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Politics take precedence over what is right - again

Rally organized by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Rally organized by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Wednesday, June 23, 2010
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

If there is a fire in the house down the road, the first thing people do is call 911 and do whatever they can to do put out the fire. At that time you don’t try to figure out how much expense the fire department would incur. There is no doubt someone has to pay for it. The fire threatens the life of people in the house; it can get out of control, spread into the neighborhood and inflict serious damage to the whole community. Even if the fire department is broke you expect them to come out and do their job.

America is facing an unprecedented level of unemployment. In California, Michigan and Nevada, the unemployment rate is over 12%. Millions of Americans are jobless for no fault of theirs. This is truly a wild fire in the country and what is needed right now is to put out the fire - help the people in need so the 1.2 million families already suffering do not go into poverty. Not doing anything about it is like letting the fire engulf the families of over million people. Talking about the deficit at a moment like this and not passing the bill that would have extended temporary benefits is criminal.

Everyone knows America is facing a record deficit with the likes never seen before in history and but it’s sometime forgotten that the deficit did not happen in one year. Starting with a humming economy in 2000, America has managed to squander many opportunities, get into two wars, and convert a surplus into deficit. Yes, the deficit needs to be controlled but not at the cost of Americans who have lost their jobs.

Some law makers make unemployment benefits sound like money given to lazy people. Senator Orin Hatch has even proposed drug testing for all recipients who receive unemployment benefits. The unemployment insurance program provides temporary benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet several other eligibility requirements. The benefits are based solely on a tax imposed on employers and the truth is that the benefit amount is barely enough to get by but not at all enough to pay all bills. The economy is poor and innocent Americans are taking the hits. Politicians must stop taking cheap shots at hard working people. America bailed out the financial industry, which actually added to the deficit significantly. America now needs to do the right thing – extend unemployment benefits, which cost just a fraction of the bailout amount.

Earlier this year, Republican Senator Jim Bunning from Kentucky single handedly blocked a senate bill that would have extended unemployment benefits. He stayed beyond midnight to filibuster this bill. His argument that he is actually supporting the measure but he is fighting the deficit and finding a way to pay for one month extension is such a lie that even Senate’s GOP leadership couldn’t support his actions at the time. Now, however, all the Republican senators have joined Senator Bunning. Not a single Republican voted for the bill. It is a shame that politics has taken precedence over what is right.


  • Wayne 5 years ago

    Still free money. If all we intend to do is grant extensions, everyone will be on unemployment before ya know it and no one will be left to pay the tab.
    Always about a handout. It's hard to find work, but its not impossible. People just want it dropped in their laps and dont care for relocation and other things. Which are personal problems.

  • Stan Transue 5 years ago

    Marriapan: I have a great suggestion.

    Instead of putting more bandaids on bullet holes with "free" unempoyment benefits, (I'm unemployed by the way) how about imposing a 2 year moratorium on two things that will greaty help the economy, transfer the cost of recovery to those who caused it (as it should have been all along) and suit the Democratic axiom of making the rich pay.


    1. 2-year holiday for all taxes. No one pays any tax on any income, purchases, property, capital gains and so on. Just no taxes anywhere. (Of course reduce government spending to match - duh)

    2. A 2-year moratorium on all debt payments and interest charges. For two years no one anywhere has to repay a dime they currently owe and no late fees or interest will accrue during that time.

    With no taxes or debts to pay, the economy will quickly rebound; the people who need the most releif will get it; and most importantly the two entities solely responsible for our economic meltdown pay.

  • don 5 years ago

    good idea Stan. Why didn't GW do this? Why didn't Regan do this? Government grew bigger under all Republican presidents. How come people get all these brilliant ideas only when a democrat becomes the president? Taxes go for paying for health care, education and defense. Cut down defense.

  • Stan Transue 5 years ago

    Don says: "Taxes go for paying for health care, education and defense. Cut down defense."

    Actually Don, it is the "social services" that have wrecked the economy. I admit we could certainly save lots of money on defense spending (by pulling all ground-based troops back to American soil and ending the two foolish wars that Obama has still done not one tiny thing to end (except announcing to our enemies when he plans to pull out, which encourages them to just wait until we're gone to reverse any good we may have done).

    Currently though, social services account for half of the federal budget. We cannot cut defense enough to even come close to touching that. Additionally, there is no constitutional authority or moral sanction for the state to care for citizen's needs. It is designed as a protective agency: military, police and courts are all that is authorized or required. Wherever it is you get the idea that taxes should pay for health care and education its not Constitution.

  • Jay 5 years ago

    Maybe everyone who is saying "no" to the extensions should take into consideration that those of us on "unemployment" are on it " ar on it through no fault of our own. I had to fight 6 months for it and prove that it wasn't due to me not being a good, honest worker. I am desperately trying to make ends meet and fill out applications EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE. Companies are just not hiring. Give us a break here, there are a lot of GOOD people who want to work and not only that, NEED to work. I JUST WANT A JOB. Why shouldn't the government give us a little help. It's not free money, it's money that is helping us stay off the streets. I have been looking for work and cannot find anyone who is willing to hire me because times are rough. Well, just give me and other unemployed folks a chance to prove that we want to work. GIVE US THE JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bobby 5 years ago


    I can't wait till you get laid off.

  • ray 5 years ago

    Wayne,I worked to support my family. I barely have enough money to pay my bills.I worked at my job for 15 years. Each day I just want to cry because I am about to lose everything. I hate people you make stupid comments about people and their lives.

  • tk 5 years ago

    unemployment benefits are only temporary. It is for people who been on the job for a while like at least one year or so. It is a help that may help to pay just the rent or so. No body can survive on these benefits. It is a shame that people think it is a handout. No body wants to be unemployed. These are not drug addicts. They are hard working people who just lost the job because companies closed.

  • michael bishop 5 years ago

    I'm 38 yrs old and worked my entire life paying taxes. Since becoming unemployed I've downsized everything, and live 4 people in a 2 bed room apt to conserve. Now, I'm homeless in 1 month and have zero healthcare and a genetic heart condition to deal with.
    Thanks a lot republicans. You call yourselves christians and good americans. Shame on you. You will never get my vote ever again.
    Thanks for helping every nation on earth except your own. End this endless, pointless, multi-trillion war, and bring the money back home.
    Thanks for selling out our culture for your monetary gain.
    Outsourcing is un-american.

  • Mike Palmer 5 years ago

    Some of the comments here are thoughtless and it just goes to show you how stupid some of the people in the public sector are just as in our government. This is, without question, the worst economic state our country has ever benn in. It goes way beyond the Great Depression. Why do I say that? Our country has always
    been built on the way of the hard working American. I seriously doubt anyone wants to continue being unemployed. It is no joy. Yet, jobs are scarce, despite all the "news pieces" you hear. To vote down this bill and dicontinue the extension our country faces the edge of collapse. It is basic economics. You remove an established money stream from our country, that impacts 2 million people this week, and you will see a cascade of failing business, services and increase in evictions and foreclosures. I promise you that. So to say that voting down the extension is good thing is just plain mindless. We all will pay for this mishap of government eventually.

  • Beth 5 years ago

    As for Senator Orin Hatch, I am not LAZY! I am a full time student with 2 children trying to get by until I graduate from school and NOT getting child support from their father at the present time. Talk about lazy! When I was laid off from my job, I was going to school. Now that my classes are getting harder, I need to study more to make sure that I keep up my grades. I was to receive my first extension and was denied, due to others on their third or forth extension. That is laziness. I am here trying to better myself while others are mooching off the system. Explain that to people who are at least trying to make things better for themselves!

  • Just sayin... 5 years ago

    Jay I have been looking for work and cannot find anyone who is willing to hire me because times are rough.

    May I suggest a trick that helped my son?

    Offer your services to a company FREE for 1 - 2 weeks. If you do a good job they may keep you on.
    You need a leg up on the competition and that may do it.

  • Just sayin... 5 years ago

    michael bishop says: Thanks a lot republicans.

    There are MANY more to thank as well. Maybe you don't have enough to offer!

  • Just sayin... 5 years ago

    Beth says: I am a full time student with 2 children trying to get by until I graduate from school and NOT getting child support from their father at the present time.

    You made those choices to have babies without the benefit of a father and you are still in school? BAD choices lead to bad outcomes!

  • lg 5 years ago

    @Just Sayin,
    I do not know Beth's circumstances but you might need to dial your criticism back a notch or two.
    She may have been married and had 2 children with her husband. He may have run off with a waitress and left her high and dry. She might be in college trying to get a degree so that her earnings potential is great enough to support her two children.

    We do not know her circumstances but personal choices do not alway rule how we are forced to live. Sometimes other people just screw us over and we have to do the best we can.

    Personal responsibility and personal choices only go so far when telling people their life sucks because they do.

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