Krauthammer: Job Growth Coincides With End Of Extended Unemployment Benefits


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, I think all of this -- and I think it is very good news -- comes under the headline of, you can't keep the American economy down forever. You can try to do it with overtaxation, you can try to do it with overregulation, but in the end, the animal spirits of this incredible economy, all the industriousness, all the energy, all the innovation will break through. Particularly as we see in the states where there's a huge increase in unemployment as a result of the energy explosion. Again, being kept down as much as it can by the federal EPA and a couple of blue states like New York state.

However, there is one factor here which I think is overlooked, and you won't red about it. Rob Stein, the economist, pointed this out in National Review Online. These six months, which Obama heralds as the largest -- the fastest growth in jobs since 1999, have coincided with the six months of which we have no longer extended emergency unemployment, long-term unemployment insurance. Remember at the end of last year, the furious debate the Democrats [had], the president saying if you end this, the sky is going to fall, people won't go starving, it's going to increase unemployment? It's had precisely the opposite effect.

In these six months, where you ended the extended unemployment, and the conservative argument was if you subsidize something, you'll get more of it, if you stop the subsidy, you'll lessen it. So, these six months coincide with a decrease in the median length of unemployment from 17 weeks to 13 weeks. The largest six-month decline in the length of unemployment ever measured. Which means the real problem of long-term unemployment was a function of this anomaly, emergency extended unemployment, which should never have happened, and whose end has created this -- has contributed to this excellent result. The debate on that extension is over and the conservatives were right.

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