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Unemployed with check mark next to it
The Holiday season is a tough time to be unemployed. The pressure from society to spend is huge. Consumer spending during this time often accounts for 40% of our GDP or Gross Domestic product. It is no wonder that at this time during the year we are bombarded with ads of credit cards, deferred payment options, interest, and cash advances.

Currently I am unemployed or more truthfully underemployed. This season I have had to re-gift (You remember Seinfeld) and have mostly made my presents for this year. It has been a struggle to make rent - let alone think of having extra money on hand to buy gifts. This is a situation million of Americans have found themselves in this Holiday season.

As we debate this Fiscal Cliff (Tm) -  Fiscal Curb - Fiscal Kabuki Theater or whatever other name you wish to give to this arbitrarily self inflicted wound of soft negotiation - This one
thing is clear:

You are waging a war on Christmas Republicans.

In the mail yesterday I received the following letter from the New York State Dept of Labor

SUBJECT: Extended Benefits Expiration

Dear Austin,

Unless the U.S Congress extends Unemployment Insurance Benefits, all Extended Benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation will end on December 30th, 2012. The last week you can claim Extended Benefits (EB) is the week ending December 9ths, 2012. The last week you can claim Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) is the week ending Sunday, December 30th, 2012.

Until these benefits end, please continue to claim weekly benefits as you usually do. Visit our Unemployment Assistance page at www.labor.ny.gov for:
*Details on EB and EUC, including an explanation of deadlines for each program.
*Updates on any possible future extensions of EB and EUC.

We recognize that being unemployed is very stressful for you and your family. We hope you will let us help you with your job search.

Bold by diarist.

Contrary to what you may think unemployment benefits can be a huge boost for spending.

The truth.
You can read the full report :

here @  National Employment Law Project (NELP)

So after getting that letter I thought to myself. If I am already cutting back on my holiday spending and millions of other Americans are getting a similar letter in the mail. What does that do for consumer spending during peak season. Truly it boggles my mind that republicans in congress can not see the point that giving people who have already a little bit of money disposable income to inject into business is not a good idea.

I know that when I get my check - most of it is already spent - and whatever else I have left over tends to go to vice. A few drinks at a bar. A ticket to a local show - eating at our local sandwich place. These are all things that do immediate positives for the economy on a micro level. Now let's times that by a couple of million and unless we extend unemployment benefits now - instead of adding it onto whatever negotiation is going on - we run the risk of driving down our own economy.

We need to extend benefits now. Not in a week. Not by the deadline at Dec 30th - but now. When it can make a tangible difference in the holiday season.  I really wanted to blow my next check on a big present for my girl friend but now I can not do that. It would be irresponsible of me and if there is one thing I hear constantly from the plutocracy is that us poor people do not know how to act responsibly with our money.  

Find your congress person to contact.

Pretty sure the President is with us on this one. Lend your voice to support.

Call the President

Phone Numbers

Comments: 202-456-1111

Switchboard: 202-456-1414

TTY/TTD

Comments: 202-456-6213

Visitor's Office: 202-456-2121

Don't let congress hold unemployment benefits hostage in the name of the Fiscal Cliff.

Originally posted to Tool on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:25 AM PST.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles.

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