Karl Rove popped up on Fox News to wonder whether White House Press Secretary Jay Carney "get[s] it" when he discusses the stimulative effect of unemployment benefits. But leading economists have long agreed that unemployment benefits do have a strong effect on job creation and growth.
Here's Rove going On the Record:
Then there are economists.
In a January 2010 report on "Policies for Increasing Economic Growth and Employment in 2010 and 2011," the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that extending aid to the unemployed would have one of the strongest stimulative effects on the economy:
Policies that could be implemented relatively quickly or targeted toward people whose consumption tends to be restricted by their income, such as reducing payroll taxes for firms that increase payroll or increasing aid to the unemployed, would have the largest effects on output and employment per dollar of budgetary cost in 2010 and 2011.
In his July 24, 2008, congressional testimony, Mark Zandi, Moody's Economy.com chief economist and a former adviser to John McCain, ranked extended unemployment benefits behind only food stamps in terms of economic "bang for the buck." The Economic Policy Institute created the following graphic based on Zandi's figures: