Without An Unemployment Benefits Extension, The Economy Will Lose $57 Billion In First Quarter Of 2012

Extended unemployment insurance benefits, much-needed financial relief for 7 million unemployed Americans, is set to expire at the end of the year. President Obama wants to extend benefits further, but Republicans — both congressmen and candidates — are staunchly opposed. Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Joshua Dennerlein “did the apolitical math” on the impact failure to extend the benefits would have on the economy and found that “the economy would take a $57 billion hit in the first three months of next year, translating into a 0.38 percent loss in gross domestic product.” Politico notes that “the entire economy grew at roughly that rate for the same period this year.” Add in the GOP’s failure to continue the temporary cut in the payroll tax, and Potomac Research Group’s Greg Valliere concludes that the drag on the economy “would total more than 1 percent of GDP.”