During his December 2013 Hawaiian vacation, President Obama phoned lawmakers, asking them to extend unemployment benefits. They did not. Which is a good thing, according to a new study published by NBER. [Credit: Fox News]
A little more than a year ago, the President was distressed. It was a few days after Christmas 2013, and extended unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people were about to expire. In a typically perfunctory lobbying effort, he called two Senators to urge them to move a bill to preserve the benefits.
To recover from his exertions, he and his family then “ventured to the white-sand beach at Bellows Air Force Station, which is on the windward side of the island of Oahu and features turquoise water and a stunning view of the Mokulua Islands,” the Washington Post reported.
That tranquil scene augured the best year for U.S. employment growth since 1999. According to the Labor Department, the economy added more than 3.1 million jobs in 2014. The topline unemployment rate was 5.6% in December, down from 6.7% the prior December and the lowest rate since June 2008.
And here is the surprising major reason for the resurgence in employment: Congress spurned the President’s entreaties and let extended unemployment benefits expire. Continue reading