LETTERS: Unemployment benefits in perpetuity?

To the editor:

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has come out in favor of extending unemployment benefits for three months (“Heller: Jobless ‘left hanging’ by Congress,” Tuesday Review-Journal). Currently, there are 26 weeks of state benefits and up to 47 more weeks of federal benefits.

Sen. Heller said, “For those benefits to simply vanish without giving families time to plan or figure out alternatives … it’s just not right.” What? They’ve already had 73 weeks to figure that out. Why does Sen. Heller think they’ll do any better at it with another three months? Sen. Heller indicated that the extension would give Congress time to come up with ways to pay for further benefits or make changes to the program.

It would appear that those who reached the 73-week mark on unemployment benefits and were not aware that they were reaching the end expected these benefits to be available in perpetuity. And it seems Sen. Heller may be trying to prove them right.

No doubt some will argue that it’s tough to find a job in this economy. However, we have some 10 million to 20 million illegal aliens in this country whom we are told are hard-working. If they can overcome the obstacles of being here illegally and still find employment, why can those who are here legally not find work?

You might say the illegal aliens are willing to do the jobs that Americans won’t, and I expect there is a good bit of truth to that statement because a lot of those jobs are tough work. But why won’t unemployed Americans do those jobs? Could it be that it is easier to collect unemployment than to do hard work?



Wrongly targeted

To the editor:

Regarding the letter from Chris Klineburger (“Unemployment benefits,” Wednesday Review-Journal), he cited a recent conversation with a restaurant manager who told him that a person she interviewed for a job refused it, stating that he was making almost as much on unemployment as the job would pay.

I assume from Mr. Klineburger’s closing remark that he is hearkening back to his earlier statement that most take the attitude, “Why work when the government is offering all the freebies?” There is nothing free about unemployment benefits. They are paid to people who have been employed and have lost their jobs for some valid reason or another. Unemployment benefits are routinely denied to individuals who have been fired for cause or any other number of reasons.

Also in Wednesday’s paper was the article disclosing the fines assessed against JP Morgan Chase and HSBC (Bank to pay more than $2 billion”). In Chase’s case, the fine was for protecting the bank against losses in the Bernie Madoff scandal, while failing to protect depositors in the same way. In HSBC’s case, it was money laundering on behalf of drug cartels. In neither of these cases was anyone employed by the banks charged with a crime.

My point is to question Mr. Klineburger, who, when not patting himself on the back for being hard-working, frugal and thrifty, is busy assuming that most individuals trying to support families on unemployment are taking government freebies. Why is Mr. Klineburger angered that most of these people are content receiving unemployment benefits, but not incensed with the bankers, fined $4 billion for not performing their fiscal responsibilities to their customers?

The middle class of this country is misguided in its attitude about who is responsible for its decline. Stop being convinced about who is responsible by the 1 percent and the Fox News toadies.