"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Friday, October 29, 2010

Merry Christmas to all the Lucky Duckies From Your Republican Party
Posted by Jill | 5:56 AM
Remember when the Wall Street Journal printed an editorial referring to all the "lucky duckies" who don't pay any income taxes because after their personal exemptions and standard deductions, they have no taxable income? We were supposed to think that people who don't make enough to pay taxes were somehow luckier than a billionaire who has $112 million in disposable income to spend on a political campaign after nearly running three separate companies into the ground.

I'm waiting for that editorial to appear again this December, after two million workers who have been outsourced and corporate-greeded out of the workforce lose their unemployment compensation just in time for Christmas (PDF):

  • An estimated two million workers in December will be cut off of federal unemployment benefits, beginning in the holiday season, if Congress does not renew the program before it expires on November 30th.
  • Nearly 400,000 workers were laid off just in the past six months and now face the end of their state benefits without qualifying for any federal extended benefits.
  • 800,000 workers face an immediate “hard” cut-off of their benefits (starting December 4th in nearly half the states) after struggling to find work and pay their bills for over a year in most cases.
  • Since the unemployment insurance program was created in response to the Great Depression, Congress has never cut federally-funded jobless benefits when unemployment was this high for this long (at over nine percent for 17 consecutive months). The earliest Congress ever started pulling back on benefits was when unemployment reached the level of 7.2 percent nationwide.
  • Businesses and the struggling economy—especially the critical retail sector—will take a major blow if Congress fails to continue the federal jobless benefits during the holiday shopping season.
  • In 2009 alone, the increase in the number of people in poverty would have doubled were it not for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • With the average unemployment extension check of $290 a week replacing only half of the average family’s expenditures on transportation, food, and housing, jobless workers have a major incentive to look for work, notwithstanding the modest assistance their benefits checks provide.
  • The 51-day lapse of the federal extension program this summer caused substantial hardship for 2.5 million unemployed workers, underscoring the urgency of renewing the current program for another year until there is strong job growth.


The sheer magnitude of the number of workers affected by the dearth of jobs shows how inadequate recent economic recovery really is: currently, more than one in six working-age adults—or 26.8 million people—are either unemployed or underemployed. Of these, nearly 15 million are jobless through no fault of their own, and an additional 9.5 million are forced to work part time even though they want full-time work.

Taken together, these groups of unemployed and underemployed workers, as well as those
marginally attached to the labor force—people who are available for work, have looked for work in the past year, and still can’t find jobs—result in a “real” unemployment rate of at least 17.1 percent, a much more stark and worrisome measure than the already-staggering 9.6 percent unemployment rate that has persisted for the past two months. At the same time, the unemployed are experiencing record periods of joblessness: nearly 42 percent of the 15 million jobless workers are “long-term unemployed”—that is, out of work for six months or longer. Since the Labor Department began tracking this data, typical spells of unemployment have never lasted for so long, nor has long-term
unemployment affected so many millions of people.

Recent private-sector job growth has been grossly inadequate to bring down these dire rates of joblessness. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that job loss over 2009 and 2010 may have been even worse than initially reported, with 366,000 more jobs lost as of March 2010,3 resulting in 8.1 million total jobs lost over the course of the downturn. Given this, as well as weak jobs growth in 2010, the U.S. needs 11.5 million jobs to reach pre-recession levels of employment, a shocking number when considering that layoffs temporarily increased over the summer and are now
overwhelming the public sector as state and local government budgets are being slashed and federal hiring for the 2010 Census has come to an end.

Never in the history of the program have unemployment benefits been eliminated, or even reduced, when unemployment rates were so high. The only other time in the past 60 years that the unemployment rate has remained so high for so long was during the early 1980s. At that time, Congress did not cut federal unemployment benefits until the national unemployment rate had fallen to 7.2 percent—a far cry from our current rate of 9.6 percent.

Meanwhile, out in Nevada, where the official unemployment rate is 14% and the actual rate is probably far higher, a majority of American Idiots™ who live there are poised to elect to the United States Senate who thinks that the unemployed are "spoiled" people who should not collect benefits because they "won't accept the jobs that are available":

And out in Wisconsin, true maverick Russ Feingold, around whom if the Teabaggers were really serious about the Constitution, would be rallying, may very well be defeated by Ron Johnson, a millionaire businessman who also thinks that a few hundred dollars a week is disincentivizing out-of-work professionals from finding the jobs he believes are out there because he's never had to look for one:

And here in NJ-5, where Scott Garrett was a teabagger before there even was a Tea Party, Garrett, who voted against extending unemployment compensation in the face of this state's 9.4% official unemployment rate and its governor's jihad against teachers and other employee unions, is about to coast to yet another election victory, propelled by an inattentive electorate who vote like sheep along party lines because they can't be bothered paying attention. And the Republican line is first on the ballot anyway so why should they put out any effort to move their fingers three inches to the right to vote otherwise?

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share
Blogger PurpleGirl said...
Something's wrong with the .PDF file. Could you write out the file name and/or the URL? Or give the author's name?

One) Not all the unemployed got 99 weeks of benefits, it depended on your state's UI rate compared to the national rate.

Two) A lot of people have already run out their benefits and are in desperate straits because they have no money.

Three) You aren't often able to sign up for things like welfare or housing assistance.

I dislike the emphasis on families because there are a lot of single older adults who are caught up in this crisis.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well, I guess you haven't realized the Repubs believe in Ebenezer Scrooge ("Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"), not Santa Claus.....

Blogger Pangolin said...
If you were a private contractor, temp or self-employed before the crash you probably don't qualify for unemployment benefits. At that point the only social welfare benefits you're likely to get is food stamps.

Why unemployed people aren't picketing the hell out of these assholes personal homes and offices is beyond me. After you've spent an hour firing off your twenty useless resumes daily what else is there to do but dumpster dive?