In the words of Emily Litella, “Never mind.”
Never mind that I thought the rest of the tax cut deal was worth swallowing, because that was when I still thought there were 13 months’ additional unemployment benefits in the picture. There aren’t.
According to Calculated Risk, this is the same kind of “bridge” legislation we’ve seen before, in which people who were eligible for the next level of extensions (but couldn’t get them because they expired) are now eligible to move on to the next extension level.
Which means this deal isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit, as my mother used to say.
Arthur Delaney at Huffington Post:
The programs provide up to 73 weeks of federally-funded benefits for workers who exhaust 26 weeks of state benefits. The average weekly benefit is about $300, and the total cost of a yearlong reauthorization is roughly $60 billion. Republicans and conservative Democrats ostensibly concerned about the deficit impact of the benefits have blocked several attempts to renew them in the past couple weeks, but they’ve signaled they will relent if the benefits are attached to the even-costlier tax cuts for the rich.
Some 800,000 laid off workers have already received cutoff notices, and another 1.2 million will stop receiving benefits by the end of the month unless Congress reauthorizes the recently-lapsed programs..
So those of you who are running out of benefits, please curl up in your cardboard box and die. We wouldn’t want to upset the bond market, would we?
It’s simply amazing that the White House is allowing the press (and the voters) to think otherwise. I mean, does Obama think they won’t notice when their checks are shut off?
This is the same trick they pulled back in March, when I lost my benefits. The 99ers weren’t able to rally the troops because the media (and the general public) thought Congress had already approved additional aid, when all they did was fund the existing extensions.
Yes, it preserves the existing benefits. Well, why the hell shouldn’t they? Obama expects applause for this? In the name of common decency, this shouldn’t even be an issue. And in exchange for this emergency support, basic humane aid, we’re supposed to give away the store so that millionaires and billionaires can make even more money?
All this money for war, for banks, for big business, and nothing for the people getting buried by the economic fallout.
Bah, humbug. Time to look for a primary challenger.
And call your congresscritters today and tell them to reject this.