News & Politics

Michael Steele's Economic Plan: Take Away Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment insurance provides a vital lifeline to more than 10 million Americans currently looking for work in an environment where jobs are scarce.

[Monday] President Obama [met] with the nation's top bank executives in the President's "latest push for lenders to take greater responsibility as the nation combats an economic crisis that began on Wall Street." "The president is looking forward…[to discussing] the need to increase small business lending and the Administration's plans for financial reform," a White House spokesperson said [on Monday].

On NBC's Today, RNC chair Michael Steele said that in order for banks to start lending to small businesses, the federal government should reduce the unemployment tax:

STEELE: Well, I think, first off, he should recognize that banks aren't going to lend money to people who can't pay them back. … So there's -- there's this whole cycle of not understanding exactly how the economy works with respect to small-business owners.Take that pressure off of them. Let's -- let's eliminate the capital gains tax. Let's reduce the unemployment tax.

Watch it:


Benjamin J. Armbruster is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and at the Center for American Progress.