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Why Extending Unemployment Aid Would Lead To More Jobs And A Better Economy

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Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- Republicans who have been blocking the extension of longterm unemployment benefits on the grounds that the country can no longer afford to provide such aid got a lesson in economics Wednesday from the top non-partisan number-cruncher at the Congressional Budget Office.

Congress let benefits for the longterm unemployed expire on Dec. 28, with Republicans insisting any new spending to help people who have been seeking work for more than half a year should be paid for with cuts elsewhere. They didn't like a Democratic proposal to offset the spending, and some 1.7 million Americans have lost their benefits since.

But CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf offered Congress a very good reason to go ahead and restore the aid: it would boost the economy and add about 200,000 new jobs.

The CBO has said this before, but Elmendorf made the point especially succinctly Wednesday. Watch it, above.

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