Millions are going homeless waiting for Congress to pass legislation creating a Tier V for unemployment insurance benefits. Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, Aunts and Uncles: and their children. With over 17% of working age citizens currently unemployed or under-employed our representatives in Congress are more concerned with re-election than coming to the aid of millions of our suffering citizens. Let’s put that 17% figure in different terms; almost 1 out of 5 people are now trying to survive on next to nothing. 1 in 5! Do I have your attention now?
Why should 4 out of 5 people care about the 1 out of 5? The simplest answer is because “There but for the grace of God go I.” Whether you know it or not, you are a heartbeat away from joining them. Listening to NPR radio this morning, it was announced that in the last three months we have had the highest number of home foreclosures since the housing bubble burst. 288,000 homes were repossessed over the last recorded three month period. In September, for the first time, the number of foreclosures exceeded the 100,000 mark coming in at 102,000 foreclosures for this one month. Simple math shows that for a family of 4 x 288,000 foreclosures = over one million additional people are homeless over this three month period alone. And our politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, think that running for re-election is more important than showing up for work to respond to this disaster.
A constant theme on the 99er and Tier V blogs is the notion of simply voting against any incumbent running for re-election. Party politics be damned, just send the signal that a no vote for me = a no vote for you. Clearly a message would be sent to the newly elected that service before personal survival is what’s expected from our elected representatives. The issue of establishing a Tier V is a lightening rod for the 99ers in desperate need of assistance and it should be of paramount importance to anyone making a decision in the next few weeks on how to cast their vote in the upcoming mid-terms.
One can easily argue that neither party is really stepping up to the plate to attempt to pass much needed reform for our unemployed and marginally employed citizens. The fact that Congress decided to adjourn early to campaign for the mid-terms instead of staying back at work hammering out a deal speaks volumes – they put their own survival above those that they represent. Some would call this treason. And they expect us to re-elect them?
Voter apathy will not be an issue as it concerns the millions of 99ers just chomping at the bit to “reward” their elected officials for abandoning them during this time of strife. Time will tell if the 99ers are a big enough block of discontented voters to swing close elections away from incumbents to fresh faces. Every incumbent should be afraid, very afraid, of the intentions of the new homeless that still have the right to vote. It is said that people vote their pocketbook, and the 99ers and the unemployed are expected to vote their empty pocketbooks with a vengeance. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord, and the voter!