Folks, there are several members of our government who are completely out of touch with reality when it comes to unemployment benefits. Republicans and Democrats alike just simply don't seem to get it. I'm writing this diary to help clarify why I believe they are out of touch and what they need to do to fix the problem.
This is not rocket science or quantum physics we're talking about here. This is simple math. The kind we learned in elementary school. You know, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percents. Basic stuff.
Max Baucus recently said that he is against extending unemployment benefits. When asked why, he replied, "Because 99 weeks is enough."
My response to Max is, "Enough for what?"
I assume he is saying that 99 weeks of unemployment benefits is enough time to find a job. And, in normal circumstances, he'd be right. If our unemployment percent was under 5%, then 99 weeks would be more than adequate for most people.
But here's the problem that these geniuses in Washington seem to be forgetting. These are not normal times. And, as long as unemployment stays around 10%, then no amount of extensions will be enough.
Not 99 weeks and not even 499 weeks.
You see kids, it's not about the amount of time we can draw unemployment benefits, it's about the amount of time that unemployment remains way above normal.
Here's a simple analogy for you. Let's say that I am hungry and you decide to help me out with a couple cheeseburgers (thanks, by the way). And then you ask me, "Is that enough?"
How should I respond?
If you're asking me, "Is that enough for today?" Then my response is, "Yes."
If you're asking me, "Is that enough for the entire week?" Then my response is, "No."
I'm sorry about the utter simpleness of this analogy. I know you're all smart enough to understand this concept without being insulted by this dumb analogy. But, just in case a U.S. Senator reads this diary, I felt I needed to include it.
Telling people that 99 weeks is enough when there are no jobs is idiotic. If there are no jobs to get, then how the fuck is 99 weeks enough time? How would 199 weeks be enough time? How would 499 weeks be enough?
The reality is that we'll need unemployment benefits UNTIL there are jobs to get. If you can give us jobs tomorrow, then we won't need any more unemployment extensions. But, if you're going to wait another two years to fix this problem, then we'll need another two years of extensions. See how it works now?
Creating jobs = No more unemployment extensions.
So, if you're sick of paying for these unemployment extensions, then I suggest you get busy and start creating jobs. It's not like there isn't a whole list of shit that needs to get fixed in this country. Just off the top of my head I know we need repairs to bridges, roads, schools, hospitals, national parks, libraries, etc. I also hear there is a shortage of nurses, cops and teachers just to name a few. And, there's even some crazy 'internet rumor' going around that we need workers down in the Gulf of Mexico to help clean the beaches and shorelines. There's plenty of need out there. All you have to do is open your fucking eyes.
Ah, but how to pay for it?
Fortunately, I have a very sensible solution that won't add one dime to the deficit or the debt.
Very simply, you can just use the hundreds of billions of dollars in income taxes we send you each year, Dear Congresscritter. That's more than enough to put everyone to work doing the work that America needs done.
Wait, what's that? You say that you need that money to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? And the banks need a bailout? Hmmm, that's a bummer. Too bad you can't just end those wars and let those banks fail. Oh well. I guess you'll just have to keep giving us those unemployment extensions then.
One Last Point...
It's sad that I even need to say what I am about to say, but apparently it needs to be said. So, here it is...
FACT: Only those whom have lost their job through no fault of their own are even eligible to collect unemployment benefits to begin with. People that quit or get fired (as opposed to being laid off) are not eligible for unemployment benefits. That is the law. So, when we're talking about unemployment extensions, we're talking about people whom have a proven track record of being honest, full-time workers. There are no 'welfare queens' collecting unemployment because the system already weeds them out.
To say that these Americans are too lazy to find work is more than a little insulting. To be honest, it makes me want to sharpen my pitchfork. But, I digress...
Congresscritter, do us all a favor. Get educated about the issue at hand before taking a stance. And just some helpful advice; Don't fuck with working-class American people. Especially when we're already down. We do have a breaking point and we're getting really fucking close to it right now. Denying unemployment extensions to millions of honest, hard-working Americans is the last thing you want to do.
Anyway, thanks for reading.
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