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Tuesday, March 13, 2012




I think you make some very good points against drug testing for unemployment insurance beneficiaries. However, I think you overlook one important point. In typical private insurance, the collected premiums are used to pay the benefit. An underwriter will determine how much the premiums need to be to fund the money that will be paid out.

Like with many government programs, no great effort seems to be made to balance the input and output of unemployment funding. And the numbers involved are quite large. According to the Council on State Governments, the Labor Department estimates by the fourth quarter of 2013 the states involved may need to borrow more than $90 billion to fund their unemployment programs. So the real question is: Where does the $90 billion come from? Should the premium which is taken out of other workers' paychecks be raised? Should the benefit to unemployed workers be reduced or shortened? Or, should all taxpayers subsidize the benefit with higher taxes?

Some have seized on the drug testing issue as a way to reduce benefits. Others think it's the right thing to do.

As a fiscal conservative, I think these issues need to be laid out and discussed. There is no free lunch.

Jim Howard

Good points.
I hope someone is keeping books. I think that businesses over a certain size should have to pay back the amount that tax payers are helping out the unemployment insurance fund with now that it is in trouble.
The unemployment fund is not like SS or Medicare. A business puts in a certain amount and then does not have to add to it unless they have employees that they let go. I am sure there was no planning for a big hurt like this one. So the fund for each business runs out of money and the feds step in. But I think that money should be repaid.
But I think small business should just put in what they did in the past. Major corporations that are making big profits should have to make up what the government put in. Maybe the way to fix it would be that from now on big businesses keep putting into their account and when it is funded they keep putting in for funds to go to pay back the government and to setup a fund for when something like this happens down the road. Sort of like the highway fund.
But this is way over my head. Plus I got a sick feeling that no one is keeping any books.

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