Robert Reich: Help the Unemployed, Not the Rich

The former secretary of labor warns that extending the Bush tax cuts for the top 1 percent would cost more than another unemployment-benefit extension.

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Former President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor Robert Reich weighs in on whether to extend tax cuts for the wealthy. He writes, "Extending the Bush tax cuts for the top 1 percent would cost an estimated $120 billion over the next two years. That's more than another unemployment benefit extension would cost." He also warns that quick action is needed to help the estimated 4 million long-term unemployed. Reich warns that Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats are saying that they cannot afford to extend the unemployment benefits; these same folks want us to to extend tax cuts to the wealthy, which will actually cost more. Repubicans are still saying that unemployment benefits cause people not to look for work, when in fact unemployment benefits stimulate the economy. Reich writes, "A Labor Department report shows that for every $1 spent on unemployment insurance, $2 is spent in the economy. If you don't believe the Labor Department, maybe you'll believe Goldman Sachs analyst Alec Phillips, who estimates that if unemployment benefits are allowed to expire, the American economy would slow by a half a percent." Instead of focusing on the rhetoric, focus on the people and help the unemployed. Sounds good to us.

Read more at AOL News.

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