On today's Diane Rehm Show there was a discussion of benefits for the long-term unemployed. In reaching a budget deal to prevent yet another government shutdown, Congress (read, House Republicans) opposed an extension of those jobless benefits. The shit will hit the fan for 1.3 million Americans three days after Christmas. In the first six months of 2014, an additional 1.9 million Americans will see their benefits disappear. There are 4.1 million long-term unemployed altogether, meaning those people have been out of work 27 weeks or longer.
There are two arguments for continuing jobless benefits, a moral argument and an economic argument. The moral argument is easy to make, and can be stated as a Moses-like 11th Commandment.