Yesterday, the Senate again voted down passage of HR-4213, otherwise known as the wonky named “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act,” which contains, among other things, the extension of unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans who, because of a situation beyond their control, have lost their jobs.
The most important component of this bill, and the only one which should be in it, is the emergency unemployment extension, which would last until November 30th of this year.
To people who have found themselves unemployed during this Obama recession, that really is the only portion of this bill that matters to them.
As the Democrats would have you believe, it is the Republicans alone who are heartlessly blocking passage of this much needed emergency spending.
Unfortunately, this is partly true, as no Republican has voted in favor of the extension.
What Democrats conveniently leave out is, 12 members of their own party have voted against this bill, as well.
Had all 12 voted for it, only one Republican or Independent vote would be needed to pass the bill.
The main argument, at least told by the Senators voting against passage, is that they do not want to add to an already freakishly large deficit.
Normally, I would say that is an unusually welcome and responsible act for a bunch of politicians used to blowing wads of cash which we do not have.
However, at the risk of being excoriated in the comments section, I have to disagree on this one.
The money to fund these extensions could very easily be taken from the almost $400 billion in funds still unused from the failed Stimulus bill. This money would actually go to help people instead of being used as a giant slush fund.
And if not that, there are thousands of other political pet projects which could, and should, be eliminated, freeing up money for something that is actually needed.
I am a fiscal Conservative.
Broadly speaking, I am for smaller government, low taxes, and low, controlled spending.
Since the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, and Obama took the reigns of the Presidency in 2009, these basic principles have been non-existent.
We have 9.7% unemployment, increased taxes on families making over $250,000 a year, 2 million federal government jobs dominated by greedy and corrupt unions, a $13 trillion national debt, and a budget deficit of $1.35 trillion dollars.
The number of employable Americans who are without jobs is roughly 15 million. A staggering number.
For some perspective, in 2006, the national average percentage of unemployed Americans was 4.6%, or 6,900,000 prospective workers.
That’s 8,100,000 less than today.
Where unemployment is concerned, I usually find myself in the minority opinion within Conservative thinking.
While there is no doubt that included within the current 15,000,000 unemployed Americans, some take advantage of it, viewing it as “fun-employment” or a temporary ride on the gravy train, the other Americans included in the 8,100,000 rise since 2006 actually had been gainfully employed. They didn’t just wake up and decide not to work anymore.
One needs to actually lose their job to be eligible for unemployment.
And during a recession like the one the Democrats and Obama have created, these jobs have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle of a rotten economy, through no fault of the pink-slipped worker.
The majority of these people probably thought this would never happen to them. They’ve been employed for years, paying taxes, contributing to the economy, only to find that one day, due to incompetence and gross mis-management courtesy of the prime movers of a sprawling U.S. government, their jobs were gone.
While their jobs vanished, their bills and obligations did not.
And in an economy like this, employment comparable to what they had based their entire fiscal lives around, just doesn’t exist.
I often hear people say that unemployment is a “free ride.”
I would say to them, “You try it.” I very much doubt they would be envious of those who have found themselves with no other financial outlet, especially considering it doesn’t pay as much when compared to their lost employment.
The unemployment funds that people receive aren’t exactly going toward lobster tails and fillet mignon. They are most likely helping to pay a mortgage, or other financial obligations that they believed they would be able to pay as productive members of the American workforce.
Many people who are angry with those on unemployment seem to think it is akin to welfare.
While some people, sometimes, do indeed need a bit of help in the form of welfare, unemployment it is not.
Those on welfare, especially those who have been on it for years and are both mentally and physically able to work, are truly abusing the system. People who, during good times or bad, just plain refuse to take financial responsibility for themselves, and most disturbingly, have more children to get more money from the government, are deserving of public scorn.
It’s disgusting. And it just isn’t right.
That said, all too often people who legitimately need the help of unemployment get unfairly lumped in with those on welfare, and are branded as free-loaders, sucking the system dry.
With unemployment, things just aren’t that black and white.
It is very easy to look upon someone who has been on unemployment for 99 weeks and say “That’s enough! Get a job!”
But, during those 99 weeks, if no new jobs have been “created,” or the few that have been require certain experience to get hired, it’s not that simple.
Eventually, it won’t be such a large problem. (Bye, bye Democrats!)
Until then, let’s not be so quick to batter a segment of honest people who have worked their entire lives only to have become financially and emotionally devastated.
Pass the extension.
It is the right thing to do.