Senate Sends Defense Bill to Obama
Corey Boles & Martin Vaughan

The bill includes short-term extensions of a number of expiring federal programs, deferring decisions on whether to reauthorize them until the end of February. These include a two-month extension of federal jobless benefits and subsidies to people who lost their medical insurance when they were laid off. The federal highway program is also extended for another two months.

Extending unemployment benefits is one of those things fiscal conservatives don’t really like but just don’t have the heart to debate. Jobless benefits do provide an incentive to remain unemployed, even if most would rather have a job. I wish our government would do more to help re-train out of work citizens in order to be more productive when the economy turns around. Unlike previous recessions, many of the job losses occurring during this downturn are permanent, meaning firms will not bring back recently laid off workers. The jobs will simply never return.