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On December 28th, 2013 Congress took away the incomes of 1.3 million people.  Roughly another million people have had their income stripped by Congress since that time.

All of these are folks who had already had severely reduced income for at least 6 months, meaning that the majority of them had likely exhausted most of their resources.

All of these are folks, who in every recession and recovery since 1935, would have continued to receive income until the job market was markedly improved from today's conditions.  The percentage of the unemployed who have been unemployed over 6 months was, at 37.7% roughly 65% higher than the previous highest ever level at which EUC was allowed to expire.  It was over 2.5X as high as the rate at which expiration occurred under Reagan.  It was almost 4.5X as high as the rate at which expiration occurred under Nixon.

15 weeks later, the Democratically controlled millionaire's caucus in the Senate has finally passed a bill to restore the unemployment insurance benefits rightfully owing to folks who lost a job through no fault of their own.

That bill appears to be DOA in the GOP FatCat dominated House, despite the inclusion of GOP-favored provisions to pay for the minor cost of the program, and despite the public 'pleas' of vulnerable and/or moderate GOP reps.  

For 15 weeks, Congress has been raking in the money they are doing nothing to earn, while the involuntarily unemployed frantically try to keep their heads above water.

More below the fold.

We first provided a form of federal assistance to the unemployed 222 years ago, shortly after the founding of our present form of government (George Washington was president).  We last increased the FUTA tax base on employers in 1983 (Reagan was president).  The cost of a year's extension of these benefits is less than a quarter per day for each American.  

Of course, we couldn't possibly afford to spend so much to keep 2.8 million benefit recipients and their additional millions of dependents afloat, so the bill passed by the Senate is only a 5 month extension. and includes corporate friendly changes to pension rules (I'm guessing that ultimately involves more non-millionaires getting screwed).

That means it would expire again in about 6 weeks.  Given the level of commitment to the American worker displayed by the Senate, it's already too late to start working on another extension. That's pretty much irrelevant at this point though, because our duly elected FatCats in the House will likely let that deadline expire without ever voting on this bill.

Hey 99%'ers.  Think something is wrong with our government?  Maybe we need to elect people who actually work for a living.

Do you know someone who has been unemployed for more than 6 months?  Do you have a job?  Do you have a couch?  Can you afford a quarter per day?  Do you have friends/family who can afford a quarter per day?  How about sponsoring an unemployed American to knock on doors, sign up voters, and tell his/her story, and ask them to call their Congressman?    The only way this changes is if we change it.

Tue Apr 15, 2014 at  2:32 AM PT: A link to a new article by two freshman Democrats in hard hit districts calling on Boehner to act on unemployment and housing.

Originally posted to benamery21 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:40 AM PDT.


What's your take? Not a real poll.

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| 49 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 09:05:01 PM PDT

  •  What is EUC stand for. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm assuming that the U stands for Unemployment.

    •  Emergency Unemployment Compensation (5+ / 0-)

      It's the part of the unemployment system which has been allowed to expire.  

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 09:22:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. I was pretzeling my mind trying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to work those three letters into making sense.

        (Kinda like the idea of Drafting the Corporations.  But I think they would never be able to march in an honest line.)

        •  There goes Halliburton, bouncing in line! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          With apologies to Mary O'Hara.

          Obviously corporations AREN'T people, and do not have all of the obligations or rights of citizens.  The draft was something I thought might make that clear to certain mindsets.

          If we were to try to actually make it literal, a Truman Committee would be the way to go:

          The draft for war-mongering corporations would be a requirement to provide fully audit-able non-profit  services up to their full corporate capacity.  It's really notable how much federal contracting has changed under Bush and then under ARRA.  This is yet another thing where we need some policy reform.

          Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

          by benamery21 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 03:22:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You just need to get a job. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, Sunspots, benamery21

    And when jobs are scarce, you'll take any job. When your unemployment cuts off, you'll take any horrible job at any poverty wage, and you'll kiss the boss's ass to keep that job.

    This is the Republican vision for the middle class.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:25:36 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dance you monster

      The stock market loves unemployment.  Keeping people whipped and cowed is good for the bottom line in the minds of the plutocrats.

      P.S. I've been with the same company for almost 16 years, but it affects those of us with a job too.  If you know there's somebody hungry behind you to take your job, and that the company has been laying off, and you know that it is likely to take you a while to find a new job, how likely are you to rock the boat or leave if you don't get a decent wage or 'expectations are raised.'

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 03:14:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, Congress, especially the House, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avamontez, Chi

    is having to double down in order to maintain the myth that Congress does not, in fact and as determined by the Constitution, control the currency of the U.S. If they distribute dollars, that haven't been previously collected from them, to the out-of-work population, then that would be yet another step on the road to admitting that all federal spending is initiated by the Congress. Why deny that and maintain the fiction that the Federal Reserve, an independent agency is in charge and that Congress can only allocate what the Treasury collects as taxes or borrows back from hoarders? Because it is that fiction of scarce money which justifies Congress rationing the distribution of dollars not on a per capita basis, but as a system of rewards and punishments to secure their own positions of power. A supportive electorate gets bribed to keep voting right and obstreperous citizens get deprived to teach them subservience. If we want evidence of how that works, we need merely look at the numbers. States which support long-serving pols get a larger infusion of dollars than states where enterprise generates a surplus. Of course, the rationale for this imbalance is always that the economic pumps of the laggard states have to be primed, but the results never bear that promise out. The dollars merely slip into the pockets of the local elites and the general population continues in its impoverished state.
    Dollars for medical services threaten to upset that because the dollars, instead of going to governmental corporations, financial corporations or insurers, which funnel the funds to the financials, the dollars are going to service providers whose efficacy is evaluated by the recipients of the service. That is, both Medicare and the ACA have managed to reduce the layers of middlemen (between the Treasury and the consumer) and cut out the legislative bodies almost entirely. Which is why state legislative bodies have chosen to reject the infusion of dollars, rather than participate in a reduction of their power to control the electorate.
    Corporations are indeed the problem in the contest for the people ruling, but it's not the commercial corporations that are opposed to populism; it's our governmental (state and federal) corporations that are loath to relinquish the control for which the dollar serves as the handle. If the flow of dollars has been reduced to a trickle in the last five decades, it's because Congress has screwed in the spigot AND diverted the flow to Wall Street and the banks. Our commercial corporations are merely willing collaborators and, to a certain extent, hostages. After all, all corporations owe their existence to their charters as authorized by the legislatures of the several states. Just as charter schools are a legislative effort to wrest control over education away from popular or public supervision.

    by hannah on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:44:42 AM PDT

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