No Extension for Unemployment, and Still No Tax Breaks for Middle Class (11-19-10)
I intended to go into a long post today, but I wisely forgot my notes at work. So, I will do my best to remember what I can. And the rest, I will make up as I go along.
So, I want to first start with something that was just passed. Or, not passed, for that matter. Yesterday, Congress had a vote for unemployment benefits. People who have been unemployed from the failing economy are often called 99ers. This is because their unemployment benefits run for 99 weeks. It didn’t pass. Republicans feared it would add too much burden to the debt. The extension was for only 3 months more.
During the last week of November, the first wave of 99ers are set to lose their benefits. Now, before I go any further, let me explain. My first thought with this a while back was, ‘Wow! 99 weeks of unemployment. That’s crazy to be on it that long, and why should they get it any longer than that.” But the fact of the matter is, this isn’t a handful of people. This is entire states that have been hit by the recession. Hard. Think Michigan, and the auto industry.
There are people who may not be college educated. Most are older. They know a trade, and they do it well. But because of cut backs, and often outsourcing, their livelihood has been ripped out from under them. They do not know anything else. And to find a job in a failing industry; Well, it’s difficult. Next to impossible.
So, until the economy turns around, these people are stuck. Please allow me to throw some figures at you:
Unemployment gives $310/week. That’s hardly livable.
The unemployment rate right now is 9%. Allow me to refer back to an older post of mine when I say, in a strong economy, the unemployment rate should be around 5%. This allows for competition.
Never in 75 years, when the unemployment rate was this high, have we cut unemployment benefits.
The cost for 1 year for unemployment benefits is around $65 billion. This is money that will keep shelter over the heads of Americans, food on the plates of families, and clothes on their backs.
Well, yesterday, the Now for the disheartening facts.
Just after Thanksgiving, 800,000 people will lose their unemployment benefits.
By the end of the year, over 2 million people will be without any benefits or a paycheck.
If you think things are bad now, they are only going to get worse. And the rational behind blocking the bill, because of the debt, is absolutely absurd. First off, Tea Party members are crying over earmarks, which only makes up 1/2 of 1% of the debt, and cut benefits to millions of Americans. But in the meantime, the Republican party will rally for the upper 2% to get their tax breaks. This will add 750 Billion dollars to the already burning debt. The small cost that it would take to provide the unemployed with additional benefits is a drop in the bucket compared.
The fact of the matter is, we have 2 un-fianaced wars. We have for over 10 years now. Trickle down theory is just that, a theory. It’s not proven. The fact of the matter is, it is the 98% of Americans that are the spenders. They spend near every last dollar they earn. That is what gets the economy rolling.
(Note: I hate the term “lower.” We are not the lower class. We are the ex-middle class that has been waged in war for the past 10 years, and near destroyed. However, when 90% of the wealth in America is controlled by the top 2%, then what else can you call us. That’s all we are to them. Peasants.)
That being said, the lower 98% are the ones that spawn the economy. There would be no tax hike under the new policy for us. But the upper 2% would see a tax increase of 3% on anything made above $250,000. Now, many think this is unreasonable. Under the trickle down theory, these millionaires will reinvest into their companies, spur new jobs, which will put more people working, which will help the economy. It all sounds good on paper, but that’s where it ends. In reality, the money sits in their bank accounts, and never gets any further. Instead of using the money to reinvest in America (so to speak), they are using the money to send jobs to China or Mexico.
However, if you raise the taxes on the top 2%, here’s what happens. They look for ways to get tax breaks. One way to do this, is to hide the money into your company. You buy new equipment, hire new employees, etc. All of this is a write off. That will lower their taxes down to a rate that they are paying now. In the process, middle class Americans have more spending money, have more jobs, have higher wages. That is what makes a strong economy. Take a look at past trends. How was the economy under Reagan? Bush, Sr? Clinton? Bush, Jr.?
The fact of the matter is, Trickle Down was instituted and theorized by an Actor. Somebody who made his living on deceiving the public to the truth. He did it to pad the wallets of the wealthy, and to do it at the cost of the “lower” 98%. They are basing their entire economic philosophy off of a man who had Alzheimer’s. I’m sorry, that isn’t somebody that I would trust with my personal finances.
Here is my suggestion for Democrats. Let the Bush tax breaks expire. All of them. Then rewrite the bill. When the vote comes up, let the Republicans expose themselves and show who they are really looking out for. Because they will not try to help the “lower” 98% by any means. They would rather allow all taxes go up, than to see only the “lower” 98% go down. If they truly cared for the average American, this wouldn’t be an issue, and they wouldn’t be willing to sabotage the bill to protect us.
Personally, I would rather see my taxes go up, and be put to good use (infrastructure, reducing the debt, community programs, etc) than to see this country raped anymore by the careless spending, with no means of financing.