Rand Paul: Extending jobless benefits a 'disservice' to workers
December 8th, 2013
02:07 PM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul: Extending jobless benefits a 'disservice' to workers

(CNN) - Kentucky Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday extending unemployment benefits past what the U.S. federal government has already paid would be a "disservice" to workers.

"I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers," he said, appearing on "Fox News Sunday."

On December 28, unemployment benefits will expire for 1.3 million workers. In order for the jobless benefits to continue, lawmakers must extend the recession-era program by the end of the month. The Congressional Budget Office notes that if the benefits expire, the U.S. gross domestic product could fall 0.2 percentage points next year.

President Barack Obama and Democrats in recent weeks have ramped up efforts to pressure Congress to extend jobless benefits, and House Speaker John Boehner indicated that he's open to the legislation.

Paul, a tea party favorite who has long been opposed to unemployment benefits, pointed to a study that showed employers are less likely to hire the long-term unemployed.

White House: Extend jobless benefits

"When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy. And it really - while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help," Paul said.

But the White House and Democrats say evidence shows that jobless benefits don't stop people from trying to find work. In his weekly address, Obama cited estimates by the Department of Labor and the Council of Economic Advisers that say failing to extend benefits could cost businesses 240,000 jobs.

“If Congress refuses to act, it won’t just hurt families already struggling - it will actually harm our economy. Unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways there is to boost our economy," Obama said.

The monthly economic report released last week showed unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since November 2008, at 7%, and the economy added 203,000 jobs in November, showing steady but painfully slow economic progress. But 11 million Americans remain unemployed as the job market struggles to heal in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Extending jobless benefits for another year would cost about $26 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Rand Paul has ideas to help out Detroit

Last week, Paul visited Detroit to lay out a plan to rescue the city, the largest in history to enter bankruptcy and with an unemployment rate at or greater than 1.5% of the national rate.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Rand Paul • unemployment
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    It's the holiday season, why not let the hungry suffer. He is surely a worthless republican at heart. Can you imagine the joy he gets by letting children go hungry?

    December 8, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    As long as he gets his own government welfare check, he is happy. Worthless tool.

    December 8, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. CB FL

    If the REPUDS refuse to extend these benefits come Nov. 2014 can be very bad for them. We are just starting winter now is not the time not to extend these benefits. No money for heat, food, or rent. They could care less putting people on the street. But they need more tax cuts for the 1%.

    December 8, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. basedonfact

    If that is true then payments to doctors by health insurance companies are a disservice to sick people

    December 8, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Paul continued: "When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy. And it really – while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help."

    How is giving people the means for them and their families to survive a "disservice"?

    What Rant is really saying is that he thinks very little of the American people. He thinks we're all a bunch of lazy moochers who don't want to work – all evidence to the contrary, including on average nationally, 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening (427,000 other resumes are posted on Monster alone each and every week). And who can forget that just a couple years ago, McDonald's received 1 million applications for the 62,000 part-time positions it advertised!

    It varies by state, but the most you can collect from unemployment is around $450 a week – and Rant thinks that's living high on the hog. How do you pay for much beyond housing – especially if you have a family – on that?

    Rant is a delusional, mean-spirited dweeb. Voting for him is voting for turning our country into just another third-world hell-hole.

    December 8, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Len

    But let us cut educational opportunities so people cannot improve themselves and try to get good jobs.

    December 8, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Anthony in California

    Hey Paul, how do you feel about the obscene profits corporations have been making these past few years, all the while enjoying tax breaks and Gov hand outs in the form of bail outs, subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare?
    I think THAT's pretty unfair to the workers (and middle class) who dont feel the "trickle-down" effects of keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. and lets not get started on all the tax loop holes they take advantage of either...

    December 8, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. MaryM

    Just let the unemployed live on the streets, huh Rand. Jesus H Christ, Rand. you could not be more wrong

    December 8, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. KevinInAtlanta

    Rand Paul's thinking is the same backwards attitude as the rest of the Republican party.

    He believes that simply extending unemployment insurance will destroy peoples' motivation to find a job. People don't suddenly find a job when the benefits run out. They will still be unemployed, but now it will be even harder for them to find a job because they don't have money for gas or food to keep them alive while they search for a job.

    Instead of handicapping the already suffering unemployed, why not try to do something that will actually create jobs? Ya know? That thing that Republicans have been campaigning on for years and yet have done nothing about?

    December 8, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. RonL

    Senator Paul is GREATLY mistaken, the unemployment benefits needs to be extended because MANY of those that are the long term unemployed are people over 50 that NO ONE will hire because they have been out of work over a year. Many of these individuals were actually employed before the recession earning middle class wages. Once they were laid off and attempted to find even low wage jobs they were over looked. I experienced this for 18months before getting a Security job at $10.00 an hour. One thing that will improve the economy is RAISING the minimum wage to $11.00 a hour. Why? Because there are too many Americans working part-time and FULL time that require government assistance in order to survive. The raising of the minimum wage will DECREASE the American deficit and actually spur economic growth. I am not speaking as a liberal or conservative, just looking at the economics. Why should people working FULL TIME in some of most successful companies in the world require government SNAP assistance? The Republican Party is always saying the growth in the amount of SNAP assistance is out of control. Maybe if we got the 100’s of thousands of WORKING Americans off the rolls through a “LIVING WAGE” there would be a significant reduction in its costs to the American tax payer. This is long over due…..

    December 8, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Keep talking you nut.

    December 8, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. king

    these repubs act as if the economy had surplus jobs, and these folks on unemployment is ditching jobs to go there. what world is these repubs living on. they are cutting the federal government down to bits, and are shouting that the private sector shouldnt be liable provide jobs to the people, and it shouldn't be a backlash if they spend all their money in china. where does these repubs want the unemployed in america to turn to when their credit is ruined, the banks wont lend them money, and them cutting up the federal government to bits, tell us repubs, what should the unemployed get their money to start a business from, if the private sector wont hire them.

    December 8, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. robert

    what he said was true but why work when you can sit at home and get paid to do nothing

    December 8, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Tony in Maine

    I'll bet he thinks that Medicare should be repealed to kill off old people and bring an end to their joint pain.

    This person (he is not a man) is basically evil.

    December 8, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. mikekissner

    Dear Sen. Paul – I have worked for 50 years and gratefully with only two periods of unemployment – once in 2012 for 9 months and now again in 2013 for 3 months. I use my state and federal unemployment benefits (if there will be benefits in 2014) to help my family and to help me start my own business. I do not use the benefits to avoid seeking work or to live on welfare. Your view on unemployment is narrow and probably inaccurate and I can think of plenty of ways for the government to save money without hurting citizens, but tea party politicians seem hell-bent on being so extreme that they completely rule out compassion in their approach.

    December 8, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. ClydeTheSlyde

    Give Rand all that money and he'll squeeze out another tax cut for the wealthy.

    December 8, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Pk duster

    The gop does not care if people are home less heart less b

    December 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. don in albuquerque

    Randy is a disservice to Americans everywhere. It may be time for the TP to start looking for a place to hide as more and more people catch on their gambit.

    December 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Gunderson

    Aw, Gee,
    So why so many people out of work? I know. It because of Conservative idea's No, that can't be it. Conservatives never have power. So, it must be because of Big Liberal ideas voted for by Liberal Politicians, approved by the people. People vote for it, now got it. Humm? Maybe people change vote next time .Naw, peasants buy Big Liberal lies Keep Liberal's in power. Cut own throat. Run up 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt.

    December 8, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. w l jones

    Why not recomend the same law as president for both houses two term and the door. Said enough.

    December 8, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    GOP garbage do you believe USA? They are against poor, middle class, women etc. Pathetic. Vote all these rethuglicans out, America.

    December 8, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen Rand Paul is like the "Grinch" who stole Christmas. His explanation that it is a "disservice" to workers shows him to be out of touch with the average American. He is placing blame on the long term unemployed rather than on changes in the golbal economy, greedy corporations who will not hire while earning husge profits, and a do nothing Congess made dysfunctional by the Tea Party.

    December 8, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. wendel

    these people had to work first before they could collect unemployment. Why do the trolls think this is just a hand out??? Paul is a idiot who will spout out anything he thinks his party wants to hear. Unfortunatly the most repos want these kind of remarks. They after all are good family loving Christian who only want the poor, minorities, women and trans gender people to fail. They love everyone else.

    December 8, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. The REAL TRUTH...

    It would be a "disservice" to American to let this loon run for POTUS.

    December 8, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. Bobbi Baker

    The GOP is a disservice to Americans.

    December 8, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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