November 30’TH has passed. No unemployment extension for millions of suffering Americans. The only thing that remains consistent is the lack of action on this critical issue by Congress. Talk, talk, talk. Most everybody agrees that something should be done, but nobody does anything. I am once again reminded of the sage old wisdom of Dear Abby when she wrote the following in one of her articles many years ago:
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about this, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
When do the politics stop? At what point will our elected leaders stop all of the posturing and positioning, put down their swords, and pick up the pen to write and pass much needed legislation? Just how much pain and suffering do the unemployed deserve? Have they not been through enough already? Is it really important that they continue to be bounced around like some ball in a child’s four square game never knowing what direction they will be sent in next? When is enough going to be enough?
I can only wish that our elected officials were required, on one of their many recesses taken this year, to have spent a week walking in the shoes of one of the unemployed or one of our millions of 99ers living without any resources by no fault of their own. To have to spend a little “quality time” learning what it is like to feel rejected, dejected, inspected, and abandoned. To be an afterthought. To be so unimportant that you warrant virtually no attention whatsoever. Lip service at best if you get mentioned at all. Do you think our politicians would wake up then? Are these people really that far out of touch that they feel justified in putting party politics before service to humanity?
What our politicians have done by not proactively passing unemployment extensions and an expansion of benefits via a Tier V or other mechanism is simply marginalizing the plight of the unemployed. Collectively, they don’t matter. We will get to them later. This issue is not important enough yet to warrant our undivided attention. It is foolishness at the extreme. It is heartlessness to the maximum. It is dereliction of duty. Promote the general Welfare, I guess they forgot about that line in the Constitution.
Make no mistake, there is plenty of blame to go around for both the Democratic and Republican parties. The Democrats are holding fast as of yesterday to the principle that unemployment extensions should be passed as emergency spending, that no effort should be made to find a way to offset some of all of the cost of the extensions. They sit on their high horse and claim it’s the principle of the thing and this is the way it’s always been done! We will not yield, even if it means million will suffer needlessly! The Democrats should wake up and smell the coffee. As much as the extensions are still an emergency (simply because they can’t extend benefits for long enough periods to keep them from becoming an issue over and over again) they are, after over two years of excessive unemployment and thousands of reports, no longer unexpected. In fact most reports indicate that high levels of unemployment are expected for YEARS! When a patient goes to the emergency room of a hospital, they are triaged, provided emergency care to become stabilized, and then moved to a long term care floor for further treatment – they do not stay in the emergency room forever!
Democrats would do themselves a great service to sit down with the Republicans and finally determine a way to take the politics out of the way the unemployed are treated. Numbers can be the source of great relief for such a situation. Sit down and negotiate. At what rate does the national unemployment rate need to be for the federal government to extend unemployment benefits to all that have lost their job by no fault of their own? How do we include this into budgets going forward so this never happens again. Let’s get the politics out of human suffering. Change the laws. Simply state, we as a nation have historically provided extended unemployment benefits any time the national unemployment rate exceeded 7.2%, or 8%, or XX% and do it. Stop using the poor and the down-trodden as some pawn in your chess game. People before politics. Principles before posturing. Pride before prejudice.