Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
First, some background on the history of unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployment Benefits 2010: Are They Just A Long Lost Memory?:
“For the past six decades, Congress has provided federally funded unemployment insurance benefits during every recession. Further, federal unemployment insurance benefits have always been provided until the economy was on a stable path of growth. In fact, the highest unemployment rate at which federally funded unemployment benefits were not extended was 7.2 percent. Currently, the national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent. At the current rate, without a re-authorization, we would cut the life line that millions of Americans use to stay afloat."
The millionaire's club of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday was in a holiday mood and decided to do their best Ebenezer Scrooge impression by denying an extension of unemployment insurance benefits to America's long-term unemployed — on the very same day these very same millionaires argued with the President of the United States that tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires (includes most senators) simply must be extended before the new year. Just surreal.
[Note: Original woodcut illustration by John Leech for Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. One major theme in A Christmas Carol was rooted in Dickens' observations of the plight of the children of London's poor. "Dickens introduces these children in A Christmas Carol through the allegorical twins, Ignorance and Want. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows them, wretched and almost animal in appearance, to Scrooge with the warning: "This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."]
In the modern-day version, Ignorance is faith based supply-side "trickle-down" conservative economic policies and Want is the result of 30 years of failure of such conservative economic policies. The warning of the Ghost of Christmas Present remains prophetic.
Just in time for Christmas! Congress fails to extend aid to millions of jobless:
About 2 million Americans stand to lose their unemployment checks by the end of the month after Congress failed Tuesday to extend benefits, threatening to crimp consumer spending in a fragile recovery and critical holiday-shopping season.
A motion by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., to pass an extension on a voice vote fell short.
"Taking away these benefits only places greater strain on out-of-work Americans already struggling to put food on the table, especially during this holiday season," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., author of a bill to extend the benefits for a year.
The National Employment Law Project estimates extending benefits for a year would cost about $56 billion. Economists say they provide an outsize economic lift, because the unemployed spend cash on necessities rather than socking it away.
Economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics says every dollar spent on jobless aid yields a $1.60 benefit to the economy. If benefits are not restored, he says, holiday-sales growth will be shaved by nearly a percentage point and fourth-quarter economic growth will be cut by 0.3 percentage point. A million jobs could be lost in the next year as a result, he says.
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About 800,000 Americans are slated to be cut off by the end of next week and an additional 1.2 million would lose benefits by the end of the month, NELP says.
Conservative Ignorance has created Want in this country, and we face Doom unless their influence "be erased."