(Washington Times) The federal government has paid out 881 million weekly unemployment benefit checks during the current economic slowdown, totaling $252 billion since 2008, according to a new memo released Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee.

During and after recessions, federal taxpayers step in to pick up the tab for long-term unemployment benefits when state benefits expire.

It’s considered to be a temporary program, but in this case it’s run for five years and has paid out far more than in the previous three recessions.

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