Mr. Summers is merely reflecting what numerous economic studies have shown. The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee put it this way in its January minutes: "The several extensions of emergency unemployment insurance benefits appeared to have raised the measured unemployment rate, relative to levels recorded in past downturns." It continued: "Some estimates suggested it could account for 1 percentage point or more of the increase in the unemployment rate during the recession." ... If Republicans were really cynical, they'd let the new benefits pass and run against the higher jobless rate in the fall.
Unless something is done to address the deficit, the American economy will be hobbled for generations to come. But denying benefits to the unemployed is the wrong place to start.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.