Friday, June 25, 2010

Unemployment benefits end today for 1.2 million Americans

Thanks to Republican politicians, who refused to continue the benefits.  I hate to say this, but I think many Americans are not tuned in enough to recognize why they will be out of benefits and possibly out on the street. In November, they will vote against their own interests, blaming Obama because they will be told to by Rush Limbaugh. He didn't give them the name "dittoheads" for nothing.  Most of Limbaugh's followers like being called his dittoheads. They take pride in it.  And they will vote however he tells them to.  Go figure.

Rachel Maddow does an excellent job laying out just how badly Republicans hate the unemployed and she summed it up pretty nicely on her news show.

MADDOW: We've got the worst long-term unemployment since the Great Depression. This is going to have repercussions in our country and in our culture for generations. The political leadership we’re seeing on the right in response to that called the unemployed animals, drug test them, call them bums, say they're only out of jobs because they're lazy and want to be. Insult, insult, insult. To add real injury to all of that insult today every Republican in the Senate plus our friend Ben Nelson, blocked a vote on a bill to provide badly needed help to the long-term unemployed in this country.

And as a result, starting tomorrow, more than a million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. This might sound like something you've heard before. This is the sort of thing that's been knocking around in and out of the headlines for months now. And it's true. It’s because Republicans have blocked extensions of unemployment benefits before. It’s kind of been a Republican hobbyhorse lately.

But in the past, the measure has always been saved at the last minute. That didn't happen this time. Senate Republicans and Ben Nelson really are cutting off the benefits for 1.2 million unemployed people and probably tossing at least some of them out on the street. And as an added bonus, they're giving up the opportunity to stimulate the economy in the most efficient way we know how. Ta da.

We'll see how they behave once they start hearing from their constituents now that the Republicans have actually followed through and stopped the benefits. I'm sure they're counting on as Debbie Stabenow noted voters blaming the party in power for their economic woes and hoping they benefit politically from this, which is truly disgusting. I hope they're wrong because although voters don't always pay a lot of attention to politics, they do tend to pay attention when something directly affects them, and this is going to affect a whole lot of people, both directly and indirectly. All of those people's friends and families are going to feel the brunt of this decision as well. Time will tell if this costs them at the voting booth. This is class warfare and the have-nots are losing it, badly.