Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Pass Unemployment Benefits Extension NOW, Congress

with 4 comments

I don’t have much to say today beyond this — but it’s important.

The United States Congress has become increasingly out of touch, which has been shown this week by them first debating a food safety bill, then passing a resolution to outlaw “loud commercials,” and finally taking up the middle-class “tax cut” (actually an extension of the Bush-era lower taxation) rather than deal with the biggest issues on the table — one of which is unemployment.

We’re now at 9.8% unemployment — just .2% under 10%, mind you (in case you’re mathematically challenged, as I tend to be some days) — and there are many people who aren’t even on the rolls any longer because they’ve “maxed out” their unemployment at 99 weeks, yet still have no jobs because very few jobs are being created.  We can argue about how best to create jobs at a later time; right now, those on unemployment need help.

We’re at the holiday season.  Christmas, the biggest holiday in the United States, fast approaches — yet the Congress is willing to let those on unemployment suffer?  What’s wrong with these people?

I am disgusted that so few of the Congressional Democrats have been quoted about this issue, and how even fewer Republicans have discussed it — the only Republicans who have mostly talk in the Washingtonian-speak of “we must cut the deficit first” and apparently all of us unemployed (as I’m one of that number) can go and be damned.

It’s time for our Congress to do something good.  Pass the unemployment benefits extension NOW, Congressthen worry about funding yourself (as that’s the second most urgent problem on the table) and only then worry about the damned tax cuts for the richest 1% in the nation (I’m looking squarely at you, Congressional Republicans).

If you do this, you’ll have proven that you care, that you have a heart, or at least that you understand political reality.  Because letting 2 million people starve at the holidays is not only inhumane, it will definitely lose you votes at the next election.  (People don’t tend to forget about starvation.)

By the way, I’d appreciate it if Barack Obama, the President of the United States, would come out and roundly condemn the Congress because of their horrible behavior.

4 Responses

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  1. Barrack Obama condemning the Senate is like the United Nations condemning Iran… just sayin’.

    warpcordova

    December 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    • Yeah, Jason, I agree. But I have to _try_ — I don’t think much of President Obama, but stuff like this really bothers me because it’s wholly unnecessary. I don’t even blame the Republicans for this, though they were the ones who manuevered the pieces into action, because this is something that if Obama had been paying attention the way he should’ve that he could have easily avoided.

      I sometimes wonder if Obama really has a proper “political IQ,” at least one in the positive numbers.

      Barb Caffrey

      December 4, 2010 at 3:46 am

  2. As a grandmother of 5 on unemployment its breaking my heart cuz how do i tell my grandkids grandma has no christmas…its not their problem…i want to be with my grandkids christmas day…but i dont want to feel embarressed..so i may just stay this christmas n a friends house…even though my kids..they just want there mom…but my grandbabies dont understand..

    grandma 99

    December 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    • I’m very sorry to hear this, Olga. I don’t know what to tell you; I’m looking at my benefits running out (when I should have at least four more months) because the Congress is refusing to do anything and I’m very disgusted. I also am unhappy that nothing, but NOTHING has been done to help those who have maxed out their unemployment benefits considering our country-wide unemployment number stands at 9.8% and our “real” unemployment number is probably closer to 20%. (That includes those who’ve maxed out their unemployment, the “99ers” as they’re called, and those who are underemployed/working fewer than 20 hours and cannot sustain their standard of life.)

      I think it is absolutely disgraceful and shameful that right before Xmas we’d be sitting here in this position because our Congressmen and Congresswomen — people we vote for in order so they can work for us — have flat-out refused to do their jobs.

      Right now the House of Representatives is on a four-day break. What kind of sense does that make? (Answer: none.) They’re really showing how little they care about us, aren’t they?

      At any rate, please hang in there if you can, Olga. I know it’s incredibly difficult. I know it feels terrible to have no money and not be able to buy presents, maybe not be able to buy food, maybe not be able to even pay the gas or cab fare or even to get on public transportation in order to get there to be with loved ones — but I suggest you go to Xmas anyway. Tell your children that you are broke but you love your grandchildren and they really want you to be there. Your kids can make this an excellent “teaching moment” if they try — because Xmas is about far more than money. It is about love — and I can tell you love your grandchildren. You deserve to be with your grandchildren; do not let the lack of funds stand in your way if at all possible.

      Barb Caffrey

      December 12, 2010 at 9:54 pm


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