The failure of the Democrats and the Republicans to come together on a bill that would extend unemployment benefits has quite a few people up in arms — and rightly so. Millions of people in the United States paid into the coffers of unemployment and millions of those same people now find themselves out of work. Many have been out of work for quite some time and through no fault of their own. With an economy that economists have referred to as the ‘Great Recession,’ millions have been laid off, let go, and terminated, most without pensions or severance packages — because many of the businesses they worked for have gone bankrupt or were restructured, merged, or were bought out by other companies and the bigger, better, newer company would not respect the retirement and pension plans of the assimilated company. But unemployment benefits were designed to alleviate the pressure of financial burden somewhat during the interim period of unemployment.
But no one thought that the interim period of unemployment would stretch on for months and months…
Of course, many believe those on unemployment benefits are shiftless, non-working, unwilling to work, welfare addicts. However, that is a basic misconception that somehow entered the public consciousness through the individualist ideology best described as the “I got mine, get your own” mentality, the “get a job” observances that come on the heels of a complaint about being unemployed or not getting one’s benefits — benefits that many paid into week after week after month after month after year after year — without fail.
And now, when they need the money most, when many can’t find work, are deemed overqualified and underqualified, or apply for the job just a little later than some other jobless individual, those that have been receiving unemployment benefits are finding that their Congressional representatives, those that are paid with the tax money that was taken out of their checks alongside the money that went into the unemployment benefits fund, cannot come to an agreement to help them out.
In short, the taxpayers have been betrayed by those elected by the people and of the people. They are refusing to do what is right and necessary for the people. The failure of politicians to come together and secure an extension of unemployment benefits through the proposed bill is an egregious travesty, especially in lieu of the monstrous sums Congress seemed to have only shown token resistance toward when appropriating and allocating with regard to Wall Street, the Big Three auto companies (where only two took money), and the so-called ‘stimulus’ packages.
And if many of those same politicians were voted out of office come the next election, the people might just start getting control of their democracy once more. And if the voters decided to “clean house” and Senate, it just might send out a warning that the newly elected have been given due notice that not doing right by the people and for the people will result in their political status being rescinded, whereby they will become of the people once more.
Many of those that paid into the unemployment benefits system also voted. Their responsibilities extended not only to their jobs, their families, but to their communities and nation as well. What Republicans and Democrats seem to have failed to realize is that a good many of the unemployed vote. If the 15 million people that the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculate are unemployed were to vote as a block or a set of blocks throughout the country, they could unseat some incumbent politicians, especially in states where unemployment is exceeding high.
The Democrats refused to countenance a bill offered by the Republicans where an unemployment benefit extension would be paid for out of the unused ‘stimulus bill’ money. The Republicans then refused to stop their filibuster of the current Unemployment Benefit Extension bill, even though the Democrats shaved enough provisions off of it to reduce the future deficit — a Republican sticking point — by $24 billion.
In addition, another version of the Unemployment Benefits Extension bill has the $25 per month addition that was added by the Obama administration taken away, saving the government another $6 billion in ten years.
In the meantime, Unemployment Benefits will be suspended. Over 300,000 people were in limbo at the first of the month, waiting for Congress to vote for an extension. Another 900,000 are set to lose their benefits if an agreement of some kind isn’t made or an emergency session isn’t called in the future.
That does not include the hundreds of thousands, even millions that will also lose their benefits in the intervening months an extension was to cover (through November).
Again, the unemployed vote. And the unemployed are angry, as can be witnessed in the comments section on any blog or article written on the subject of the Senate’s failure to pass the 2010 Unemployment Benefits Extension bill.
They are not the shiftless, lazy, and the irresponsible. They are just unemployed and attempting to make ends meet until another job is acquired. Perhaps if a few hundred politicians in Washington were to join them…