99ers grow increasingly exhausted and frustrated with having to constantly remind our politicians that “it’s the economy stupid!” It seems as though unemployment issues are stuck in some black hole that keeps the politicians from seeing the light. Perhaps this is because the Senate has become the place where bills go to die. Perhaps it because our Congress has created such a backlog of bills that need attention that unemployment and a Tier V extension have just become the needle in the haystack that nobody can find. My advice to all in Congress for the Lame Duck session, and for those new representatives taking office in January, is that they should just continue to recite the mantra written in my first sentence … “it’s the economy stupid!”
The unemployed and our nations 99ers that have lost their jobs by no fault of their own need action not rhetoric from our elected officials. The American worker that is fortunate enough to still have a job needs action, not rhetoric to see the economy pick-up so they have some sense of job security going forward. Anyone taking a close look at our jobs market today knows full well what is happening to those that are unemployed, and to those still employed. Many of the employed are doing the jobs of a number of positions where people have been let go. Many are doing it with reduced hours and/or a cut in pay and benefits. Many are facing the realities that the company that they are working for is struggling just to stay alive, that they could easily be the next to fall into the black hole of our national unemployment problem. The nation lacks confidence, and yes, we can place the lion’s share of the blame on our politicians for this lack of confidence.
Posturing before progress. Politics before principles. Partisanship before public service. Failure to present a united front in the War on Unemployment is sending the general population a message of “we don’t care”, or “we don’t know how to fix it”, and take your pick, neither one of these is going to engender the confidence of the people in our leadership. It would be much better if President Obama, the leaders of the House and the Senate, just came clean and admitted that things within our economy are broken and our number one priority has to be fighting the War on Unemployment. We need something, or someone, to rally around at a time when it looks like everyone is trying to hide behind the curtains.
Much discussion has been put forth recently about the need for immigration reform, balancing the budget, and tax cuts for the rich as if these are the silver bullets that are going to save us from ourselves. All are much ado about nothing when held in comparison to the state of our economy in general, and the plight of our unemployed and 99ers in particular. I would venture to say that with a health economy, all of these issues would be a non-starter. Would immigration be such a hot button if the economy was running at full throttle? Would tax cuts for the rich and a balanced budget be a concern if we were living with a robust economy?
The old adage of “When your up to your rear end in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your main objective was to drain the swamp” comes to mind. Fix unemployment and you fix the economy. Fix the economy and you fix the issue of concern over tax cuts for the rich, budget deficits, and concerns over immigration. Failure to fix the economy causes other issues to float to the surface. Declare War on Unemployment. Fight and win this war and prosperity, unity, and contentment will return to our fractured nation.