However, recent declarations by Republican candidates, and in conservative opinion columns, throws this right into question.
Alaska Republican Joe Miller, who is vying for the U.S Senate seat in that state this November, has questioned the constitutionality of unemployment benefits.
In response to his claim, the New York Sun, a former broadsheet that now publishes online, wrote an editorial in support of Miller.
For the record, a lot of people agree with him, including a number of Supreme Court justices. It may yet be that, as our country bores down to constitutional bedrock in the great political struggle under way today, a new generation of justices will take a new look at the question.
A number of conservative blogs have also chimed in to support Miller. Other Republican candidates have been supporting mandatory regular drug tests for people on unemployment benefits. If people fail these drug tests, they could be denied benefits.
Republicans have balked at extensions of benefits during the recession, although in the end some have crossed over to support Democrats and pass these extensions.
However, should the situation deteriorate, future extensions could fail in a more conservative environment.
The Democratic stance is that extensions are necessary because of the extraordinary recession -- the greatest since the Great Depression -- that continues in the form a jobs recession. By not extending benefits, people will run out of money and will hardly be in any position to help with the consumer economy. In some cases, loss of benefits could result in people losing their homes and contributing to the depressed housing market.
Also, the Democrats are defending unemployment benefits rather than questioning their constitutionality.
The Tea Party has been pushing libertarian sentiments that threaten not only unemployment benefits but also Social Security, minimum wage laws and a host of other "safety net" items that Americans have come to expect. Unfortunately, mainstream Republicans -- many fearful after Tea Party primary victories -- have at times been voicing support for such extreme measures.
President Obama speaking at a family business in Maryland.