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Dave Camp Blames Unemployment Benefits for the Jobless


Dave Camp Blames Unemployment Benefits for the Jobless
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

It is common knowledge here and all over the world that the US government has been searching for a solution to the high unemployment rate in our country for quite some time now. Recently one Republican Congressman, Dave Camp (R-Michigan) revealed that he has the answer to joblessness in America, and he believes it can be found in unemployment benefits.

Who is Dave Camp?

So who is this brilliant Republican mastermind and what makes him so qualified to comment on the current joblessness situation in the US? Dave Camp has been in government for over 20 years and began serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives in 1991. He currently serves as the chairman of the powerful tax writing committee the House of Ways and Means Committee, a position he has held since 2011.

As for his approach to government, Camp has been quoted by Congressman Quarterly in 2006 as saying, “I am a conservative on fiscal policy, but I am a moderate on some other issues.” But now his 6 year term serving as the top Republican on the panel will end this year as Camp announced his retirement late last March.

Dave Camp’s Views

Anson Kaye of US News reports that Camp recently stated that despite the fact that the government is spending more on unemployment benefits than ever before, people are still unemployed. Camp went on to say that this means the current program “doesn’t move the needle” and instead of renewing these benefits for the 2 million US citizens who no longer receive them, we should instead focus on new “policies that will create jobs.”

Kaye of course agreed that obviously the best outcome for an unemployed person in the US would be to eventually find a job. But went on to question if that is the correct standard to measure the effectiveness of current unemployment benefits?

Is Camp Incorrect in His Statement?

What is the best solution to this issue? Is Camp completely wrong or is there some truth behind his statements?

That is of course incredibly hard to say, but Kaye, who is a former chief of staff on Capitol Hill and a key member of the Obama 2012 team, tried to tackle this question with plenty of insight and notably less conservativeness than Camp’s fiscal policy ideals would allow. Kaye argues that if jobs are the standard to measure effectiveness then unemployment benefits are actually faring quite well.

He goes on to highlight information released by the Congressional Budget Office showing that by extending unemployment benefits the government will actually help create 200,000 jobs. This is due in large part to the fact that by placing money into the hands of the unemployed they will be spending that money by purchasing goods and services that ultimately help businesses grow. And we all know that when businesses are growing that means they are hiring.

This does not necessarily put all of the unemployed back to work, but it does in fact have an effect on moving that needle Camp was speaking of.

The Bottom Line

Kaye goes on to point out that Camp and other’s in his political party are not the one’s benefiting from this and other social programs that the Democrats are known to work hard at advocating for.

They do however still feel the effects of these programs because their pay and profits are reduced by the taxes that fund them. But instead of coming out and stating they are against them for these reasons alone, it seems better to try and attack the benefits by saying the program isn’t working.

They can then argue that there is no point in paying for a program that isn’t working. But in this case, through studies like the one conducted by the Congressional Budget Office, we can see that Camp and others that agree with him on the subject are wrong.

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