(New York Times) — Dan Tolleson, a researcher and writer with a Ph.D. in politics, has been out of work since 2009, except for brief stints as a driver. Still, he opposes President Obama’s call for Congress to renew extensions on unemployment benefits. “They’re going to end up spending more money on unemployment benefits, while less money is coming in on tax returns,” he said, suggesting that the government should focus on measures that might encourage businesses to hire. “Far better to relax some of these outrageous regulations.” Make no mistake — Mr. Tolleson, 54, has collected unemployment checks, saying he had little choice. But his objection to a policy that would probably benefit him shows just how divisive the question has become of providing a bigger safety net to the long-term jobless, a common strategy in recessions. President Obama wants to continue offering benefits for an extended period of time, a maximum of 99 weeks, as is now the case. The measure is part of his jobs bill, which he once again called on Congress to pass in a press conference on Thursday.
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