The long wait for the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extensions will prove to be tragic for many families. How long has the wait been so far? If you consider the current 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extensions ended at the end of May, the wait for several hundreds of thousands of jobless American has already been 5 weeks. That means 5 weeks without the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extensions for 200-300 thousand families. By the time the Senate reconvenes after their Holiday, the first jobless Americans to run out of benefits will have been without income for 6 weeks(or nearly 1 month and a half).
If the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extensions would have been passed originally in the United States Senate, these same jobless Americans would have had no delay. So in essence, the long wait for the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extensions will have left these jobless Americans without $1200-$2000 in income they could have desperately used.
When we talk about the jobless Americans in this position, we must assume that these are people who were already hurting because they lost jobs through no fault of their own to start with. Jobless Americans who were barely making ends meet before the United States Senate decided that it would collectively turn their backs on their fellow Americans during an emergency. Instead, the United States Senate decided to push the issue back time and time again despite the obvious conclusion that millions of people would be added to the pool without incomes in a horrible job climate. Republicans cited deficit concerns. Democrats wanted the measures without figuring out a way to pay for them and instead putting them under emergency funding methods. Neither side would give the several inches it would have needed to pass such legislation and avoid the long wait.
Yet both sides seemingly continued to say these jobless Americans needed this money. Instead of figuring out a solution, Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate decided the finger pointing election year route was the one to take. Now the number of jobless Americans who are living without benefits has increased dramatically. The tragic consequences continue to unfold for many households as the reported numbers of those who have reach the end of their current tiers is now up to 1.7 million.
The long wait for the 2010 Unemployment Extensions can only be described as tragic. Tragic because the job climate has not improved. Tragic because members of the United States Senate felt it more appropriate to play election year games as opposed to meeting in the middle. Tragic because our political system, which was installed by the people, is failing the people. Tragic also because so many people, who were already hurting, are now on the brink of financial devastation because our politicians couldn’t make the right decision. Tragic also because our doubt in the politicians is only increased by the constant reminder of what they could have done and didn’t.
The long wait for the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension is inexcusable. Our politicians, whether Democrat or Republican, should have stopped the finger pointing months ago. Differences should have been set aside and a viable solution should have been reached to prevent this stalemate. At the end of the day, the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension should not have been about egos in Washington. It should have been about helping our fellow Americans by reaching out a hand in their ultimate time of need.
These 1.7 million jobless Americans will remember these days of obstruction in the United States Senate. The emotional damages that have been done, whether collateral or intended, will long outlast the financial damages any household will incur. There will be heavy damage done in the matters of trust in our politicians. How can you trust someone who ultimately turns his or her back when the chips are down? How can we trust the same people we elected to do the right thing in concerns to emergency situations if they cite deficit over the human element amidst a crisis? The psychological effects of this United States Senate obstruction of the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extensions will dig roots and have a life of its own come election time. Expect big changes from those who endured the suffering that could have been avoided by a simple meeting in the middle of our politicians minds. The United States Senate has ultimately made a decision that could affect the way many many Americans view our politicians for years to come. And for that, the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension obstruction is quite tragic.