Reducing unemployment benefit to $200

Iris GW

That is the Republican proposal. Dems want to keep it at $600 until January.

What do you think?

If you think the Reps are right, tell me why you think so.

If you think the Dems are right, tell me why you think so.

My opinion: I think another wave of shutdowns is coming. People will continue to be out of work and more may be added back to the stack. It seems like we either need to find middle ground or go with Dems; Reps plan is too low.

Would love to have a civil discussion; no unnecessary pot shots, please.

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socks(10a)

Compromise at $400. Can they do it, or is compromise just too much to ask?

They are all getting paychecks. They should all take pay cuts.

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maifleur03

The difficulty as I see it is that people in different states and even areas within those states have different needs. I thought the $600 was much too high but I think the $200 is too low. There is also several things. People who have returned to work are in some states barred from receiving unemployment for differing lengths of time. This state used to be 6 weeks. People in high cost of living areas $600 plus whatever unemployment is too low.

Having had some shifty relatives when I was younger some would go to states that paid higher unemployment or public services until the time limit then move on to greener pastures. I would hate to have any state/area inundated with people looking for the higher amount of unemployment with the resulting housing problems. I would rather split the difference and make it $400 or as an option set a limit of the amount of unemployment and this extra compensation.

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elvis

If they're going to be eligible for their normal unemployment benefit, I don't believe they should continue to receive a bonus check as well. I didn't think much of the $600 benefit they were getting, either. $200/week, in addition to their regular unemployment benefit, sounds like a pretty good deal for them.

You asked.

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barncatz

DD has been unemployed since her University shut down in March. She started actively looking for work at the beginning of May after she and SIL moved to where he would be working once New York's shutdown lifted.

She was offered a position at a health insurance call center for less than $600 a week. The hours were variable, nights and weekends. She didn't take it.

She just got a job. 300 people applied for it. A kitchen designer position had close to 800 applicants.

There are no jobs. And there won't be. Forcing people into poverty on top of the depression and anxiety caused by having our freaking lives turned upside down is unconscionable.



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Izzy Mn(4)

I think the additional money should have been used to make up for the difference between what their normal pay was and unemployment, especially if they had a low paying job, plus health insurance if it was lost after becoming unemployed. Also, to help extend UI because some jobs just are not coming back, at least not for a long time.

My BIL took a 90 day furlough, kept his benefits, drew UI, plus got the extra $600. His airline offered 30/60 or 90 day furloughs, or possible layoffs. He was the first to take the offer. Take home was more than he was making and he has a decent paying mechanical job with the airlines. He had a great vacation at his cabin and got lots of projects done. He went back to work a few weeks ago.

It could have been done better. Also maybe a sliding scale amount of $ depending on what your normal/average income is. To me it was really out of wack, the extra $600.

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docmom_gw(5)

I think the economy needs all the stimulus it can get. There is no way to figure out who made how much at their previous job. But, it’s nearly guaranteed that whatever stimulus money is distributed will be spent, and will help businesses stay afloat. So, I would continue the $600, or at least $400-500.

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foodonastump

I’m fine with a temporary increased benefit but believe total benefit should be capped at some point at or somewhat below prior wages.

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maifleur03

If the previous employer was honest what people make is reported to the state or no one would be eligible for unemployment because the amount is in most states based on the earnings reported. The people who work for cash do not have that to base any unemployment on so in most states they would earn whatever the base is if there is one.

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foodonastump

You can get unemployment if you worked off the books? I did not know that. Yikes.

ETA - I’m assuming that by “cash” you mean undeclared?

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HamiltonGardener

People here are getting $2,000 a month.

Cautionary tale though: It was great when it was needed at first, but employers have been complaining that they can’t fill job positions. It’s too much temptation to stay home and get $2,000.

So we import temporary foreign workers while Canadians get paid to stay at home.

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elvis


foodonastump

You can get unemployment if you worked off the books? I did not know that. Yikes.

Um, no. Just no.

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foodonastump

Good to hear, Elvis, I’m just trying to make sense of, “The people who work for cash do not have that to base any unemployment on so in most states they would earn whatever the base is if there is one.”

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elvis

maifleur03

If the previous employer was honest what people make is reported to the state or no one would be eligible for unemployment because the amount is in most states based on the earnings reported.

The responsibility to report earned income falls onto both the employee and the employer. If the employee is not paying income taxes out of his paycheck, the employee knows it and should report that. UC benefits in all states is based upon earned income reported. None reported, you don't qualify.


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maifleur03

Elvis while you can not receive unemployment in most states there was a provision for what is called "gig" workers. https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/PUA-FAQs.aspx

Food see above link. It is paid through the same offices although it has a different source. It is that pesky $600 which is listed in the OP as unemployment.

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Kathy

It’s too bad when discussing pennies compared to the trillions the corps got we are judgmental about workers. They are buying yachts and we are buying food. The bottom will be the ones who spend and support the economy. The whole point is to keep our consumer economy from collapsing.

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catspa_zone9sunset14

Independent contractors can receive payments under the CARES act. Below is something about that from the Dept. of Labor website. I imagine someone paid off the books might qualify under some circumstances.


You may be eligible for unemployment benefits, depending on your personal circumstances and how your state chooses to implement the CARES Act. States are permitted to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation. To qualify for PUA benefits, you must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits and be unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of certain health or economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.



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Iris GW

Thanks, everyone, this was wonderful! I learned a few new things.

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jlhug

My thought would be to allow the extra pandemic unemployment compensation up to the amount of earnings shown on the most recent tax return or current paycheck stubs. I also think that if the employer asks the employee to come back to work or is offered another job, the employee is no longer eligible for unemployment. As I understand it, if the employee claims they are concerned about Covid, they can stay on unemployment and refuse the job offered.


It is going to be interesting on 2020 returns. I wonder how many people receiving unemployment realize that unemployment compensation is taxable on their federal return.

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Iris GW

As I understand it, if the employee claims they are concerned about Covid, they can stay on unemployment and refuse the job offered.

I am not sure that was true in all states. This was a statement about Georgia earlier:

In a joint statement with Kemp, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said he hoped that employers could work with employees "to determine a successful return-to-work plan."

But if their employer reopens and insists that they return to work – even if the employee does not feel safe – the law does not consider them unemployed, Atlanta labor lawyer Amanda Farahany said. “If there is work available, and they are refusing to go to work, then they will not be eligible for unemployment.”

https://www.ajc.com/business/gov-brian-kemp-new-rules-put-some-jobless-georgians-bind/PodNQ1Q89t4ZDeyqjL1OQK/

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Annie Deighnaugh

The underlying sentiment of the gop is a ridiculous fear that 38.6 million hard working Americans suddenly decide since March that they'd rather live on $600 than be gainfully employed.

Hello! These people didn't suddenly get lazy...they lost their jobs! Because businesses are collapsing, because jobs are evaporating, because we have a pandemic!

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Annie Deighnaugh

I'll spare you all the technical discussion of the stimulus and multiplier effects and the marginal propensity to consume. Instead I'll just say that to boost the economy in recession/depression, you need to boost consumption. You can give as many tax breaks as you'd like to the Koch brothers, but they aren't going to spend any more money. But what you give to the newly unemployed will be spent and will keep the economy afloat.

The gop *know* this, but they'd rather see the money go to their wealthy gop donors in the hopes of a payback.

They're looking for payback, not watching *your* back.

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Annie Deighnaugh

And what trump is giving away to corporations contains *no* strings that require the businesses to keep people employed through this crisis...nope, it's just a handout...a really fat one at that.

And now in the new stimulus bill? Of course nearly $2 Billion for a new FBI building right near trump's hotel...he'd already put the kibosh on the new cheaper one in the burbs as he didn't want to lose the business they generate or open the space for a competitor.

People, they are building empires on your backs...and it's only costing you your livelihoods and lives.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Today's GDP report came out and it's down a record 32%! One third of the economy wiped out. And they're dickering over a few hundred bucks per person?!?

Shame on them!!

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Iris GW

Annie's point is a good one. It has been proven that when you give money to the lowest tiers, they tend to spend it. This extra money might be the difference between eating all meals at home vs. occasionally ordering food-to-go from a small restaurant. The multiplier factor on money given to folks like these is much bigger than giving it to wealthy folks.

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foodonastump

The underlying sentiment of the gop is a ridiculous fear that 38.6 million hard working Americans suddenly decide since March that they'd rather live on $600 than be gainfully employed.

Hello! These people didn't suddenly get lazy...they lost their jobs! Because businesses are collapsing, because jobs are evaporating, because we have a pandemic!

Annie - $600 a week alone is more than a lot of workers already made. Add that to the basic unemployment and yes, there are people very happy with their current situation. I didn’t read past the headline, but saw that a U of Chicago study estimated that 2/3 of people were making more on unemployment than they had been working. This is putting people in a position that they cannot afford not to take advantage of it.

I’m not going to pretend to be knowledgeable about the inequities of what’s being given to business versus workers - and I’m sure it’s considerable - but the businesses need to be there if we want people back to work eventually. Can’t just keep handing out money so that people spend it and call that a model for the economy.

If we’re giving too much to business, great let’s cut back and lower the package. Lord knows we can’t afford it anyway. But please let’s not incentivize unemployment.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Skipped down to say you do understand that self employed people traditionally haven't been eligible for unemployment compensation, and there are a lot of self employed people.

$600/ wkly amounts to around 31K/yrly - not exactly largesse.

And this 'largesse' has been denied to many, many people. There are tons of people in my state who were never able to get anything, despite qualifying.

That extra income was allowed to people who couldn't get state unemployment. They had to apply and be declined, then they could apply for the supplemental income, but here, that never happened for a huge number of people, because the system is so dysfunctional.

So there are plenty of people who've had zero income for months now.

One important reason to support people during this crisis was to allow them to shelter in place and prevent more spread of this deadly disease.

Another was to prevent a second Great Depression.

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elvis

^^^And this 'largesse' has been denied to many, many people. There are tons of people in my state who were never able to get anything, despite qualifying.

Why?

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chisue

Why are the food banks empty? Must be all those freeloaders getting unemployment from the states *and* the feds, right? (Take a look at the lines. Look like prosperous people to you?) There isn't enough charity in America to feed these people. Most would not be going hungry in other parts of the industrialized world because those nations believe a healthy population is important to everyone's well-being.

It's a waste of time and money to try to calculate who gets X percentage of what they were earning on the books. Unemployment offices are swamped with people unable to get approvals, while their cupboards empty and the rent is past due. Decide on a lump sum and get it out on the street.

If there's excess, most unemployed will spend it. How does this not play into Trump's only game, boosting the economy (never mind the federal dept)? Unlike the $1200 pp going directly into taxpayer's banks -- and staying there -- this $600 or whatever is going to be spent.

Actually, I predict this holdup is a farce. The election is coming! Last minute, Trump will tell McConnell to 'loosen up'. "Buy that voter a beer on me!" Lessee, how to time this so that the euphoria hasn't faded away before the votes are cast?

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foodonastump

The question posed in the OP is specifically about the $600 bonus. You can all enjoy your diversion tactics, but I’d like to know what perceived benefit there is in paying people more not to work than to work.

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Kathy

The problem is it’s not safe to work in some cases and in many cases companies are not hiring as many people to work as they had before. Why not make it safe to return to work? Why not subsidize people so they don’t lose their homes? I’m not in favor of paying some to stay home either but I understand why we have to keep the economy going.

How are the above expenditures helping Covid? Yet I don’t hear Republicans complaining about them.

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bfox254

This isn't a one size fits all problem, but they're looking for one size fits all problem. In some areas of the country, the extra $600 isn't that grand, in other areas it's a pay increase. State unemployment systems are not configured to calculate a variable federal unemployment rate based on a percentage of income. It was a nightmare for them to institute the extra $600 payment and there is still a backlog.

Yes, you will hear stories of people not wanting to return to work because they're making more to stay home. The easy answer to that is to cut them off from unemployment benefits if they are asked to return and decline. The more difficult answer is that when employees who rely on tips are asked to return to work, such as bartenders and waitstaff, they are only paid approx. $3 per hour by the employer. They cannot make in tips today what they were making before the pandemic. Some people are employed in industries that aren't coming back anytime soon or may not come back at all.

Since the economy seems to be heading south again, my vote is to continue the extra $600 through the end of the year. The economy is not heading south because people won't work, it's because the virus is once again raging out of control.

Why is congress so eager to give a second round of $1,200 payments to people who haven't lost their jobs and face little to no economic hardship from the pandemic, yet balk at giving extra money to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own?

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foodonastump

Kathy - I’ll respond to the portion that relates to the OP. Why pay them MORE to stay home than they previously earned? Clearly they were on some sort of budget before, and they’ll be on that same budget later unless they find a job with more pay. I certainly want people protected in these times, but I’d rather take that same money and distribute it longer term at a sensible level than randomly give them all $600/week.

bfox - Re the $3 plus tips, someone above suggested basing that off their past declared earnings. If they weren’t honest about that in the past, oh well, they’ve already had their bonus. Shouldn’t be our problem.

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foodonastump

Why is congress so eager to give a second round of $1,200 payments to people who haven't lost their jobs and face little to no economic hardship from the pandemic...

If I may interrupt that thought right at that point: That $1200 handout is appalling to me. There are people in need due to this crisis. What’s more important, drop $1200 checks from the sky or redirect that to extend benefits for the single parent whose kids have just been told they’re not headed back to school this Fall? Or other legit predicaments?

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Annie Deighnaugh

but the businesses need to be there if we want people back to work eventually....

The whole point is that business won't survive without customers, and they won't have any customers if the customers have no income. By boosting consumption, you save both the customers *and* the business. By helping the business, you save an operation that still has no customers and no sustainable way to make money, and the customers are starving and homeless...a lose-lose.

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foodonastump

The whole point is that business won't survive without customers, and they won't have any customers if the customers have no income.


I’m going to start sounding like a broken record. Why should people be given more to spend, than they had to spend before? It’s not like they’re going to spend it at the businesses that can’t provide their normal services. If the recipient spends all their extra cash, where are they spending it? At already-functioning businesses, not at the ones that can’t open!

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maifleur03

How do you know how many are given more to spend than they were before they were told they were fired/laid off? Do you even know how unemployment payments work in your state? You might want to start there food but it all comes back to the $600 although tacked onto unemployment for ease of delivery was part of a stimulus package. Do you not understand what a stimulus package does?

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foodonastump

How do you know how many are given more to spend than they were before they were told they were fired/laid off?


I’ll quote myself from above:


I didn’t read past the headline, but saw that a U of Chicago study estimated that 2/3 of people were making more on unemployment than they had been working.


Two thirds! I know what the stimulus package is intended to do, but if you’re spending stimulus money on businesses that don’t need stimulation then I say it’s government charity not well spent.


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Gizmo

elvis

If
they're going to be eligible for their normal unemployment benefit, I
don't believe they should continue to receive a bonus check as well. I
didn't think much of the $600 benefit they were getting, either.
$200/week, in addition to their regular unemployment benefit, sounds
like a pretty good deal for them.

You asked.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Two hard-hit states....

Normal unemployment benefits in TX:

Weekly Benefit Amount

Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is the amount you receive for weeks you are eligible for benefits. Your WBA will be between $69 and $521 (minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts in Texas) depending on your past wages.

FL

In Florida, your weekly benefits;:
benefit amount is calculated by dividing your total earnings for the
highest paid quarter of the base period by 26, up to a current maximum
of $275 per week.
You can receive benefits for anywhere between 12 to 23 weeks, depending on Florida's current unemployment rate.





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bfox254

Re the $3 plus tips, someone above suggested basing that off their past declared earnings. If they weren’t honest about that in the past, oh well, they’ve already had their bonus. Shouldn’t be our problem.

I was using this as an example of someone who could be called back to work, but would be making substantially less than before. The owner doesn't see it as a problem. he/she only has to pay them $3 an hour. If the customer base isn't there to support their wages at a similar pre pandemic level. of course they would want to stay on unemployment and should.

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bfox254

Gizmo, that's what I meant by a one size fits all approach. There is a huge disparity in maximum unemployment benefits per state. In some states the extra $600 is a windfall, in others they're barely making it even with the $600. Let's now change that to $200. Maybe now the people in Texas are even, but the people from Florida are struggling big time. Also, if 1/3 of the unemployed are not making more than before, that's still something like one million people.

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foodonastump

Gizmo - To use Florida from your example, let’s take two people, one who is accustomed to making $600 a week and one $1000 a week. What makes more sense, for them both to receive $875 a week total, or to bring the total benefit for one up to $600, and the other closer to (but probably not up to) $1000? I would say the latter. It’s more sustainable and keeps both people nearer to their accustomed income.

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chisue


Do we agree that it needs to be a defined number of dollars. It would take eons to figure X percentage...and of what base?

Do we agree that the $1200 lump sum is a big mistake?

Do we agree that the corporations and wealthy have received too much in forgivable/1% loans with no oversight?

Are we tired of propping up 'defense' industries?

Do we want the US to declare War Powers Act (or whatever) to boost production of rapid test kits, lab staffing, contact tracing...you know, to defeat the virus that is strangling the economy? (Yes, that would be admitting the virus is *real. Nevermind, Donny, your base can't remember past yesterday. This can be your new string-along, "We'll see about that.)

Nothing is going to 'save the economy' until the virus has had its way with us.

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elvis

bfox254

Re the $3 plus tips, someone above suggested basing that off their past declared earnings. If they weren’t honest about that in the past, oh well, they’ve already had their bonus. Shouldn’t be our problem.

I was using this as an example of someone who could be called back to work, but would be making substantially less than before. The owner doesn't see it as a problem. he/she only has to pay them $3 an hour...

Um, no. Well, if one can rely upon what the Dept of Labor says about that. Who to believe, bfox or the Dept of Labor:

"A tipped employee engages in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 per hour in direct wages if that amount combined with the tips received at least equals the federal minimum wage. If the employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Many states, however, require higher direct wage amounts for tipped employees."

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/wages/wagestips

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foodonastump

I’m not sure what’s most equitable but it would not be a percentage. I’m thinking something like supplement unemployment up to 100% of pay, capped at $X total benefit. The issue with that is we’d be paying out more (per head) to states with lower unemployment benefits, and people in states where $X is close to a living wage will be better off. But it seems more sensible than fixed amounts.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Why should people be given more to spend, than they had to spend before?

That's the whole point of stimulating the economy...so people can spend more which increases demand, gives businesses profits so they afford to not lay off workers. Of course in the case of a pandemic, there are going to be ongoing shifts in demand such as for cruises. But there are still needs that people, especially those with little income, need and want. So if you give them money, they spend.

It's the same thing with a tax cut or a tax credit...you are giving people more money to spend than they had before.

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jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

I know someone in NYC who's getting $150 per week from unemployment. That's not enough to live on - rent, food, utilities, health insurance, etc. The extra $600 allowed her to pay the bills. So what happens now that the $600 has stopped? Go on welfare?? Either way, the government pays. I think a compromise between $200 and $600 should be made.

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bfox254

I like the idea of indexing the federal supplement to the unemployment rate. Start out at $600 with the rate at August 1st. Each month the $600 will be reduced by the percentage drop in unemployment either on a national level or the state level. If it doesn't drop, the amount stays the same.

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foodonastump

It's the same thing with a tax cut or a tax credit...you are giving people more money to spend than they had before.


A tax cut or credit is a redistribution of wealth. That’s not the goal of this short term fix.

Perhaps maifleur is right, maybe my problem is with this being a “stimulus package.” At this point in time I’m more interested in helping people keep their homes and put food on the table than have them spend extra money that they get for a few weeks. I’m more interested in keeping businesses afloat, who would otherwise go out of business. For some industries that means keep incomes up to par, for others that means throw some benefits their way.

Obviously I’m no great study on these matters, but seems to me when we have limited cash to help people stay alive, there’s more important things than throwing them a few extra bucks so they can spend beyond their regular means for a few weeks.

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Ziemia(6a)

IF they have (those making more because of the $600) children - they have fewer of the resources children need to do well with learn-at-home. IF they get sick, they have fewer resources to deal with it and not having enough resources at home ti fully recover hurts all of us.

I have no idea if $600 is too much for most of the impacted Americans. $400 is likely to be not enough.

I would rather we err in the side of too much than of too little. Other parts of the bail-out spending should be curtailed.

If a business goes under, another will take it's place. Businesses are important creations. But we need to ensure the poorest don't suffer more than they are right now.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Just think if $600/wk = $31.2K/yr, how much are those making less than that expected to live on? Less than that's in no way a living wage and people have been advocating about it for years now.

And the extra unemployment wasn't even for 52 weeks anyway.

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kadefol

I can't believe the senate just took off for a 3 day weekend, without any progress on the bill. Never mind all the people in limbo, gotta have that long weekend. The lot of them should be locked in together until they come to an agreement.

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patriceny

They aren't reducing the actual unemployment insurance benefit to $200. They are reducing the special covid add-on to $200. It's extra money, over and above whatever the "regular" UI benefit is.

UI does not typically pay 100% of one's salary. While we can certainly have a debate about whether that is good or not....no one will ever convince me it's good to pay people more on UI than what they were making working.

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Kathy

I would prefer to look at waste in other parts of the Covid bill before taking away money from the lowest income people. There is no proof this is keeping multitudes of people from returning to work.

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moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

FOAS, Amen. We need to stop giving hadnouts to those who are able to work and those that don't need the extra $600 to survive. I don't speak for the rest of the country but in our area there are jobs and no takers because of the extra $600 per week. To top it off, my BIL works for a large firm and makes good money. The firm figured out they could layoff their employees one out of 5 weekdays and the employees could collect unemployment for that one day AND get the $600. That is absolutely insane!

AnnieD. I agree the funds that go to those in need go directly to the economy as they are used for basic necessities. The corporate assistance money may be saving a company from closing, going to stockholders (which could affect retirement accounts of many Americans) or going straight into the pockets of uppper management. Depending on where it is going is key however I don't know if there are many restrictions on the use of the funds.

In talking with small business owners in my area, many are grateful their employees were not finacially harmed thanks to the extra $600 but those same business owners are struggling to get employees back to work because of the extra $600. It is a Catch22. Also small business owners are grateful for the EIDL and PPP loans because without them, they would not survive. All that being said, the small business community in my area is uneasy as to what the future will hold. Another complete shutdown would wipe them out.

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Annie Deighnaugh

No foas, you are missing the point of stimulus. The money doesn't just go to a family and stop. It gets spent which then becomes income for someone else be it a grocer or a landlord or whatever...who then has that money to spend by keeping people employed or purchasing inventory which provides more income to suppliers and so on. That is called the multiplier effect. And from a GDP point of view, it doesn't matter if they are spending it on a new pair of shoes or a doctor visit...it's consumption which drives the GDP higher. And when you have the GDP cut by 1/3, anything that's spent is better than nothing.

The problem is when the money goes to the wealthy who already have more in savings than they know what to do with. So that money doesn't get spent and become part of consumption...rather it gets saved which increases the money available for investment. But it can't work to lower interest rates as they are already rock bottom, and it won't increase investment as the key driver of investment is demand for the products and services.

So demand is key. Giving money to people who will spend it is key.

A tax cut or tax credit *can* be redistributive but not necessarily. But it is still putting more money into peoples' hands than before. And many tax cuts and tax credits have been issued specifically to boost the economy in times of recession....not to redistribute wealth.

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Annie Deighnaugh

...no one will ever convince me it's good to pay people more on UI than what they were making working.

Your concept is wrong, but clearly there's no point in trying if your mind's made up.

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patriceny

I know 3 people who own three different restaurants (in 2 different states - New York and Delaware) who laid people off, and who now can not get those same people back to work because they are making more sitting home than working.

The profit margins in many restaurants is very slim. The 3 owners I know pay the most decent wage they can afford and still keep the places open.

They have jobs posted, but can't get decent applicants because of the extra UI money still being paid. They are all hoping once the extra $600 goes away they can get some workers back. In the meantime they are short staffed and the people who are working are busting their butts, and customers are complaining about wait times, etc..


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foodonastump

Annie - What’s wrong? I assume you’re objecting to calling it all UI, so let’s change it from “on UI” to “while out of work,” any objections now?

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Annie Deighnaugh

The whole point of stimulus is to keep spending going so more people *can* remain employed...it's not done as an xmas present to "lazy people" as a reward for being lazy...these millions of people who have just lost their jobs are not "lazy"...rather they are desperate to keep feeding their families, keep them housed, keep warm and keep the power on in the face of sudden financial dislocation.

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patriceny

Annie, you really believe as a society we should pay people more money to sit home and do nothing, than to work?

I've already pointed out some of the short term problems it is creating. Do you really believe that is sustainable over the long term?

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Annie Deighnaugh

foas, that's not my objection at all. We have a disconnect and I'm not sure where it is.

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foodonastump

Here’s what part of the disconnect may be: You’re making assumptions like that we’re calling them lazy. A lower income person taking a route that earns them more money, even temporarily, is not lazy. They’re practical. Here’s a case, my niece, a single mom. Typically works two jobs, at a store full time and waitresses evenings and weekends. Now? She’s out of both jobs, collecting unemployment plus $600, watches her kid plus gets paid (off the books) to watch another kid. In all she’s making more than she ever did, plus she’s home with her kid. I wouldn’t call her lazy, but good luck getting her back to work while this lasts.

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Annie Deighnaugh

patriceny, we aren't talking about long-term policy choices here for structurally shaping employment and income in the nation.

We are talking about a short-term, temporary economic stimulus to stop the economy from it's steepest decline in 100 years. And I'm happy to give money to anyone who will spend it. I'm not happy to give it to corporations who will just increase cash balances or do stock buybacks and not invest or keep people employed. Yet the last stimulus was structured so the vast majority did the latter, not the former. The former works to boost the economy...the latter, not so much. And when the economy is in such freefall, we can't afford to spend money that doesn't give us a big payback.

I've posted this before, but worthwhile repeating here:


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foodonastump

If it’s intended as stimulus then why not just tack it on to the $1200? Why choose to give it to people on unemployment only? I really don’t think there’s escaping that this is unemployment, paying many people more than they made before. Making it impossible for some to choose to go back to work. Again, I’m totally open to helping offset loss of income. I’m open to helping people with difficult choices to make due to the pandemic, such as returning to work while their kids are forced into virtual classroom. I’m just not in favor of deincentivizing a return to work because they can’t afford to give up the handout.

ETA - Annie, if you remove the false idea that I’m calling these folks lazy, perhaps we can narrow down on that disconnect.

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chisue

I can't cite it, but I have read of a recent Yale study that refutes the argument about many people refusing jobs because they're 'making more' by getting unemployment plus the $600. I'm seeing the old Republican meme that Reagan sold, about Welfare Queens and food stamps. (What tiny minority of people given the opportunity of a decent, steady job would choose to scrape by on the dole?)

Exactly what kind of jobs do you see going begging? How much of the reluctance is due to the virus?

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kadefol

patriceny

I know 3 people who own three different restaurants (in 2 different
states - New York and Delaware) who laid people off, and who now can not
get those same people back to work because they are making more sitting
home than working.

How? People who are recalled and refuse to go back to work are no longer eligible for unemployment.

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foodonastump

Addressing the disconnect.

Two people in Florida make $15/hr, or $600/week. One loses his job. As I understand it FL unemployment will pay $275 a week. Why should the unemployed person be eligible for $875 and the working person nothing above their $600 pay? If we’re calling this stimulus?

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moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

FOAS,

Your niece is a perfect example of what I am talking about. There used to be pride in being self-sufficient even if it meant doing with less. There was a stigma associated with relying on government handouts. Now the paradigm has shifted and the pride is in how to take best advantage of the system. My daughter is a single Mom who could make more money staying home but she chooses to not use the system. There has to be a balance so we can help those who truly need it and penalize those who are just riding the wave.

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patriceny

Good question Kadefol. I do think eventually the recall may make its way through the system. I haven't asked this of the Delaware owner, but the 2 NY owners say they aren't even being asked about work availability right now - i.e, UI is paying benefits to folks on an ongoing basis without certifying there is work available. The restaurant owners called the employees, and both said they've had employees refuse because they're making too much money to go back to work.

Getting signed up for UI was a fiasco for some people I know, so it only makes sense that there is just so much churn in the system right now people are slipping through all sorts of cracks.

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foodonastump

Moosemac we’re on the same side of this discussion but with regards to my niece, knowing how she shuffles her daughter around while she works multiple jobs I’m not going to fault her for lack of pride while taking an opportunity to spend more hours being a mother.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Perhaps an analogy would help, though it's not perfect...it's like rescuing people from a sinking ship now...worry later about teaching them to swim.

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bfox254

The restaurant situation is tricky. Does the restaurant have the amount of business necessary to support wages plus tips close to what the server was making before covid? Remember, the owner only has to pay somewhere close to minimum wage, with the majority of a worker's earnings coming from tips. It seems to me if a restaurant owner wants it workers back, it should guarantee some agreed upon minimum level of wages until that level is supported by tips from returning customers. Thee are also health considerations for restaurant servers, Sure, servers wear masks, but customers while eating do not and servers are exposed to a lot of different customers during a shift.

My daughter has a fulltime job but also worked a few shifts at a restaurant for extra cash. She is not collecting unemployment. She along with a few others, volunteered to return to work at the restaurant while the fulltime employees remain on unemployment. The restaurant is only open limited hours with only outdoor dining and there's no way regular employees will make close to their normal wages with the current customer base and operating restrictions.

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foodonastump

Chisue - here’s a link to an article about that study:

https://apple.news/ASWkeSV6zQWWCRF4CJdwV2A

Laughed at a comment from Chicago Fed study saying those on unemployment seek work more aggressively than those whose benefits have lapsed. Well yeah, they have to in order to get the benefit. If they stop after that then maybe they don’t need the job.

Yale study also said this would need to be re-examined.

If people are happy to work for less money than they make unemployed, so much for the argument that we need to raise wages.

Slight sarcasm in that last comment. Slight. I’d need to know more about the Yale study, just seems to be too much anecdotal info to ignore.

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moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

kadefol

It depends on the state, the reason the employee cites for refusing to return and even the individual unemployment office auditor reviewing the case. It is a moving target.

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bfox254

We'll find out if it's true that people aren't returning to work because they make more on unemployment soon enough. Since the extra $600 benefit has lapsed, you would expect the unemployment rate to go down dramatically for August as all those people return to work. I suspect we'll find that those people are a very small percentage of the total unemployed.

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kadefol

moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

It depends on the state, the reason the employee cites for refusing
to return and even the individual unemployment office auditor reviewing
the case. It is a moving target.

Texas exempts people over 65 and people who have health conditions - or who live with someone who has health conditions - that predispose them to Covid complications from having to return to work if recalled. And I believe there is also a provision for people who cannot find child care.

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Kathy

No one is concerned about the billions going to other things the GOP wants? Just worry about some mom getting more for a limited time?


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foodonastump

Not known the need, I don’t have an opinion on those particular costs. But they total less than 6 Billion of a Trillion dollar package.

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Nana H

Republicans sure seem to be hell bent on losing in November. Not because those things are good or bad, right or wrong, but because the " People " probably would prefer a focus on the pressing issues of today not putting things in that will just bog it down,

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foodonastump

The HEALS Act proposes a supplemental FPUC benefit of $200 per week through September 2020, and starting in October, this would be replaced with a payment that replaced 70 percent of a recipient’s lost wages when combined with state UI compensation up to $500 per week. This would be determined through a formula or an alternative method proposed by states.


So the $200 is temporary. I do prefer the structure of the benefit over the existing flat amount, but I find 70% too low. I’d rather see that close to 100%. People at those income levels don’t have the wiggle room.

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Kathy

FOAS they are supposed to be Covid related. This is a Covid package. Or isn’t it?

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foodonastump

Deleted - I get your question now. Previous comment.

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foodonastump

Good question. Have they been justified as needed due to reduced tax revenue? Does seem non-covidy but it’s not exactly uncommon for spending bills to veer off topic.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Can't get past people continuing to argue that unemployment is some kind of choice - for millions of people? How are you supposed to get another job when there aren't enough available in your area? It's not like an out of work person in one area of the country is going to be able to easily get a job in another part of the country. People have homes, families and mortgages or leases, they can't just skip out - IF they have the funds to move - which I don't see how they would if they have zero income.

We're talking tens of millions of unemployed, spread across the entire nation, and at the same time, shuttered and already bankrupted businesses.

And someone who had a small business that is now closed cannot apply for unemployment, as I'm sure people are aware. According to the SBA, there are about 30 million small businesses in the US.

And yes landlords are definitely affected, and all the other things people have to pay bills for. It's all connected.

Failure of the imagination?

Or are some people just living in LaLa Land?

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chisue

Is the US unique in relying so heavily on consumer spending? (70-75%?)

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bfox254

Our upstanding and hard-working congress has now left for August recess while leaving millions of unemployed in limbo. They shouldn't have let any of them leave Washington, DC until they hammered out an agreement. That includes the senate, the house, the president and his team.

Updated to say I spoke too soon. Just read that the House has cancelled its recess until they reach an agreement on the stimulus bill. Hopefully the Senate will do the same.

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foodonastump

Carol - Re self-employed, again I’m no expert but for years I was a 1099 contractor and while I didn’t, many of my “colleagues” set up LLC’s for various reasons including to be eligible for unemployment.

Re the rest. Let’s pretend that no one is willfully extending their unemployment in order to take advantage of the $600. I’m still waiting to hear why a low income unemployed person should suddenly have more income than an equally low income employed person. If it’s “stimulus” then it’s unfairly distributed. Discrimination plain and simple. If it’s Covid relief then it should be distributed such as to help preserve a standard of living, that’s it. So which is it?

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Gizmo

carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Can't
get past people continuing to argue that unemployment is some kind of
choice - for millions of people? How are you supposed to get another
job when there aren't enough available in your area? It's not like an
out of work person in one area of the country is going to be able to
easily get a job in another part of the country. People have homes,
families and mortgages or leases, they can't just skip out - IF they
have the funds to move - which I don't see how they would if they have
zero income.

We're talking tens of millions of unemployed, spread across the
entire nation, and at the same time, shuttered and already bankrupted
businesses.

And someone who had a small business that is now closed cannot apply
for unemployment, as I'm sure people are aware. According to the SBA,
there are about 30 million small businesses in the US.

And yes landlords are definitely affected, and all the other things people have to pay bills for. It's all connected.

Failure of the imagination?

Or are some people just living in LaLa Land?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Remember how after the 08 Great(Republican) Recession, the unemployed were vilified by the right for being unemployed-- through no fault of their own, but the tight was demanding drug testing of them to deflect from the Republican fiscal failures?

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

The point is, it isn't fair, and everyone should be making a living wage, not dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

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bfox254

I think part of the problem is that they're trying to do both at the same time. Covid relief is unemployment funds and assistance to affected businesses, schools and local governments. Stimulus is the $1,200 checks sent to even those unaffected financially by the pandemic. Of course there is crossover. If the unemployed lose the extra federal benefit, they will suffer along with the economy.

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foodonastump

Carol - Then give it to every low income person and stop calling it Covid relief.

That aside, I must acknowledge a huge oops on my part. I had not been considering the employers portion of medical benefits. Perhaps additional relief to offset increased medical premiums would be appropriate, for those forced onto cobra.

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Gizmo

foodonastump

Carol - Then give it to every low income person and stop calling it Covid relief.

That aside, I must acknowledge a huge oops on my part. I had not been
considering the employers portion of medical benefits. Perhaps
additional relief to offset increased medical premiums would be
appropriate, for those forced onto cobra.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

One of the things Obama did during the 08 Great(Republican)Recession was to subsidize COBRA for the unemployed to make it more affordable.

I believe my sis payed $100/month--maybe even less, vs $500/month... or more

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kadefol

There are currently almost 4 unemployed for every available job. With more job cuts expected, and therefore even more unemployed, the gop needs to admit this is not about people refusing to go back to work, it's about the gop's priorities. Which don't include helping the unemployed beyond a few carefully counted crumbs.

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foodonastump

No doubt unemployment is a huge issue right now, and people need to be taken care of. Surely there’s a middle ground between trying to buy fighter jets and trying to throw patches at our preexisting income inequality condition.

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maifleur03

It has been a long time since I looked at Cobra coverage but at that time it was more than what I was making before I lost my job. Like over $1,000 a month in the mid 1970s. Gizmo mentioned his sister and only as a suggestion if you or anyone in your immediate family has ever looked at the cost please post it. You may post as it happened to your dog for all I care. Back then it was employer + employee cost + 20 to 50% extra because it was assumed if you wanted it you had health problems. Based on that using the ACA instead until recalled or a new position may be cheaper.

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elvis

And someone who had a small business that is now closed cannot apply for unemployment, as I'm sure people are aware.

A small business can incorporate and the employee/owner can be an employee of the corporation, and pay into UC. That person is then eligible when the corporation lays him/her off. You shouldn't collect on something you never paid into.

____________

COBRA, if you quallify, simply allows one to continue on their former employer's health insurance plan, paying the full premium rather than the employer paying it. One can do it for up to 18 months.

maifleur03

It has been a long time since I looked at Cobra coverage but at that time it was more than what I was making before I lost my job. Like over $1,000 a month in the mid 1970s.

Example Calculation

The cost is calculated as follows:

$650 a month (total of your and your former employer's premium contributions)
+
2% service charge (in this case, $650 x 0.02, which is $13)

Your total cost for COBRA, therefore, is $663 a month.


Your employer had a pretty expensive plan 50 years ago, Mai.

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Kathy


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patriciae_gw(07)

Kathy has said it all. While yall are parsing chicken feed corporate American raked in Billions and they arent out of work.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

States vary widely in their unemployment coverage. Here in FL, our GOP administration gave businesses an easy out from paying enough into the fund.

And the max payment is $275/wk.

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Kathy

Yes carol, Florida has one of the worst unemployment programs in the US. I really have no problem with any American getting a living wage for a few weeks compared to the billions wasted on the top 1%. They have made out like bandits during Trump presidency and Covid.

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