What surprised me most was the reaction of many when they heard that the unemployment benefits sorely needed by middle class Americans were blocked those same individuals that blocked them before. They didn’t change one bit from the road they traveled before many of them were re-elected or coming up in 2012. What did voters expect when they only pay attention to them during election time and not at any other time?
“Jobless benefits will run out for 2 million people during the holiday season unless they are renewed by a Congress that’s focusing more attention on a quarrel over preserving tax cuts for people making more than $200,000 a year.” “It’s looking iffy at best whether Congress will renew jobless benefits averaging $310 per week nationwide that are presently claimed by almost 5 million people who have been out of work for more than six months.” “An extension of jobless benefits enacted this summer expires Dec. 1, and on Thursday, a bill to extend them for three months failed in the House.” “Democrats brought the bill to the floor under fast-track rules that required a two-thirds vote to pass.” “Republicans opposed the legislation because they were denied a chance to attach spending cuts, so the measure fell despite winning a 258-154 majority.” “In Thursday’s vote, 21 Republicans joined with Democrats in favor. Eleven moderate-to-conservative Democrats opposed the bill.” “Republicans didn’t pay any political price for stalling efforts earlier this year to extend jobless benefits that provide critical help to the unemployed – including a seven-week stretch over the summer when jobless benefits were a piece of a failed Democratic tax and jobs bill.” “The additional jobless benefits programs began in 2008 under President George W. Bush but were made more generous under last year’s economic recovery act.” “Jobless people are now eligible for up to 99 weeks of benefits in most states.” “The first 26 weeks of benefits are paid for by states. About 3.8 million are now drawing those state-paid benefits.” “Democrats argue that the extended benefits should be paid for with deficit spending because it injects money into the economy. Jobless people immediately spend the cash, they explain.” (Taylor, Andrew, 11/18/2010, Associated Press, Jobless benefits to expire as Congress debates tax, Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org ).
For the life of me I can not understand how voters can keep sending the same people to office and expect them to act a different way. Many even warned America long before the midterm election by calling those who receive unemployment as “lazy”. This was not a term of endearment, it was meant to demean not elevate. Now these same people who are saying “no” to the middle class regarding unemployment benefits are also saying “no” to these same middle class members when they say nothing will be done about the Bush tax cuts for them unless they include the cuts for millionaires. When are voters going to stop assuming that what they hear on the campaign trail is not necessarily the way things will go? They need to hold their representatives feet to the fire.