Friday, January 3, 2014

Dear Senators Corker and Alexander: Stand firm, do not vote to extend unemployment benefits.

Dear Senators Corker and Alexander,

This is an open letter, asking you to vote against extending unemployment benefits.

An article in today's Washington Post said both of you were senators to watch as Republicans that might join Democrats and support an extension of unemployment benefits. Please say it is not so.

According to the Post story, there are already three Republicans ready to join Democrats in supporting the extension. They are Senator Heller from Nevada, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski. If all 55 Democrats vote for the extension and the three named Senators above vote with the Democrats then they only need two more. The post listed nine potential senators who might vote with the Democrats. You two were among those nine.

I know that there are a lot of people hurting and I know there will be hardships if people lose there unemployment. Nationwide, 1.3 million ran out of jobless benefits on Dec. 28, and more will follow. However, I do not see how we can afford to indefinite keep people on unemployment. Our country is going broke. Also, unemployment benefits leads to unemployed people.  Unemployed people will be more picky about the job they will accept if they are receiving unemployment payments. A lot of people will not look for jobs that paid less than what they were making at their old job until they face the expiration of unemployment benefits.

 Many mothers of small children welcome staying home with their children and do not rush to return to work if receiving unemployment compensation. Also, many companies won’t even look at the resum├ęs of the long-term unemployed, so to a certain extent the government is making it harder for the unemployed to find a job due to keeping them out of the job market. Also, we are on the edge of the baby boom retirement wave. How many people would go ahead and apply for social security if they were not receiving unemployment?  I don't know, but I would assume it is not an insignificant number. If those people were out of the job market, the unemployment rate would be lower.

Senators Corker and Alexander, I have voted for each of you and financially supported your campaigns and I have defended each of you to my tea party brethren who deem you insufficiently conservative. Please do not vote for extending unemployment benefits. If you do, I would have a hard time defending that vote. Don't prove me wrong for having been a faithful supporter of yours.

Rod Williams

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