According to Open Congress last week: There are about 20 major pieces of legislation being considered for floor time in the lame-duck session, and it’s hard to predict what the dynamic in Congress is going to be after the election. For example, what happenes if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV], who controls what gets voted on in the Senate, is defeated in the mid-terms? Does he scramble to pass a last legacy bill on food safety or renewable energy instead of spending the final days of his 24 year career fighting for a temporary extension of benefits for the unemployed folks that he has already spent a good deal of time fighting for? Incentives and motivations will change significantly depending n what happens on Nov. 2, so, if you care about there being a lifeline for the millions of long-term unemployed after Thanksgiving, the best thing you can do right now is start making as much noise about this as you can.
Most 99ers have been without UI income for 8 months. After living on what little UI pays for 99 weeks (out of many more weeks unpaid) the 99ers are dropping like flies. Losing your home to foreclosure, eviction or just over staying your welcome at the relative’s, the street is now the new home of many who used to qualify as “the American middle class.”
One 99er (name withheld by request) recently told the San Diego Unemployment Examiner: “The constant fear and desperation I feel is unbearable. I do not know what to do. My life is an out of control spiral downhill and I cannot do anything to stop it. I am sick of being afraid all the time and yes I have considered ending this nightmare more than once - I just cannot do that to my family. My family cannot help me anymore and I feel so guilty for needing the help they have provided. Most of them live very far away, but I may soon need to pack up and move in with them. I cry myself to sleep every night just thinking of what a failure I am now that I can no longer support myself.”
It is true that this 99er has options that many do not. Thousands are already on the street or in shelters. Some have been just too depressed or scared to live this way any longer, so they give up on life completely.
Unemployment is likely to remain above 9 percent for the rest of this year and for much of next. That means the ranks of the long-term unemployed will swell even further. This “Jobless Recovery” has been the trend so far in this recession and it's not likely to stop now. Are we just going to leave the long term unemployed without incomes and without job opportunities? Without money to spend in their wrecked local economies, thus making it harder for those economies to generate new jobs? If this is the economic theory Washington is going to embrace amid terrible joblessness in America, then God help us - because we have far more to worry about than the Tea Party nut jobs going to Congress.
What we really need are public jobs for millions of people who have been unemployed for well over a year. I'd like to hear politicians touting a plausible scenario for creating quick, useful public jobs on that kind of scale in this sluggish economy immediately upon Congress’ return - even as they pass a Tier 5 and extend UI filing deadlines soon to expire.
Washington had better take heed to the suffering that is rampant in
the USA due to the lack of income from jobs or UI benefits before we see
the frustrations of Americans break out on Main Street, as it would
appear it is just a matter of time before this century resembles the
tragic desperation of the Great Depression of the last century. I can’t
see 2010 Americans taking this much longer before they begin fighting
back with possibly catastrophic results.
Tags: 99ers s3706 stabenow "ed schultz" "jobless benefits" "americans want to work act" "tier 5 to survive" "unemployment extension"