Texas Unemployment Benefits in the Emergency Room

The weekly meeting of the Texas Workforce Commission turned into an emergency room for unemployment benefits on Tuesday morning.

The best overview of the “sit-yi-ashun” comes out of the Waco Tribune in today’s editorial titled, “Get with It.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram offers good coverage in a news story by Dave Montgomery and a column by Mitchell Schnurman.

Here at TCRR we have been watching the Governor’s dogmatic attachment to supply-side economics since he presented the Laffer Report last Fall. The Laffer model has worked well as a campaign platform in ordinary times. But these are no ordinary times.

According to figures released last week by the National Employment Law Project, large numbers of jobless Texans will begin exhausting their 33 weeks of federal unemployment benefits. About 47,000 will hit the end of that lifeline in September, with the number growing to nearly 80,000 by the year-end holidays.

Texas is one of four states (all from the former Confederacy) that rejected a 20-week extension of those federal benefits, and so far most Texans agree that the state did the right thing. –gm

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