I visited the wall-street journal blog on June 24th which we all know is a conservative news paper and website. We know republicans and conservatives read and even post on there, and I had read over 142 angry messages from democrats, independents and A LOT OF REPUBLICANS and posted some of their stories below. As of today that number has grown to 722 messages on this unemployment bill failing and the sad state of what just happened has hit home for a lot of folks, many of them posting on that blog. Some of the republicans over there and many other blogs I have visited now know that the party they supported for decades has left them in the cold. No more benefits even for those republicans out of work. The folks on there are upset, angry, scared and out for blood. Its time for President Obama, Joe Biden and all the top democratic leadership to hold a national press conference and tell the American people who are out of work, that the republican party is not on their side and to rise up and take it to the streets. I think the democrats have a platform to run on because every single week 200,000 people will be dropped from the rolls. It's time to tap into that group.
Read the voices of the unemployed..... a lot of them REPUBLICANS!!
o Steve wrote:
I’ve paid over 40% tax on over 100k of salary per year for 15 years without so much as wincing, thats over 600k in taxes in my lifetime so far and I’ve never asked for anything from the government . Now that I can’t find a job for the life of me, the republicans think that I am living high on the hog with such lavish unemployment benefits and would like to see it end before the economy has even recovered.
Thats fine, I’m not homeless yet, as I’m sure others will find themselves, but why? $33B to extend the UI benefits till the end of the year is a rounding error compared to the defense budget, a fraction of the subsidies and tax breaks doled out to corporations.
Republicans can try and portray themselves as fiscal hawks all they want, but there is a special place in hell for people like them
* Pennsylvania Man wrote:
I too like Andy Thomas (who posted at 5:50 pm today) am a smart, articulate man that has sent our more resumes and cover letters than I can count. Dispite my "Ivy League" degree I have not been able to find employment. I have depended on the benefits offered by this country ( a country that I have helped to support with my taxes for the past 30 years) to get through this difficult situation. The Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for this filibuster. They may be positioning themselves to win in the interim elections in November but they will not have my vote. I will be changed my party affiliation to Democrat after 35 years as a Republican.
* Tmiller/ Columbus Ohio wrote:
Well Thanks Republicans. I would suggest everyone to watch the stock market is going to bottom out. Been working since 14 now 54. Layed off 14 months. Extnsion denied. Well we will have to pull out 401 K so will about 25 of our friends ( or MORE) to survive. If everperson on unemployment that has a 401k or retirement has to get in to it . DEPRESSION OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!!! Republicans get you head out of your butts and look at the whole picture. Also get off your money and help starts some jobs.
* Macleod-California wrote:
This is unexceptable! I am a rebublican, and embarrassed. I have been unemployed for 15 months and now have no income due to denial of benifits. I have been actively trying to find work since the first day I lost my job. I have over 300 applications and resumes out. Unemployment needs to be extended, it must be nice for the ones opposing the idea to extend benifits because they have a job and they have money to pay their bills and get food for their family, so they could give a rat’s......about us. Crime is going to rise and things are gonna get worse. I hope they decide to make the right descion before the wrong descions are made in this country
Another reason for me to hate Republicans
* ayme_jayme wrote:
What the hell is wrong with these republicans? Many americans are struggling to find work with no luck.We need this extension! Starting next week I will no longer have any benefits. I have $2.00 to my name. I have sold half of my belongings. I owe taxes because I could not afford to survive with money taken out of my unemployment checks. I live in Michigan and have been looking for work for over a year. There are just too many people applying for the same job. Please, we need this!
* c walker wrote:
I have come to the conclusion, that being an AMERICAN, whose husband has worked everyday, since he was 15, and now has been unemployed since april 2009, cannot find a job. He is 58, has been putting in applications all over, and no one is hiring.( he is too old for the job market) We can pay for illegal immigrants, pay for every disaster, in someone elses back yard, but when it comes to helping, our own the government says NO! May God help us , because no one else is.
* Roy wrote:
After over 28 years as a Republican (since I was a high school senior) I’ve changed my party affiliation to Independent. Even though I am an educated professional, I’ve been unemployed for nearly a year and I just exhausted my Tier 1 benefits. Now I’m learning that the Republican are filibustering to squelch any further extension of unemployment benefits. Despite the many philosophical differences I have with the Democrat party, I will be voting Democrat this November. Like Tim Bragg stated, these out-of-touch millionaire senators don’t give a damn for the unemployed American people. All they care about is the rich and Corporate America. Let’s hope that all of the Republicans and blue-dog Democrats lose their seats this November. And Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and all of the other Republican hacks can go to hell!
* John wrote:
The republicans don’t care about the deficit. That is a red herring. All those tax cuts increased the size of the deficit. They have the cruel idea that those on unemployment are lazy and don’t really want to work. But there aren’t enough jobs. Do they expect the unemployed to create their own jobs? Watch the economy start to contract again once these benefits are cut off.
* Vicki wrote:
I was devastated that the bill did not get through the House today. Then I learned that even if it had passed, the Senate would do what they did last time. Block it! If any of you watched it, the Rep. from Michigan was a piece of work. We have to pay for it first...That is always so interesting/disgusting to me - the Republicans send money for the war - then bailed out Wall Street..but that smug fool stood there saying it had to be paid for. While the unemployed go hungry...not his family. They then went on to discuss the "wildlife protection" in Wisconsin by the gun manufacturers and that it was all ok and going to be paid for. I then realized that if anyone was believeing the bull he was dishing about gun manufacturers and companies "protecting" the areas for wildlife, then they would believe anything. He said he "needed to hunt" and laughed. Yep, that is certainly the priority today so he and his gun club and his children (which he mentioned) can go shoot and kill something. It is strange that the House and Senate seem the "need to hunt" unemployed Americans and now that they have blood on their hands from the elderly woman who died of heat stroke because her electricity was shut off, the fisherman who shot himself in the Gulf and countless others, they want more. Like sharks in a feeding frenzy... I am scared, don’t doubt that for a moment...a senior, unemployed husband and about to be homeless...
* Rich Clanton wrote:
I am ashamed to be a republican right now. I cannot believe that my party could be so hearless to leave so many americans heading for the streets. I was laid off a year and a half ago and have looked all day every day for work and have had only two responses that went nowhere. My party has got to face up to it THERE ARE NO JOBS you idiots. Take your cushy jobs and choke on them.
* Fed up wrote:
Like Roy, I too was a lifetime Republican. I emphasize, WAS. After working for 35 years, I have been out of work for 14 months, and when I need help the most, all I see happening in the Senate is fat cat Senators worrying about protecting the interests of big business. Never have I seen a bunch more out of touch with the people they say they represent than the Republicans, led by the biggest moron of all, Mitch McConnell. Their arrogance and contempt for the plight of the unemployed is disgraceful. I hope the Democratic leadership does not give up, because we do need their help. This November, for the first time, I vote Democratic.
* Gary Bouldin wrote:
It helps me sleep better at night knowing that the Republican "fat cats" have a job . It would be ever-so disturbing to me, personally, should any of these elected officials lose their elite positions and end up at the Emoloyment Office or better yet, at a Temp Service only to be told their over qualified or that the position was "just filled." It would be ever-so unerving to me to watch them leave after being turned down, heads hanging with the thoughts of, "How am I going to pay the rent? How am I going to keep the lights turned on? What can I pawn so I can get a handful of groceries?" So, thank God for the ones in office who don’t give a rat’s ass, that with a stroke of a pen or the twist of a lever who are able to shoot down the hopes of the millions that are unemployed who are NEEDING a simple leg-up, just to keep them going until they can at least get a toe-hold and not have to be dependant on what some of these lawmakers deem as charity. Someday, perhaps, your lack of compassion and consideration will come home to you AND your families.
Ex Republican voter in Ga wrote:
Both of GA’s Senators are republican. Friday, they both voted not to extend Unemployment benefits. This is an "in your face" to the state, as we were expecting the benefits of the package to help us limp along until times are better. Congress has NEVER cut unemployment benefits during a recession... until now. 33 billion is a drop in the bucket, cut spending somewhere else. Both Senators are up for re-election this year. I will vote for their opponent this July 20th.
* Chicagoan wrote:
I was laid off one year ago, I am a single dad and have two kids in public school.Their mom passed away two years ago which was extreamly hard on all of us and now I have to worry about living in the streets with my kids. I have many qualifications in the field I work but no jobs to be found. I only have a short time left on my unemployment and have been working and paying my taxes for 34 years. Now I’m thinking all those years learning my trade will be wasted because I will probably have to find two or three under paying jobs to support my family. I will never be around for my kids if I need to do that so what will happen to them. The polititions need to get off their collective a**es and get the unemployment extensions and then create a job bill. My vote will be gioing to the person that has the best for the American people in mind.
* Smittys_Girl wrote:
I was cutoff from unemployment 2-1/2 weeks ago without warning. I then found out that the Senate was again playing games with people’s lives. They are now set to wreak further havoc on an already weak economy by voting "No" to this legislation. Haven’t they listened to all of the economists who are supporting this extension? So all of the folks with their "holier than thou" comments better beware, it’s not just the unemployed that are going to suffer as a result of this Congressional craziness. It’s everyone. I am 56 years old and lost my job in April of ‘08 when my position was eliminated due to the deteriorating economy. I had been with the company 24 years, had an exemplary record and a 4-year IT degree. I have had a total of 5 interviews in the past 2 years after applying to 100’s of jobs. The only job I have found so far was working temporarily for the US Census Bureau for $12.25 an hour; before I was making $76K a year. I suggest the individuals who are criticiziing the unemployed ask themselves if this the way they would like to be treated if the roles were reversed. They may very well be some day; no one is immune!
* Cheryl wrote:
My husband experienced a downsizing in Dec. He is 64 years old and a Vietnam Vet! Neither he nor I have ever collected unemployment! His tier 1 benefits are about to run out with no extension. We are angry. Reduce benefits as you increase tiers - phase out from 99 weeks back - not everyone!! Between the two of us- we have PAID INTO unemployment for 80 YEARS without using it. This is so unfair.!!!! Is anyone listening??
SHAME ON ALL OF YOU - DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!!
* Rosalba wrote:
My unemployment benefits are about to expire and I am so scared. I have a liberal and fine arts degree and have not found a job in almost 10 months. I am freaking out! I try not to think about it as much because I dont have kids or married so things should be easier for me? What about my student loans? my car? other debts. Sometimes I feel selffish for feeling despread for a job because I live at my parents but things cant be like this forever!! I am used to working for everything or the little that I have....but where are the jobs?
* Sorry wrote:
I am so sorry I so stupidly wasted my vote on Scott Brown In Massachusettes. I promise not to make that mistake next election and will FOREVER be more careful with my vote
* An Unemployed Kentuckian wrote:
Dear Senator Mitch McConnell,
Thank you for turning my American Dream into the American Nightmare! By leading the Grand Old Party of No to block the extension of unemployment benefits for 15 million Americans that have been victims of the Great Recession you have harmed our future generations greatly. You believe you are protecting those generations, but how can that be when their parents aren’t able to provide them a decent meal or a roof over their heads, yet alone a good education. You state that deficit spending is unsustainable and I agree, but don’t try making your political point on the backs of hurting Americans. You also fail to mention that cutting off the only income for over 10% of the population will also increase the deficit through lower tax receipts. I played by all the rules, getting my Bachelor and Master degrees from top tier schools while working two jobs at times to pay for it. I have worked since I was 16 and have never had a need to take the Unemployment Insurance I have earned, but now it is the only thing keeping my family afloat. Historically our government has always extended the protection unemployment insurance provides during times of high unemployment. It is a short term fix to protect Americans until the job creation engine revs up again. I don’t seem to remember your fiscal discipline during the Bush years. (Lest you forget the surplus at the beginning of his term, the tax cuts you put through Congress and the two unfunded wars you put us in.) In case you have not looked out of your Ivory Tower lately, REAL AMERICANS ARE HURTING! There are five unemployed workers for every job out there. I have applied for over 100 jobs during my time on unemployment, tapped my network for any assistance available, and attended numerous job fairs. I have certainly realized that I won’t be able to find a job that pays nearly what I made before, but have been told numerous times I am overqualified and the company does not want to hire someone they think will move on to a better paying position as soon as the market improves. I think you have been in Washington too long and have forgotten who you represent. You are forcing me to leave the great state I love and pursue opportunities in states that are growing. I thought we were trying to keep the best and brightest in our state. You either want me to throw my education away or give it to another state. How is that representing the best for Kentucky? It’s a shame you are not up for re-election this year because by the time we will finally be able to Ditch Mitch, I will most likely be living in a new state. Thanks again Senator McConnell.
* Unemployed Angel wrote:
I have sent out resumes or applied to every viable job I could do. I will vote against everyone one that has voted against me. That’s the way I see it. Republicans beware... there’s a feeling, a hatred that is coming you’re way and the feeling is tangible. We hate your political, money grubbing butts. Trust me, whether it passes or not, I will remember in November how much stress you added to people who are already stressed from not having a job. I will take my unemployed self and specially volunteer to defeat you. We now hate your party. I have vote Republican many times - Never again.
* Sheri wrote:
It amazes me that the Senate can not put the interests of the people first. I guess I have to realize they have a home, food on the table and health insurance and even if they are voted out in November, they will still have health insurance and retirement to keep food on their table. 3 weeks or more now for some of no unemployment benefits - when they were counting on this - is a rug pulled out from under them. My husband was out of work for 8 months back in 2006, the stress caused a breakdown and he and our family fought our way back, even though we lost our home and went into bankruptcy. That was then - this is now. Now, is very different. We have a landlord that, due to our past credit history (which was so good before the job loss), informed us that if we are one day late with the rent we will be evicted. If we can’t pay our rent, we can’t pay our COBRA which is at 35% until September. So, basically, now, we face eviction, homelessness and what? We can’t put our dauaghter in a shelter. We do not qualify for the Medicaid or food stamps because my husband has a small Social Security pension which he took to survive. But, this small amount, which doesn’t even pay our rent, puts us over the limit for help.
These senators are not seeing the real picture and so what if we rant and carry on, in a few weeks we will be doing it from a street corner. My husband is 63 and would work if he could, he has medical issues and I have a heart condition. Do they care? They have no statistics they can use to see how many have died as a result of their inaction, lack of compassion and basically, selfishness. What goes around does come around and I will leave it at that...
* Betty J wrote:
I have never been unemployed before. I have been
working for 18 years, until last year when my employer
went belly up.
I’ve been getting unemployment checks since being laid
off 1yr ago in Nevada... They stopped 3 weeks ago... I
have no way of paying my electric bill, which dosen’t
matter, because I will be getting thrown out of my apt
in six days anyway. If this unemployment bill dosen’t
pass, can some of these senators loan me some rent
money til they make up their minds so i won’t have to
live in my car with my 7 yr old?
Betty J. Nv
* formerrepub wrote:
I cant wait for things to come back on handout and I promise you they certainly will. Having voted a straight republican ticket my whole life I can assure you that will change. I also warn everyone to not vote for tea party nutjobs because they are even further right than the yahoo’s retards in Congress right now. Very ashamed of myself because I had a hand in voting Voinovich in office. No more republicans from me. Handout be man enough to show your face when us unemployed take to the streets and throw you obese repubs from your homes. It is coming my friend because I refuse to sleep under a bridge in the hood.
* K gm wrote:
You can rest assured I am thru being rebulican–i will vote democratic no matter who they are
* Fran wrote:
How dare these Republicans do this to us? I have been out of work for nearly a year and a half and cannot find any kind of work whatsoever. I have worked for over 25 years and have never asked for any assistance from the government. It’s shameful what America is becoming with their own people. The only thing that kept my hopes up was the fact that I was still getting some money from my unemployment benefits. Now this is ending and my family and I are going to suffer greatly from lack of money. What do the Republicans care anyways, with their mansions and million dollar salaries. I wish upon them the same misfortune that millions of Americans have had, including myself. May they rot in hell
* Andy Thomas wrote:
I am an unemployed American that has been literally sending out hundreds of individually tailored resumes and cover letters. I am smart and articulate but have not received one opportunity to even interview! The unemployment funds that I’ve been receiving keep food on the table for my wife and I. I can only imagine what things would be like if we had kids.
I have voted Republican since I was 18 and I can assure you that because of their current stance on passing unemployment legislation, I will never again vote for the Republican party. I am going to use every ounce of influence that I have (550 facebook friends, college connections, friend, etc) to get the message out about what has happened in the Senate. (And yes, before you ask, I’ve exhausted all of these resources looking for a job). The Republican party is going down, you can take that to the bank!...facepumpers!
* DavidTexas wrote:
I have been unemployed since June 09. I have posted over 200 resumes in my field and filled out applications in every other possible opening, from convenience store clerk to pizza delivery.
I have lost my home and am living with family. I have lost all self pride and nearly all hope.
I have three children, the oldest of wich is serving in Afganastan. He joined the military because I advised him to serve his country, wich we both love..... wich I am currently ashamed.
After 26 years of working, and paying taxes, and serving my country, and doing all that I am expected to do, I am left out in the cold. My benefits expired May 29th and I’m scared.
* roble Solved wrote:
Stop voting for politicians who take campaign contributions from buisnesses. Stop buying goods from companies that shipped our jobs out of the country. Buy american made products only only only. Do not buy products from companies that buy senators without morals. We Vote..We purchase...we are in control. Why are we laying down and playing dead? Let us Vote out these criminals and take back our country 1 election at a time until we are back in control. Do not let them pass the unemployment bill with a bill tacked on that ships out more jobs. with 15 million or more people out of work...who’s going to pay back the ILLEGAL syndicate called ‘fed’?
I worked from age 16 to 44. paid taxes every year.
Wife lost her job after 15 yrs of service.....we lost the house
I lost my job after 14 years of service and really don’t have much to lose.
Being on Unemployment I got to make new decisions....food or rent.....food or car payment....food or electricity......food or medical insurance for family of 5....tough decisions....collectivly this family of 5 is down more than 100lbs in 6 months....And now you stop the unemployment completely! after only a few short months!
Now I get to make new decisions like live or die.......live or die......live or die....I’m sooooo hungry!
Finding a job now should be easier now too! After the car gets reposessed and the phone gets shut off and I get booted out of my apt just after getting throw out of my own house by thieving group of government bankers "fannie"
Mcdonalds said no...I can’t even apply. "I would leave during training if offered another job" they said
Supermarket......gas station....pizza delivery.....all said they do not hire people my age for that reason.
Can’t believe how hungry I am...
* Iredell Sanders wrote:
I must retain a home and a legal income on order to get custody of my kids. The 15 month dead line is coming up and after that the state can put my kids up for aboption. Just give me a job! What are we going to do? The system notes that I am a good fit parent. I just need a job. Most often even if there is a hireing sign they say no applications or the positins been filled. I ask for a job at a store and they say "NOT HIREING", but then I see new workers as time goes by. One of the new workers had her arm in a sling tring to bag groceries. One has to know some one in order to get a job. One has to fit a profile of gender and race. I just hate that. I hate that card altogether. Family tends to bond together. None of my family has the means to production or a job to give, or money to spare. Just give me two mules and some seads then put me on a boat back home.
* bigoldb wrote:
I have worked for 18 years and never been on unemployment.I was laid off 3 times from 3 separate jobs in one year in Arizona.I have 250 applications I have filled out and had response back from 20 employers who all declined me a position.Now unemployment says I have to wait to find out if I get an extension like the government promised until they decide on this bill.This is garbage to say the least and I expect more from the United States of America.I am a stay home dad now with a 4 year old boy and a 9 year old daughter home for the summer break.I try to teach them the best and encourage them about being good people.It gets hard sometimes to teach them these things when we have an economic system that has failed.There is supposed to be a future for Americans and something called an American dream.We can fund a war to chase a ghost Named Bin Laden and spend years not finding him.If you or I were him would our government wage war for us ??? I don’t believe they would.....Lets face it if we brought home the troops and spent a quarter of that money securing our country we would be safer not to mention be able to provide unemployment and strengthen businesses to return a profit and and be able to hire employees again.This is sad !!! I feel for all of you fellow Americans who are like me and just seek opportunity.As a white American I can stand behind Martin Luther Kings statement...................I have a dream !!!!!
* bready wrote:
I live in Virginia and I am a 56 year old woman and have been out of work since December 2007 and I been looking for work and have not found anything. I have been working since I was 16 year old and I did not even thank that it would be this hard to find a job. Most jobs are looking for younger people and I have been everywhere. I have received my last unemployment check Januarty 2010 and I had to move in with my daughter because I could not afford to stay where I was because I did not have any money coming in. Right now I only getting food stamps. I do not even have money to get my medicine that the unemployment check I was receiving was helping me to get my medicine and was helping me to pay my light bill. Now I have to rely on my daughter to pay for my medicine and she cannot even can’t do this because she have to girls she is raising and it is very depressing depending on her and this have reallyt affert me mentallly and physically. Virginia only have tiers 1 through 3 and I ran out in January 2010. So Virginia need more weeks added onto tier 3 or we need to move to tier 4.
* do your part now!!!!!!!!!!!!! wrote:
People its all or nothing now! If you do not help we get nowhere. Make the call, email or visit local office. this is your fight! Now get out there and WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
cspan and bring up tier 5
Washington Journal Telephone Numbers
Republicans: (202) 737-0001
Democrats: (202) 737-0002
Independents: (202) 628-0205
Outside U.S.: (202) 628-0184
C-SPAN Radio: firstname.lastname@example.org
*call this toll free number 1-888-245-0215
and speak with V.P. or any member of congress or the senate*
Coulby is spearheading a demonstration planned for July 2 on the Mall in Washington, D.C. He’s asking the unemployed who are losing their benefits to converge on the Mall at noon with tents and resumes. The tents will symbolize the unemployed who are losing their homes. The resumes will be used for a bonfire to symbolize the lack of jobs.
"The event is meant to raise awareness and show the country that the unemployed are willing to do whatever is necessary to survive," Coulby said.
I asked Coulby why he felt compelled to organize a demonstration.
"The real question is not why I felt compelled to do this but instead how anyone could read the posts of desperate Americans and not be willing to take any action," he said. "Also, it sickens me to read the few posts stating that the unemployed are lazy and/or do not deserve any assistance. The world would be a much brighter place if we were defined not by what we have but by our willingness to help others."
If you want more information about Coulby’s planned event, you can email him at email@example.com.
Grassroots demonstration for extended unemployment benefits planned for July 2 in Washington DC
its up to you now to be the home front and fight from there!!!!
e mail firstname.lastname@example.org ask him to send people to meet with us
Happy Independence day! What a great time to celebrate Freedom, Democracy, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and our Founding Fathers.
200,000 people per week will drop off if this UI doesn't pass, 1 million per month until the election. I hope those folks who lose their benefits reward those at the polls in November who blocked this extension by voting their ASSES OUT!! Payback is a bitch and I hope those republicans senators and congress get what they deserve when their own party members start voting democrats in 2010. I have a feeling this won't be that bad for democrats this fall.
Thanks for the REC!!! I just wanted to add this ex republican comment that I found in the comments section that AMMO posted. It sent a chill up my spine when I read it. I had to add it to my diary.
* Angry old ex-Republican veteran wrote:
I and my wife are comfortably retired senior citizens, I’m a proud gun owner and NRA member, a Korean War vet, my kids (and the older grandkids) are employed and successful (two of them businesses owners and one an executive), and we’ve been a solidly Republican family for decades, in my case since casting my first vote for Eisenhower up to my votes for John McCain and Kenny Hulshof (for Missouri Governor) in 2008– and we will NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN AGAIN.
We are all STRAIGHT-TICKET DEMOCRATS from now on, as are the vast majority of our own friends and acquaintances (in SW Missouri outside of Springfield– before now at least, one of the most heavily Republican parts of the country). Why, since none of us ourselves are unemployed and desperate? It’s a mixture of sympathy for our friends and neighbors who haven’t been so fortunate (and to all you heartless fools here– they ARE looking vigorously for jobs), patriotism for our country and, yes, a measure of self-interest, as we genuinely fear the dangerous rise in crime that accompanies mass unemployment and financial desperation, frightening especially for seniors like us.
I am telling you now– there will be Hell to pay for these Republicans opposing this unemployment extension in such desperate times, with a 6-7:1 ratio of jobseekers to jobs– not to mention McConnell and his myopic GOP colleagues also cutting off COBRA benefits (the only lifeline for health care with so many unemployed), as well as Medicaid and badly-needed aid to the states. We’re all fiscal conservatives, but there’s also a need for commonsense– those state budgets are what fund the police, road maintenance, and the other things that make us a first-world country, so "starving the beast" and pushing the states into insolvency is not something that even we conservative voters welcome!
Several of our hard-hit neighbors and family friends across the country, who’d worked for decades, were laid off recently, in part thanks to foolish US subsidies to corporations that use outsourcing to send US jobs to India– including hopelessly short-sighted companies like Microsoft, HP and their high-tech peers, who also benefit from massive tax shelters, an outrage to the country that provided the infrastructure and educated workforce for these companies to become rich in the first place. The Republicans, having humiliated so many hard-working people, and thereby deprived them of a livelihood, now want to send them to the wolves. One poor lady who’d befriended my wife lost everything as a result of identity theft, and the corrupt credit reportage companies refuse to adjust her credit now. For some idiotic reason, companies now credit-check potential hires (how can they get out of debt if no one will hire?), and she’s now unemployable essentially because she was a crime victim., having done everything that a good citizen is supposed to do. Another poor fellow was injured in a car accident (the other driver ran a red light), but he wound up being stuck with the hospital bills and pushed to bankruptcy, no one to hire him. Is this what America has become, a greed-filled country that tosses its hardest-working, most law-abiding citizens aside, merely because they’ve hit a rough patch? My own son’s company has taken in a number of people suffering in these throes– and they work extremely hard (thus disproving the idiots on here who claim that the unemployed are just lazy scroungers)– but alas, he can’t help everyone, and in any case the recession is reducing his company’s revenues as well.
As for the patriotism part, when my brothers-in-arms and I were in foxholes getting shot at in Korea, standing up for democracy and American values (and our Korean brethren from Inchon to the Yalu), one of the things that boosted our morale was our firm belief in American values, and the compassion that the USA stood for. We were proud to fight for our country, and convinced that our sacrifice and suffering were for the heartening cause of a country that would look after its own, and overcome partisan differences to unite for the community’s broader good. Now, we see the Republicans mindlessly and stupidly dishonoring our sacrifice, and we reject them because of it.
Finally, we do worry about crime. Massive unemployment and insolvency among tens of millions of desperate Americans is a recipe for a massive crime wave– even well-off communities in Missouri (as well as St. Louis and the other urban centers) have recently been hit by a rash of home invasions, other burglaries, muggings, assaults, store break-ins, hold-ups, robberies and countless other crimes (even as crime had dipped slightly before that), and an analysis of the culprits clearly shows economic desperation to be a major factor. When people are at the end of their rope, with nothing to lose, and desperate to feed their kids, this does not make for a safe and sound community! My wife and I are still spry for our ages and we’d defend our home– I’m a crack shot with my Glock and a tough old vet with my shotguns– but we can’t maintain a safe, secure community if thousands of desperate, ruined unemployed Americans, tossed out on the streets due to the cruelty of the Republicans, are pressed into desperate measures. The GOP is directly endangering us, and not just in Missouri– we vacation on both coasts, and we have to take precautions and fend for ourselves in a way we never had to just a decade before.
Stiffing the unemployed and shortchanging the states also hurt private businesses and their revenues. We’re a service economy dependent on domestic consumer spending (since our high-tech and factories got outsourced overseas), and if people are insolvent, then demand collapses and businesses go under at an even faster rate. This, of course, also causes a severe fall in tax receipts, sending the deficit up anyway– which is why it’s useless to try budget-balancing in the depths of such a severe recession by depriving citizens of basic assistance. Of course, it might help to stop getting us embroiled in stupid wars and spending $800 billion on defense every year (what Eisenhower warned us about), which is another reason I now find Republican deficit-hawk bleating to ring so hollow– they drove up the deficit by trillions of dollars under George W. Bush (hardly fiscal conservatism), with unfunded wars, Medicare Part D, and then those bailouts of rich bankers and GOP cronies who, rather than giving loans to small businesses to get the economy going, gave away our taxpayer money in the form of billion-dollar boosts in the bank bonuses and outrageous salaries for executives in the health insurance companies! My family benefited quite a bit from the Bush tax cuts, but it was inappropriate to pass them in a time of war when we should have been building up our national savings. No country has been that stupid before, and the Republicans were not only grossly irresponsible in the Bush Administration, but now want to block any concerted attempt to address and fix the problem that they caused.
My single greatest regret is that in voting, contributing to, and campaigning for Republican candidates over so many decades, I as well as my family, friends, and neighbors have likely enabled the miserable state of governance in the obstructionist, filibuster-plagued Senate that is causing so much suffering to all of you, our fellow Americans. Our only defense is that for quite a while, we thought we were voting for the Party of the Republican President Eisenhower, as I did when I cast my first vote. Eisenhower’s steady hand, even keel along with his old-fashioned, Texan (Denison) German frugality were critical for the USA’s greatness of the 20th century. He wasn’t ideological– he allowed progressive taxes and warned of the military-industrial complex, in addition to his small "c" conservatism.
But as we’ve come to realize, the Republicans of today– McConnell, Hatch, Palin, Cornyn, Whitman, Snowe, Vitter, Ensign and of course our own corrupt, bought-off, bungling Sen. Bond– are not the Party of Eisenhower anymore, but a confused gaggle of selfish, incompetent, juvenile spoiled brats and crony capitalists who would sell their country down the river for perceived short-term political gain. The only way that we can save our country from them and their short-sightedness is to provide them with a deterrent, to show them that they will pay an extremely steep and painful price for their political gamesmanship, obstructionism and general disregard for their fellow Americans. Roy Blunt was an odds-on favorite to win the Missouri Senate Race in November, but the Republicans’ arrogance on this bill has singlehandedly put his challenger Robin Carnahan in the better position. The Republicans will completely, utterly destroy themselves as a viable party by continuing with this obstructionist blundering. We are Americans first regardless of party affiliations, and the Republicans have become traitors to the nation that so many of us have loved and shed blood for over the decades. The GOP will pay a horrid price for these actions, as they’ll soon be learning to their pain and dismay as even their most rocked-ribbed, once-consistent supporters desert the party in droves. We won’t stand for this anymore, and our voices will be heard.
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