An unemployment extension debate inevitable? It certainly seems as if the emergency extension of unemployment insurance for jobless Americans is headed in that direction. History could repeat if politicians in Washington refuse to learn from the debacle last time the subject came up. What happened then?
Republicans and Democrats fought a vicious fight in the United States Senate over the unemployment extension debate. What happened? After a couple of months, the Democrats finally introduced a new Senator and received two votes from Republicans who crossed the aisle to make it happen–but that was long after the debate angered many jobless Americans who desperately needed those funds.
Let’s just say it was a very frustrating moment for jobless Americans who were struggling to find any type of employment during what has been deemed by many financial analysts as a depression. Here are several million people depending on unemployment insurance to keep their families and houses afloat. In Washington, the issue didn’t seem that urgent. I learned a long time ago not to judge the intentions of people. But I can say that because of the amount of time it took to finally pass an unemployment extension that empathy somehow slipped out the door.
If I heard another Republican saying things like, “we can’t mortgage the future of our grandchildren”–I think I would probably puke. It’s so ironic that these very wealthy politicians, who are obviously not unemployed or never have been, think first about people who haven’t even been born when there are Americans struggling during this horrible economy. That’s probably the most selfish thing, in my opinion, any politician can say. It just doesn’t float with me or any of the other people who were unemployed at the time of the last fiasco. I am worried about my grandchildren, too. Yet I am not willing to sacrifice a certain amount of people in order to provide a secure future for them before they have even been born. The irony is that growing the economy and helping people now will probably only enhance what happens to our children in the future. There are no guarantees-but I think the more suffering that continues can only lead to more problems in the future in terms of the economy. Every action has an equal and opposite effect, right?
Perhaps the politicians will have learned from their mistakes in regards to the November 2010 Unemployment extensions debate. President Barack Obama has apparently already voiced his approval for the extension of the emergency unemployment extension. The unfortunate thing is that didn’t make that big of a difference last time. Obama pushed and pushed but it’s completely out of his hands. The only thing he can officially do with the potential November 2010 unemployment extension is sign the bill into law once it reaches his desk. That leaves Obama with very little power other than being able to veto the bill if he were opposed.
So here we are again. A new set of jobless Americans ready to embrace a fight raging in Washington that they really have little say in. I have said it before that it’s very unfortunate that 100 people can dictate what happens in the lives of so many Americans. I believe there were around 2 million people who stopped receiving unemployment extension checks the last time this ugly mess developed in the Senate. 2 million people having their fates in the hands of rich politicians?
There were some terrific and eloquent speeches by some of the Democrats who seemed to be honed in on the issue and what was really happening to those without income. But there were also speeches by Republicans hell bent on saying “tough luck” to the unemployed unless we can find a way to pay for the bill. We, as a country, have always provided emergency unemployment extensions during times when unemployment rates were near 10%. Yet, the fight raged on in the Senate for 2 months or so. The Senators paused, not once, but twice for lengthy breaks as scheduled instead of figuring out a solution. The entire process could only be laughed at. The unfortunate thing is that the jobless Americans who were suffering could not afford to laugh. The truth is they couldn’t even afford to pay their house bills because 100 men and women couldn’t make a simple decision even though the issue was made to look quite complex.
So when the November unemployment extensions issue comes up once again, let’s hope the politicians have figured out how they can approach unemployment. The politicians have had several months to prepare for what will inevitably be another battle that puts millions of Americans on the back burner while they discuss the “poor pitiful jobless Americans’ at their leisure. The irony in this entire situation is that perhaps many of these jobless Americans wouldn’t be in this position if not for the bad decisions made by politicians. In essence, it’s probably our fault because we elected these people who lack sympathy and care more about the mighty dollar and future than the current suffering at hand. November 2010 unemployment extensions should be an immediate and quick fix-although it’s highly doubtful a resolution would come so quickly. Maybe the politicians will surprise me but I have a gut feeling they won’t.
The Republicans won in large numbers during the latest election. I remember many of the unemployed Americans commenting on stories I had written several months ago about voting Republicans out. So what does that say for American sentiment toward the jobless Americans if Republicans won majority of the House? “Tough cookie”? It’s probably more accurate to say that American people across the board just want some type of change quick. I truly don’t believe that most Americans believe that jobless Americans should be left without any help. The majority of Americans in this country are middle class and lower-so it seems more than likely that those same middle class to lower class Americans would empathize on large levels with those who have lost jobs. The middle class to lower class Americans are probably living pay check to pay check in majority. That means they, too are one step away from being in a very awful position should they lose their jobs suddenly by no fault of their own.
The unfortunate thing is that more Republicans in the House means the bill would almost have to be funded to clear the hurdles in the future concerns toward unemployment extension. Will Democrats be the road block in the future simply because they don’t agree with how it is funded if that’s the case? Time will only tell in that scenario-but it’s inevitably going to pan out that way.
How the unemployment extension is paid for is of little consequence to the people who truly need that money. It just needs to get done in a timely fashion instead of exposing the jobless to CSPAN for months to witness how ridiculous our political system can sometimes be. I believe the system completely failed those of us who were jobless Americans last time the unemployment extension debate reared it’s ugly head. We, as a country, need to learn from our mistakes. I am not talking about a hand out. I am talking about good people who are in the unfortunate position of losing their jobs at no fault of their own during a horrible economic crisis. The politicians in Washington seemed completely out of touch the last time the issue was at the forefront. That is not likely to change this time around.
Mitch McConnell is still worried about “his own grandchildren” and not completely worried if you are out of work without a job. “Tough cookie,” it seems he is saying. He’d rather you suffer so his kids will prosper in the future. Someone has to pay, right? Pay for losing a job because of a horrid economy created by politicians who made bad decisions. The politicians in Washington have an obligation to help the people who are struggling because of those decisions. It shouldn’t be open for a lengthy debate-it should just happen until the unemployment numbers drop to an acceptable number and more jobs are created. I always found it odd that there were 6 jobless Americans for every employment opportunity at one point–and that didn’t seem to help some politicians empathize with the plight of those who were suffering. At least it didn’t seem to add to the urgency that was needed for a quick resolution.
I was not a math major-but the odds of finding a job were extremely low. There never should have been a question as to whether an emergency unemployment extension should have been resumed. It should have been a no-brainer. Instead, our politicians turned a simple procedure into a lengthy brain surgery. Maybe the November unemployment extensions will be passed with extreme urgency this time around-that would be my wish for those who are still suffering. I was fortunate enough to find a job but I will continue to write for those who are suffering through this terrible depression.
It seems more than likely that another fight is inevitably going to resume on the floor of the United States Senate in November 2010. Where and when the answer for those suffering will come is a mystery until then? Once again, jobless Americans will continue to suffer in the meantime as collateral damage of another potential epic political fight.