Representative John Linder (R-GA), responded to reports that unemployment recipients are currently rejecting job offers in an effort to maximize their time receiving unemployment benefits.
"When you build it they will come. When you build more of it, more will come, and those that were already there will stay even longer--I'm talking of course about the medley of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit extensions being signed into law. Reports are coming in now that individuals are purposely staying unemployed so that they can continue to be propped up by the American taxpayer as long as possible."
Representative Linder referred to an article in Monday's Detroit News that exposed various circumstances of landscapers who had refused employment in an effort to stay on unemployment until their benefits expired.
"Landscapers in Detroit, Michigan--the state with the nation's highest unemployment levels--are rejecting employment offers so they can continue receiving unemployment benefits rather than spend the time, money, and effort to get in the car every morning, drive to work, and bring home a pay check at the end of every month."
Linder pointed out his worries that the record weeks of UI extensions enacted by the Federal government (whose cost will total well over $100 billion, including the 7-month extension expected to be considered in the House next week) have prolonged the average amount of time individuals have remained unemployed and have undermined any incentive for many individuals to quickly return to work. Linder referred to a chart issued by the House Ways and Means Committee illustrating the fact that long-term unemployment rises whenever Congress provides extended UI benefits -- and then falls sharply after those benefits end.
"How many more billions of dollars must be strapped to our nation's debt before people realize that UI extensions don't work? America is a land of opportunities-not handouts. I will continue to vehemently oppose all unemployment extensions, just as I have in the past. Very simply, these extensions undermine the principles upon which this country was founded, and they are an absolute waste of hard-working taxpayer's money."