Extend Unemployment Benefits Not Tax Cuts For Wealthy

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
In a stunning public display of just who our government works for and who it does not work for, unemployment checks for people out of work longer than 26 weeks run out tomorrow night. Congress, meanwhile, is caught up in a debate over extending a special tax break for the few people making more than $250,000 a year.
This is the situation. Here is a chart of the number of people unemployed for 26 weeks or longer: (click to enlarge)

Here is a chart of the economic divide, showing members of Congress receiving employment benefits from Wall Street: (don’t click the pig is big enough already)

Yes, the extended unemployment benefits that go people who have been unemployed more than 26 weeks will run out at the end of November – tomorrow night. Congress did not extend this program because Republicans blocked it, saying the cost is too high, since we spent so much money making sure that the banksters continue to receive their bonuses. Instead of acting on extending these unemployment benefits Congress is currently debating extending a special tax break that goes only to wealthy people making more than $250,000 a year.
The Human Cost
The terrible human cost doesn’t even get considered. According to the Ayn Rand terminology that conservatives favor, considering the human cost would be wrong and would enable the parasites (us) to feed off of the producers (the wealthy few).
Pennsylvania: Food pantry organizers hope stockpiles hold up in case unemployment benefits run out,

Unless Congress extends unemployment benefits, an estimated 83,000 people will see their benefits run out in December and another 200,000 in the first four months of 2011, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Kentucky and Indiana: Thousands in Kentucky and Indiana face lapse of unemployment benefits,

Amid an anti-spending atmosphere in Washington, funds to extend unemployment compensation for more than 33,000 Kentuckians and nearly 67,000 Hoosiers are likely to run out next month.

Maryland: Benefits due to end for thousands in Md.

Thousands of Marylanders face being cut off from unemployment benefits next month — just in time for the holiday season — as Congress remains undecided on whether to extend the payments in one of the worst job markets in decades.
An estimated 2 million people nationwide are slated to lose benefits, including 14,000 in Maryland. And more than 30,000 laid-off Maryland residents will exhaust their benefits early next year. The phase-out is happening because a federally funded program that gave residents payments beyond the normal 26 weeks lapses on Tuesday.

Iowa: Interactive map shows unemployment by county,

Extended federal benefits lapse on Nov. 30, giving Congress only two days to pass an extension. If they fail, hundreds of thousands could lose benefits. Failure to pass an extension would mean nearly 44,000 Iowans will see an immediate reduction in benefits and 8,700 Iowans will be prematurely cut off completely. Every week beginning Dec. 1, another 1,500 Iowans will lose their benefits.

Michigan:
Flint: Many Genesee County families could lose unemployment benefits without vote from Congress
Grand Rapids: With unemployment benefits to end this month, Gov. Jennifer Granholm makes plea for extension,

Michigan, with the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate at 12.8 percent, would see 168,520 unemployed workers lose their benefits between December and April 30, according to new figures from the Michigan League for Human Services. But even if an extension is granted, 13,011 will lose their benefits because they will have received the maximum 99 weeks of assistance.

Ohio: 2,332 Muskingum County residents face losing jobless benefits,

Statewide, 301,404 people will lose jobless benefits in the same window.

Arizona: Many Arizonans on verge of losing jobless benefits,

PHOENIX — About 90,000 Arizonans will lose their unemployment benefits soon unless Congress passes an extension, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Alabama: Unemployment expiration could leave thousands without benefits,

Unless Congress extends unemployment benefits by Nov. 30, Alabamians could begin losing unemployment compensation and nearly 58,000 residents could be off the rolls by April.

Mississippi: Editorial: House failing the jobless,

An effort to extend unemployment benefits past Nov. 30 for an estimated 53,000 Tennesseans, 8,000 Arkansans and 6,600 residents of Mississippi fell short of the necessary votes in the House of Representatives last week.

Colorado: 150k unemployed Coloradoans at risk of joining more than 26k with no UI benefits,
North Carolina: Unemployment Extension Standoff Makes NC Woman ‘Feel Like A Pawn In A Chess Game’,

“My last check will be the week ending Nov. 30 unless they come back on Nov. 29 and miraculously vote an extension,” said Millen, who lives in Charlotte, N.C.

Will Congress act before tomorrow night and extend unemployment benefits to people who are suffering because of the greed of a few?
Action Items
Click here to call your members of Congress and demand they act!
Sign this petition to Congress: Continue the Federal Unemployment Insurance Programs
Sign the petition: Tell Congress: Don’t extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy
Visit unemployedworkers.org
Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.

m4s0n501

2 thoughts on “Extend Unemployment Benefits Not Tax Cuts For Wealthy

  1. One way to get extended benefits is to follow through with President Obama’s plan to freeze Federal salaries for two years (BTW

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