Putting food on their families

Oh, goody!

George W. Bush, having refused to intervene to get an extension of unemployment benefits through the Congress this fall, has suddenly discovered that the extension ought to be “a first order of business” when it comes back this winter.

Of course, the benefits run out December 28 for several hundred thousand families, and Congress doesn’t come back until after the first of the year. Bush wants the extended benefits made retroactive, which I’m sure won’t pose any difficulty for the families involved: can’t they just borrow against their trust funds?

Of course we don’t know yet what disgusting riders Lott and Hastert will attach to the bill in order to put the Democrats in the position of either voting for the riders or further squeezing the unemployed. If that wasn’t the whole point of this maneuver, pray tell me what was?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com