IN 2008, as a recession took hold, a Democratic Congress and a Republican president agreed to have the federal government temporarily extend unemployment benefits beyond the initial 26 weeks the 50 states pay.
Five years later, the temporary aid is still in force, even though the federal government must borrow the $25 billion a year this extension costs.
House Republicans are saying enough is enough. What was meant as a temporary aid has become a permanent hindrance, as the unemployment checks are a disincentive to seek employment.
Time is a factor in finding work after a layoff, according to Beth Nogay Carenbauer, acting director of unemployment compensation at WorkForce West Virginia.
"I think it is particularly important for individuals to start their job search early in their unemployment. The sooner you begin to look for the job, the better the prospects," Carenbauer told the Daily Mail's Dave Boucher.
Unemployed people are not lazy and certainly unemployment compensation was meant to keep people from having to take the first job available.
But four years after the recession officially ended, the need for a federal extension of benefits beyond the state's initial six months also ended. People with the right skills can find the right jobs.
"Data indicates that any amount of education or training, particularly in demand occupations, can help with your employability," Carenbauer said.
And there are positions available in the area, particularly in the health-care and technological fields, she said.
"I think that's very great news for West Virginians who are looking to enter the job market," she said.
To be sure, it is easy to hand out other people's money and pose as being more caring for people who are down on their luck, as President Obama and the Democratic Party do in proposing a three-month extension of this temporary program that is now in its fifth year.
But the real solution to unemployment is jobs and there now are more jobs available than there were in 2008. The time has come to pull the plug and encourage people to find work.