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Should unemployment benefits be paid back by the recipients?

In hindsight, should we have had this regulation?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • No.

    Votes: 27 90.0%

  • Total voters
    30

fredmertz

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Should those who have received unemployment benefits have to pay back the funds they received?

I know we can't go back and ask them for something we told them they would get for nothing. But in hindsight, is this a regulation we should have had in place before all the extensions happened?

So the exact question is: In hindsight, should we have had a law to force each participant in the unemployment program to pay back their proportionate amount of unemployment benefit they received beyond the amount the national government had alotted for this program?

I mean, basically, it would be a gov't backed, non-interest loan with no credit-check - that cannot be 'forgiven' even in bankruptcy. You owe your nation a debt. That seems generous in itself... why would they ask for more? Free money? give me a break (obviously no bias in this poll!).
 

MaggieD

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No. Unemployment benefits are supposed to be funded by either employers, employees or, in some states, a combination of both, through payroll taxes. The last thing an unemployed worker needs is another loan to pay off.

I think unemployment benefit recipients often abuse and system. But for every one who abuses it, I'm sure there are 5 (?) who don't. We don't know the statistics on abuse because I don't think it's tracked, publicly anyway. It would be very interesting to know (and it could be easily determined) how quicky people get jobs when their unemployment runs out.

Welfare sometimes needs to be paid back, so there is some precedence. I see where you're coming from; but basically, unemployment checks should be paid through employer/employee deductions.
 

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Absolutely not, the recipient has already paid for it through payroll deductions while they were employed.
 

Ockham

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Unemployment should only provide whatever the worker pays into it. Almost like a HSA ... in this case it might be called an Unemployment Savings Account, where, the person pays into it over a period of years. When unemployed - that money (hopefully it collected a little interest as well) now is used to sustain the person while they are looking for work, when that runs out - they have to take ANY job not just the ones that they feel they deserve, are entitled to, or "in their field". Unemployment as supported by the government should only supply at most, a month or two of benefits which are static meaning - these benefits don't go down or up depending on the pay of your last job. It's always $400 a week even if the person only got paid originally $200 a week.

A UESA would then be setup to pay into an unemployment account say 5%-20% of their net, which would not be taxed again and exempt from the death tax.

If 10% for 7 years was pulled out of a person making an average of $3,000 a month, it would be $25K (without interest)

$400 week of unemployment benefits for 2 years provided by the government equals $41K.

The difference is, my solution is THEIR money (not taxpayers) and the governments solution is welfare based on the backs of those still working. Which one's more fiscally responsible? Hmm...
 

danarhea

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Should those who have received unemployment benefits have to pay back the funds they received?

I know we can't go back and ask them for something we told them they would get for nothing. But in hindsight, is this a regulation we should have had in place before all the extensions happened?

So the exact question is: In hindsight, should we have had a law to force each participant in the unemployment program to pay back their proportionate amount of unemployment benefit they received beyond the amount the national government had alotted for this program?

I mean, basically, it would be a gov't backed, non-interest loan with no credit-check - that cannot be 'forgiven' even in bankruptcy. You owe your nation a debt. That seems generous in itself... why would they ask for more? Free money? give me a break (obviously no bias in this poll!).

1) I owe my nation a debt? On the contrary. My nation owes me a debt. I have been paying into the unemployment fund for more than 4 decades without getting a penny of that back.

2) Free money? You are right on that. The government has been getting free money from my pocket for more than 4 decades.

3) That seems generous in itself? Seems that I am the one who has been forced to be generous, not the government.

Only a politician could have come up with an idea like this. If you are not a politician, then you have truly missed your calling in life. :mrgreen:
 
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fredmertz

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1) I owe my nation a debt? On the contrary. My nation owes me a debt. I have been paying into the unemployment fund for more than 2 decades without getting a penny of that back.

2) Free money? You are right on that. The government has been getting free money from my pocket for more than 2 decades.

3) That seems generous in itself? Seems that I am the one who has been forced to be generous, not the government.

Only a politician could have come up with an idea like this. If you are not a politician, then you have truly missed your calling in life. :mrgreen:

Forgive me for being unclear - but there seems to be some misunderstandings.

1) When I wrote "you" owe your nation a debt, the "you" was referring to you the recipient of unemployment benefits. The US gave the recipient money which had not yet been paid - a debt - and in terms of fairness, I believe the recipient should be the only one who should be paying that debt back.

3) To clarify what I mean when I said that it 'seems generous' in my statement: The fact that my proposition offers a loan called 'extended unemployment benefits' - this loan is a zero-interest loan. To be paid back when you, the recipient (not the tax payer) has a job. If this were to actually become law, then yes, the gov't would be quite generous in giving away such loans to somebody who, at the time, doesn't have a way to even pay it back. If you want to argue that this is too generous, I may even support that! :)

It seems like we agree, but I was unclear initially. I hope this makes more sense!
 

liblady

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Unemployment should only provide whatever the worker pays into it. Almost like a HSA ... in this case it might be called an Unemployment Savings Account, where, the person pays into it over a period of years. When unemployed - that money (hopefully it collected a little interest as well) now is used to sustain the person while they are looking for work, when that runs out - they have to take ANY job not just the ones that they feel they deserve, are entitled to, or "in their field". Unemployment as supported by the government should only supply at most, a month or two of benefits which are static meaning - these benefits don't go down or up depending on the pay of your last job. It's always $400 a week even if the person only got paid originally $200 a week.

A UESA would then be setup to pay into an unemployment account say 5%-20% of their net, which would not be taxed again and exempt from the death tax.

If 10% for 7 years was pulled out of a person making an average of $3,000 a month, it would be $25K (without interest)

$400 week of unemployment benefits for 2 years provided by the government equals $41K.

The difference is, my solution is THEIR money (not taxpayers) and the governments solution is welfare based on the backs of those still working. Which one's more fiscally responsible? Hmm...

unemployment is funded by employers and employees........
 

fredmertz

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Unemployment should only provide whatever the worker pays into it. Almost like a HSA ... in this case it might be called an Unemployment Savings Account, where, the person pays into it over a period of years. When unemployed - that money (hopefully it collected a little interest as well) now is used to sustain the person while they are looking for work, when that runs out - they have to take ANY job not just the ones that they feel they deserve, are entitled to, or "in their field". Unemployment as supported by the government should only supply at most, a month or two of benefits which are static meaning - these benefits don't go down or up depending on the pay of your last job. It's always $400 a week even if the person only got paid originally $200 a week.

A UESA would then be setup to pay into an unemployment account say 5%-20% of their net, which would not be taxed again and exempt from the death tax.

If 10% for 7 years was pulled out of a person making an average of $3,000 a month, it would be $25K (without interest)

$400 week of unemployment benefits for 2 years provided by the government equals $41K.

The difference is, my solution is THEIR money (not taxpayers) and the governments solution is welfare based on the backs of those still working. Which one's more fiscally responsible? Hmm...

You, as a gov't, force me as a citizen to put away an emergency fund (in essence) in case of unemployment? No way would I support that. It's my money. If I don't want an emergency fund, that's my choice. I'll suffer if the time comes and I'm unemployed (playing devil's advocate because I do have such a reserve, but I'm against the gov't forcing me to have it). So I vote no to your UESA plan.
 

fredmertz

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unemployment is funded by employers and employees........

He wrote 'should' - he's not explaining the current system, but rather what the system 'should' be in his ideals.
 

danarhea

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Forgive me for being unclear - but there seems to be some misunderstandings.

1) When I wrote "you" owe your nation a debt, the "you" was referring to you the recipient of unemployment benefits. The US gave the recipient money which had not yet been paid - a debt - and in terms of fairness, I believe the recipient should be the only one who should be paying that debt back.

3) To clarify what I mean when I said that it 'seems generous' in my statement: The fact that my proposition offers a loan called 'extended unemployment benefits' - this loan is a zero-interest loan. To be paid back when you, the recipient (not the tax payer) has a job. If this were to actually become law, then yes, the gov't would be quite generous in giving away such loans to somebody who, at the time, doesn't have a way to even pay it back. If you want to argue that this is too generous, I may even support that! :)

It seems like we agree, but I was unclear initially. I hope this makes more sense!

The government is already taking money from employees through deductions, which go into the unemployment fund. The debt is already owed by the government, not the employee who collects what he has already paid into.
 

fredmertz

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The government is already taking money from employees through deductions, which go into the unemployment fund. The debt is already owed by the government, not the employee who collects what he has already paid into.

Yes. That is how the system is currently set up. But I'm asking, in hindsight, should this have been set up differently? I'm not asking about how it is funded for the regular benefits. I asked quite specifcally about the payouts that were "beyond the amount the national government had alotted for this program". This is a payout that we didn't intend when we set up the unemployment benefit program. Which means we don't have funds for the payouts, which is defined as debt - when you pay without having the funds. So who should have been on the hook for this debt? I know it is now the taxpayer, employers and employees, but was that the best system?

I'm not asking what exists currently which is what you are explaining. I'm asking, why wouldn't we have done it in a way that I explained in my initial post.
 

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He wrote 'should' - he's not explaining the current system, but rather what the system 'should' be in his ideals.

you're right, and i disagree. employers SHOULD be required to pay into the fund as well.
 

MaggieD

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After thinking about this, why not let the unemployed worker decide?
Example: My unemployment benefits have run out. Let me decide to extend them for another six months with an interest-free non-dischargeable loan.
I could vote for that. In fact, I think it's an excellent idea.

So many times, unemployed people don't take jobs and stay unemployed because they don't want to be under-employed. Not that they can't find a job, but that they can't find one that pays as much as their last one....or that's out of their field...or whatever. Well, freely subsidize that person for a 6-month search, then allow the worker to make his own decision about extending them -- but any extension would be paid back. Yep. I like that.
 

Ockham

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You, as a gov't, force me as a citizen to put away an emergency fund (in essence) in case of unemployment? No way would I support that. It's my money. If I don't want an emergency fund, that's my choice. I'll suffer if the time comes and I'm unemployed (playing devil's advocate because I do have such a reserve, but I'm against the gov't forcing me to have it). So I vote no to your UESA plan.

That's fine and I support your choice. If you do NOT do this and you become unemployed and spent all of your money - you lose everything, get no support from state, local or federal government, and you could end up starving in the street or dependent upon charity. But you're right... it's your choice. Or you could do something on your own as well in place of the UESA account. The bottom line is - no more government handouts on the backs of tax payers.

And to the liblady: When unemployment benefits exceed employer and employee funds --- as was supported by the bill in Congress to extend benefits to 2 years... who pays for that? One way or another - the "haves" pay and the "have nots" receive.
 

liblady

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That's fine and I support your choice. If you do NOT do this and you become unemployed and spent all of your money - you lose everything, get no support from state, local or federal government, and you could end up starving in the street or dependent upon charity. But you're right... it's your choice. Or you could do something on your own as well in place of the UESA account. The bottom line is - no more government handouts on the backs of tax payers.

And to the liblady: When unemployment benefits exceed employer and employee funds --- as was supported by the bill in Congress to extend benefits to 2 years... who pays for that? One way or another - the "haves" pay and the "have nots" receive.

that's true. and under ordinary circumstances i would not want extensions of unemployment benefits, but these are hardly ordinary circumstances. it still makes me uncomfortable, though.
 

Ockham

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After thinking about this, why not let the unemployed worker decide? I could vote for that. In fact, I think it's an excellent idea.

So many times, unemployed people don't take jobs and stay unemployed because they don't want to be under-employed. Not that they can't find a job, but that they can't find one that pays as much as their last one....or that's out of their field...or whatever. Well, freely subsidize that person for a 6-month search, then allow the worker to make his own decision about extending them -- but any extension would be paid back. Yep. I like that.

And when you cannot pay it back and you need another 6 months --- and another 6 months... ?? You pain the sunny day scenario fine---- who pays when it's not so sunny?

Edit: Thinking about this some more --- who on earth would provide a load to an unemployed person?
 
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MaggieD

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It is the responnsibility of every civilized country to help those less fortunate...for the "haves" to give to the "have nots." The problem doesn't lie there....it lies with the inevitable abuses.
 

fredmertz

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It is the responnsibility of every civilized country to help those less fortunate...for the "haves" to give to the "have nots."

Ahhh, then we disagree on the principal of where the problem lies. I disagree with your above statement.

Perhaps it is the moral obligation of each citizen in a civilized country to help the unfortuante. I would be much more willing to give into that argument. But to say it's their responsibility and the government will force this moral obligation onto each person so that they no longer have a choice to be moral or immoral, is in itself immoral. You are taking away the individual's right to choose what they do with their own money.
 
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fredmertz

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And when you cannot pay it back and you need another 6 months --- and another 6 months... ?? You pain the sunny day scenario fine---- who pays when it's not so sunny?

Great point. There will need to be limitations to the amount they can borrow.
 

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If you are going to require people to payback the money received on unemployement, you might as well do away with unemployment insurance
 

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You are taking away the individual's right to choose what they do with their own money.
Well, governments have been doing thatsince governments were first formed a few thousand years ago. I'd much rather my government use my money to help those less fortunate than to study whether or not the flippinflap bird is soon to be extinct.

I don't like the way unemployment compensation is abused; same for public assistance; Social Security disability; any of these programs. But to say they are inherently evil and shouldn't exist isn't right either.
 

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Well, governments have been doing thatsince governments were first formed a few thousand years ago. I'd much rather my government use my money to help those less fortunate than to study whether or not the flippinflap bird is soon to be extinct.

I don't like the way unemployment compensation is abused; same for public assistance; Social Security disability; any of these programs. But to say they are inherently evil and shouldn't exist isn't right either.

simply because it has been done in the past doesn't make it right. Simply because I would have chosen to help otherwise doesn't make it right either. Even if it isn't abused, it's still wrong IMO.

There's an old philosophical argument that if I ask you, or for argument's sake, a child, to go into a room and ask them to stay there and they agree to, but then I lock the door, is it kidnapping? They know the door is locked, they have no other choice but to stay, but it's no big deal from the child's perspective because they want to stay anyway. All the while, the parents didn't know where the child is. Is it kidnapping? Or is it a runaway? The child chose to go there and stay there. But in reality, he didn't have another choice anyway.

I say this is kidnapping. Unemployment benefits are kidnapping my money.
 
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rivrrat

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As others have said, employees and employers already pay for unemployment. This is why don't have an issue with unemployment per se. You actually have to have worked in order to receive it.
 

fredmertz

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As others have said, employees and employers already pay for unemployment. This is why don't have an issue with unemployment per se. You actually have to have worked in order to receive it.

We have paid more in unemployment than we have received due to the extensions. As I have said in response to this response, the question specifically asks about the amount that has been paid "beyond the amount the national government had alotted for this program".

An amount that has been paid, but funds have not yet been received for, is by definition a debt. Who bears the responsibility for this debt.

I agree workers should get paid the amt of insurance they paid in for. Everything beyond that, i.e. the extension, should have been paid for, or known where it was going to be paid from, in advance. This is from where I believe it should have been paid. Do you disagree?
 

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We have paid more in unemployment than we have received due to the extensions. As I have said in response to this response, the question specifically asks about the amount that has been paid "beyond the amount the national government had alotted for this program".

An amount that has been paid, but funds have not yet been received for, is by definition a debt. Who bears the responsibility for this debt.

I agree workers should get paid the amt of insurance they paid in for. Everything beyond that, i.e. the extension, should have been paid for, or known where it was going to be paid from, in advance. This is from where I believe it should have been paid. Do you disagree?

We pay WAAAY more than is ever used. Where does that money go? I would assume that the extension of benefits would come from the pool of unused funds. Unless they've gone into some black hole somewhere.
 
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