As the Senate takes up the vote on extending emergency federal unemployment insurance today, one argument by opponents is that it should be paid for. The good news for opponents of helping jobless workers is that there is a bill to do just that AND start to re-balance our deficit reduction efforts.
The Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act would raise $220 billion over the next decade by closing corporate tax loopholes that provide no economic benefit and reward profitable companies that offshore their profits or otherwise seek to evade taxes. In some cases, these companies are rewarded for shipping jobs overseas too.
So if opponents are serious about their new-found fiscal responsibility, they should move the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act to the floor without haste. But they should not fail to extend unemployment insurance payments to jobless workers in the meantime.
Jobless workers continue to face too few jobs and mounting financial pressure that will flood the economic recovery. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that failing to extend emergency federal unemployment could result in the loss of 300,000 jobs as jobless workers fail to spend in the economy and businesses stop hiring or cut back.
Closing corporate loopholes and extending unemployment insurance at this fragile point in the recovery would not only be good for the economy but makes good fiscal sense.