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Unemployment benefits help those who suffer, and help the economy

Updated: February 9, 2014 6:24AM

We now have the 60 votes to bring up the extension for unemployment insurance for debate in the Senate. In the past — with lower unemployment rates than present — unemployment passed on a bipartisan vote almost automatically. Unemployment insurance would help the economy and provide jobs. Also, there is a jobs bill from the president languishing in committee in the House of Representatives.

If we had the $24 billion lost during the 16 days the government was shut down, we would have more than enough to offset the cost of unemployment insurance. People need this unemployment insurance. They are suffering. This is a bill shouting for bipartisan support.

Ann Marie Cunningham,

Another reason we’re going broke

It’s time to stop giving people an excuse to not work. That’s one reason why our system is so bankrupt. Stop extending money for people to sit at home. There are jobs to be had, if not always in a person’s first-choice field. Heck, you might need to go out and get two jobs, one of which requires a demeaning uniform. You may have to work in the service industry or work late hours, causing you great physical pain, as I do. But I do what I can to make ends meet. Extending these benefits allows people to stay complacent and not reach out for something more than a handout.

I have been laid off in my field of financial services/banking three times in the last five years — and I battled cancer while unemployed and uninsured.

Julie Sparks, Lombard

Where’s the planning?

An interesting dichotomy of reporting occurred in the Tuesday Sun-Times. On Page 8, Mayor Rahm Emanuel defensively justified his balmy Asian holiday by stating that “the planning for an event like this (winter) actually started in August . . .” Yet on Page 11, the Sun Times reported that Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson submitted a report that “the city has failed to meet deadline repairs on potholes and street lights.”

Was this also an August planning exercise by Emanuel and his aides? If so, I can’t wait to hear what Ferguson has to say about the current side street/alley debacle caused by this current winter storm.

Mike Koskiewicz, Portage Park

Recognize Israel

Steve Huntley’s Monday column [“Recognize Israel to achieve peace”] is spot-on perfect. I do not understand people’s reluctance to understand that the Palestinians do not want to have a peaceful coexistence with Israel. They never have and they never will.

The left, and anyone else who believes that Israeli settlements in the so-called “occupied territories” are the biggest obstacle to peace, are ignorant of the facts, delusional, or both. Mr. Huntley is cognizant of this, and unlike most of the media, is not afraid to point it out.

Steven Butman, Northbrook

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