Proposed Offsets for Unemployment Benefits

January 11, 2014

The latest attempt by the GOP to block unemployment benefits is to finally agree to reinstitute/extend benefits, but only if the costs could be offset by reductions elsewhere in the budget. What a wonderful opportunity for Progressives. To restore benefits would require approximately $26 billion. 

Where, oh where could we find that kind of money? 

How about taxing money invested in foreign banks to avoid taxes? Foreign tax havens exist to cheat Americans out of paying a fair share of income. An estimated MINIMUM of $21 TRILLION is deposited by individuals and U.S. corporations into the banks of countries who create tax havens. Let’s say we impose a tax of 20 percent on these tax cheats. That would create $4.2 trillion, which would pay for unemployment benefits and the ENTIRE deficit. 

How about defunding weapons programs for weapons the Pentagon doesn’t want or need? Defunding the MEADS air defense system, the engines for F-35 and C-17 planes and 13 other weapon systems that the Pentagon says do not work, or are unneeded would save approximately $640 billion. 

There are probably many examples of where the offsets from restoring unemployment benefits could come from that would not only be moral, but also much more cost-effective.

How much do you want to bet that the money will come from a program in the social safety net?

How much do you want to bet that Democrats will, on the whole, agree to cutting more benefits to the poor?