I note with interest Senator Thune's argument against accepting the unemployment money:
"These governors are going to have to shut off these programs (once the money runs out) and how do you tell somebody enrolled in the program that they’re no longer going to be eligible for it" [reported by Ledyard King, "Johnson Says Rounds Shouldn’t Turn Away Federal Unemployment Aid," that Sioux Falls paper, 2009.02.25].
That's funny: I thought Republicans were all about shutting off programs. Thune sounds like a bleeding heart Washington liberal to me. ;-)
Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has also weighed in, going point by point against the arguments Governor Rounds and some of his GOP pals have made:
- The stimulus law does not require states to maintain any unemployment insurance rule changes past the duration of the stimulus money.
- Unemployment benefits are among the best stimulus tools available.
- Taking the stimulus money now will actually avert a UI tax increase on employers this year (just as the governor's labor secretary is trying to tell him).