Jul 1, 2010

U.S. Senate Republicans stiff workers to go home and march in parades

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have a nice holiday gift for the many unemployed people in Michigan and across the country as we try and climb out of the Bush recessions: more suffering and the loss of a lifeline that is keeping many people’s heads above water.

The Senate adjourned for the July 4tth holiday without passing six-month extension of unemployment benefits after Senate Republicans filibustered the bill for the third time in three weeks. The vote failed 58-38; 60 were needed to end a Republican filibuster. That means more than 170,000 Michigan residents will see their benefits expire after the 26-week period ends.

Apparently, Republicans like U.S. Senate candidate and Teabagger Sharon Angle of Nevada who said unemployment benefits “spoil” the citizenry in her first and only interview with the real press thinks people enjoy being unemployed. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 14 percent followed by Michigan at 13.6 percent. I doubt few, if any, of those people are enjoying staying at home on "their couches.”

I have never met anyone, although I’m sure their may be a few people out there, who wants to be on unemployment.

The Republicans justification for thumbing their noses at people who want to work is that it will increase the deficit. It makes no sense to worry about a deficit now when we are trying to climb out of the Bush recession; the worst since the Great Depression. Where were they when Bush was squandering the budget surplus and creating the deficit to start and fight an unnecessary war?

Republicans want President Obama and the economic recovery to fail to recapture power, and if a few thousand unemployed workers get hurt in the process, so be it.

Charles Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, said in the Detroit Free Press that society needs to do more right now to help people running out of unemployment until the nation's economic recovery is on firmer footing.

"At this point, when the recovery ... still feels pretty tenuous, I think it's not appropriate to worry about deficits in the short run," he said.

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