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Paula Dwyer

The Case for Extending Jobless Benefits

The big boot begins at midnight tonight. That's when unemployment checks stop coming for 1.3 million people who have been collecting benefits for more than six months.

The big boot begins at midnight Dec. 27. That's when unemployment checks stop coming for 1.3 million people who have been collecting benefits for more than six months. By July, another 1.9 million people will get the boot from extended benefits. By the end of 2014, 1.6 million more will be kicked off, totaling about 5 million Americans.

"Neglecting to extend this vital lifeline to millions of workers is simply immoral," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said today. Morality is a tough concept in politics. Many Republicans, after all, believe abortion and tax increases are immoral. It's better to focus on the economic and political consequences of not extending unemployment benefits; they are easier cases to make.