Monday, July 12, 2010

"Unemployed Become a Political Football GOP hysteria throws goodness, and American families, under the bus." by Karen Dolan

"As noted economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research explains, joblessness receded slightly only because 652,000 Americans left the labor force in June. Additionally, the number of employed workers fell by over 300,000 and the "establishment survey" of businesses, used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that average hourly wages and workweek hours are declining.

Thank goodness for unemployment insurance, which helps cushion us from abject poverty in the face of such a dearth of jobs. At least Congress consistently does one thing right. Historically, both sides of the aisle have been able to agree that when unemployed workers are unable to find jobs due to no fault of their own, a decent society provides a cushion so that they can weather the storm until able once again to contribute to rebuilding our economy.

Wait...Goodness is telling me that it has no reason to be thanked--Congress hasn't consulted it. In fact, Republicans and deficit-hawk Democrats have not only turned their backs on goodness, but on the nation's 15 million unemployed people, and the children and families who depend upon them.

Even though economists of all stripes and allegiances understand that unemployment benefits are among our most effective tools in a job crisis and the current recession, lawmakers are betting that fanning the flames of deficit hysteria will get them re-elected in the fall. Despite attempts to extend critically needed, but expiring, unemployment benefits, the Senate has once again let us down. Republicans filibustered attempts to help American workers. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a Democrat, joined them, leaving Senate Dems one short of staving off a bit of suffering to millions of us before leaving town to enjoy their own sumptuous Fourth of July picnics."

No comments: