are willing to struggle to get by if it means keeping there dignity and self worth, hoping and praying something better comes along. With not a single month of job growth in nearly 4 years and 6 trillion in new debt we need to change course. This is a train wreak in any American home.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Just listening to some of you validates congresswoman Jenkins comments."

If you believed "up," and I said "down," and could prove it, you'd still take that as validation of your beliefs. Your belief system is based 100% on ideology, a petty and mean-spirited one, which has no place for facts that contradict what you want to believe.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

Lynn Jenkins is simply ignorant. This woman has no clue as to how many jobs are not there and have not been there since the Bush/Cheney home loan fraud fiasco.

Where's the new industry? duh Republicans said no way!

Can we say ignorance is bliss....

EastCoastTransplant 4 years, 1 month ago


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