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Florida GOP Debate: Newt Gingrich Blasts 99ers Over Unemployment Insurance (VIDEO)

First Posted: 09/22/2011 9:32 pm Updated: 11/22/2011 4:12 am

ORLANDO -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was asked during Thursday night's GOP debate what he would do about unemployment insurance, particularly in regard to those unemployed workers who had exhausted their 99 weeks of benefits.

Gingrich called for reform in the current system so that each state would have the ability to create its own worker-incentive program in exchange for insurance payments -- something that the Obama administration has gravitated toward doing in the jobs package the president recently presented.

Then, however, the former speaker suggested that benefits were being abused by people who were more interested in living off the government dime than in finding actual work.

"It is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks for doing nothing," he said.

Most studies of unemployment insurance have showed that lethargy is not a side effect of providing help to the unemployed. The money that is being distributed simply doesn't cover the salary lost from not having a job.

The more cynical minded would argue that Gingrich's condemnation of welfare insurance resembles the type of class warfare that Republicans are often deriding... only in reverse.

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