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Unemployment benefits chart, showing how many people will lose benefits in 2013 if Congress does not act.

President Obama has incuded extending emergency unemployment benefits in his must-haves for a deal on the fiscal cliff curb, asking for $30 billion for the program. But, as the Center for American Progress argues, extending these benefits shouldn't be put off while a larger deal is in the works.

Extending emergency unemployment insurance will prevent 2 million Americans from being abruptly cut off from benefits in January and will lead to the creation of 300,000 additional jobs next year. [...]

If Congress does not extend emergency unemployment compensation before the end of the year, 2 million people will lose their benefits immediately and another 1 million Americans will lose their benefits early in 2013. As a result, according to an analysis by the National Employment Law Project, only one in four unemployed workers would be protected by unemployment insurance in 2013.

This is the one issue that argues against stepping off of the fiscal curb, the one that does need critical action. Though, as with every other component of the negotiations, could be dealt with retroactively and benefits replaced. But the administrative cost to states involved in the process of taking people off of the program and then adding them back on, not to mention the interruption in benefits to the millions relying on this insurance, argues for doing it now.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:06:23 AM PST

  •  Unemployment (12+ / 0-)

    was designed by Galbraith to be a win win, it's a stimulus program that works returning many more dollars to the economy that it costs as well as saving people's economic lives.
    If Republicans are serious about job creation, they should wholeheartedly support unemployment irregardless of other concerns.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:18:38 AM PST

  •  They've already written off the 99'ers. So what's (14+ / 0-)

    ...a few more million?

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:28:11 AM PST

  •  This is a very important issue that needs (11+ / 0-)

    to come front and center in the negotiations. It's one of the reasons that I can't support diving off the cliff on Dec 31st. Too many people will be ruined.

    After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

    by Brahman Colorado on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:41:18 AM PST

  •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbob, Bluehawk

    I think the long game for our side, however, has to be on immigration. Because seriously...we wouldn't be dealing with this right now if Nancy Pelosi was speaker.

    If we can get an immigration bill passed out of the Senate, we are well on our way to beating the odds and retaking the House in 2014.

    •  For many of us there is no long game (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit

      Two years is a long time. Our "government" has become a permanent campaign and permanent war. We'll get 'em next time!



      Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

      by chuckvw on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:37:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try discussing the long game with someone with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, Calamity Jean

        No job, no prospect of finding one soon and no way to put a roof over their head and no money for food.

        The democrats are better than repuglicans on these issues, but that bar is so low for a country as wealthy as ours it's nauseating.  There would be no way to tell we were a "Christian" nation if one were judging based on deeds, not words.

        A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

        by No Exit on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:57:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Must we really watch this made-for-TV saga again? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluehawk, Jim P, chuckvw, Calamity Jean

    Reshrubs will hold the UI extension hostage to the soon-expiring (once again) Bush tax-cuts.
    Stay tuned (i.e. it’s in the script).

    •  Actually, last time it was Obama who put it on the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, Mike Taylor

      table.  It's an easy get since Congress rarely if ever doesn't extend UI benefits.  Obama had to show a win and he used inevitable extension of the benefits to fool people into thinking he got a concession.  Maybe he should ask for a resolution honoring mothers next time.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:42:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All Sold Out! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor, am4

    Lemme get this straight. President Obama is willing to expend political capital protecting people who receive between $250,000 and $400,000 per year from higher tax rates while at the same time cutting Social Security benefits for the elderly whose yearly average benefit is $15,000!

    President Obama caves on cutting Social Security benefits (that's what using a chained CPI for calculating COLAs is) for society's most vulnerable members! This is after VP Biden promised that the administration wouldn't cut Social Security!

    After Susan Rice took herself out of consideration for Secretary of State, Dan Rather said on MSNBC that this shows once again that President Obama can be rolled for his watch and his wallet.

    President Obama never fails to disappoint his base in some quixotic quest for bipartisanship. One must conclude his really a Republican. No Democrat worth the name would cut Social Security benefits for society's most vulnerable members.

    FDR must be rolling over in his grave.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:03:13 PM PST

    •  He's not expending political capital to protect (0+ / 0-)

      those making $250,000-$400,000. Raising it to $400,000 is a concession he is willing to make in exchange for other things, including an extension of UI benefits, lowering taxes for those making less than $400,000 (if he had his way, it would be $250k), avoiding extortion on the debt ceiling that could force worse cuts, etc.

      •  Let Me Rephrase Then (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        accumbens, Willa Rogers, chuckvw

        Lemme get this straight. President Obama is willing to expend political capital protecting people who receive between $250,000 and $400,000 per year from higher tax rates in exchange of an extension of the unemployment benefits?

        Nope.  Still doesn't make sense.

        If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

        by stewarjt on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:12:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And extension of UI benefits is usually a (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Willa Rogers, chuckvw, stewarjt

          non-issue anyway.  He might as well have traded the tax rate increase for a Congressional resolution condemning child pornography.

          We're in replay mode - it's obvious.  And very sad.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:45:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The interesting part is that Democrats (0+ / 0-)

      are even listening to him.

      He became irrelevant Nov 2012 when he couldn't run again. Now, anything he does they will be responsible for and he will not.

  •  This, AMT, sequester cuts (0+ / 0-)

    There are a lot of things that will hurt the poor and middle class if we go off the curb. Thank you for posting this.

  •  Extended payments with NO 'value produced' (0+ / 0-)

    Under FDR, the US borrowed money from Americans to put other Americans TO WORK - the CCC and WPA produced buildings, parks, roads, even artwork - getting 'value' in exchange for labor.

    The money EARNED by those people was spent and put other Americans back to work producing goods they bought.

    Today we create money (the Fed is buying the T-Bills issued by Treasury) and we are paying people for NOT working (with many taking classes or 'training' that do nothing to improve their employability).  That money is spent - to often to buy goods made OVERSEAS - only worsening our nation's trade deficit.

    This increase in money creation - WITHOUT any added economic value in exchange for those payments is inflationary.

    It would be one thing if government SAVED during times of plenty (as ancient kings stockpiled grain) ans spent in times of need but we do not.  We 'borrow ' - create MORE money out of thin air.

    Creating more money to pay such benefits - again with NO THING received in exchange - lessens the value of the money in existence (though the 0% 'loans' given to banks do this on an even larger scale).

    So..... if you do have savings they lose buying power.  Your retirement funds lose value and the money you DO get as earnings or aid buys less and less.  

    A Republican relative down south - who's been in and out of work over the past 5 years - feels it's 'nuts' for him to get continued unemployment 'WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING IN RETURN'.   I've heard from others willing to do SOMETHING in exchange for extended benefits.....why NOT put people to work even if only on a limited basis?

    Local governments have cut work forces - leaving work undone.  God knows there's enough to be done - at various skill levels.   We demand that welfare recipients do something in exchange..... why not put the long term unemployed to work  or at least let those work that want to?

     

    Life isn't fair but you should try to leave it fairer than you found it.

    by xrepub on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:19:09 PM PST

    •  And where is this inflation you fear? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Ron Paul is not a good source for learning about economics.

      What you have written about inflation is nonsense.

      I certainly would not be opposed to large scale govt hiring and public works projects as a way of reducing unemployment, but unfortunately the pukes are adamantly opposed to it.

      Perhaps your republican relative should rethink his support for a party so inimical to his beliefs and best interests.

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:09:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, no "perhaps" about it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No Exit, JeffW
        Perhaps your republican relative should rethink his support for a party so inimical to his beliefs and best interests.

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:34:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am and remain Independent (0+ / 0-)

          The Democrats have proven themselves to be just as beholden to corporate interests as the Republicans.  Obama was a huge improvement over W but still a huge disappointment for not even trying to hold anyone responsible for ANYTHING - torture, war crimes, financial crimes....

          BOITH established parties have been complicit in the gutting of industrial America and the continued offshoring of all manner of jobs.  DP went to India along with call centers - now even basic accounting functions A/P, A/R nd purchasing are exiting the US.  And many of the companies doing so have been recipients of BILLIONS in TARP and other aid.

          The Democratic mantra of 'We're not as bad as the Republicans' is far from what the country needs and the sanctimonious behavior of many Dems puts off many.

          Life isn't fair but you should try to leave it fairer than you found it.

          by xrepub on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:32:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  REAL inflation (1980 calcs) is over 10% (0+ / 0-)

        I guess you don't buy food.

        BOTH parties have played games with stats over the years - 'chained CPI' is but the latest approach to minimizing very real inflation.

        The heating oil that cost me less than 90 cents when I bought this house is now over $4  My local property taxes have more than tripled  and while in the grocery store I gagged to see bacon now over $7 a package (less than $4 not too long ago) while a rib roast is well over $50.

        And while natural gas has gone down in price that has come about because of the massive despoilation that goes along with fracking (and massive over exploitation).

        Yes we are seeing prices go down  - ON THINGS WE DO NOT need.  However prices are going up (and fast) on the things we DO need.

        see shadowstats.com

        Life isn't fair but you should try to leave it fairer than you found it.

        by xrepub on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 01:38:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing to Stop Congress From Extending Benes (4+ / 0-)

    There's nothing to stop Congress from extending benefits as a one off. They could do that tomorrow, if they have time on their busy schedule.

    There's nothing partisan about this. The money would go to the unemployed, who would spend it primarily at local businesses for essentials. This helps local communities broadly, regardless of whether they are D or R.

    All we need is a brave member of the House to put forward a bill and for the rest of the brave members of the House to vote on it. The problem is that these people aren't unemployed.

    But maybe they should be.

  •  Cut SS. Lose the Senate and more House seats 2014 (6+ / 0-)

    Its that simple.

    Obama isn't up for re-election. And voters aren't going to think better of Democrats because of unemployment benefit extensions if in the process you cut SS.

    Again, its that simple.

    You would think survival instincts alone would convince most Democrats to run screaming away from this monstrosity.

    •  You got it. Disappoint your base and it 2010 in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Calamity Jean

      2014.  What's worse is if things go the way they seem to be going, all will know Obama is a paper tiger having swaggered over the election, which is worse than just being flat out weak.  And weak alone is bad enough.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:48:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Surrealism in Everyday Life" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, chuckvw, Calamity Jean

    a comedic device on an old tv show called That Was the Week that Was (or TW3).

    They gave awards to politicians who best demonstrated that.

    For some reason, that I even have to read about, that anyone could even need to discuss, extending benefits as if it were an issue (and it is) reminds me of that title.

    Known as facts:

    1. there will be lots more people in dire circumstances if benefits aren't extended (and how paltry a mercy does this Christian nation show its unemployed compared to the civilized world?)
    2. children will be heavily represented among them; we care so much for the children after all
    3. their neighbors who are in business, themselves struggling, will lose income
    4. basic common sense, plus proven over and over with simple arithmetic, this deranged measure to "help" the economy, damages the economy. There are zombies who could understand that.

    Nobody watching TW3 knew that one day the surreal would become conventional politics. Yet here we are.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:35:33 PM PST

  •  Obama used this non-bargaining chip before to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmb

    pretend he got a concession.  Bor-ing.  In the meantime, if Ezra Klein's sources are accurate, he's bargained away the payroll tax reduction which is stimulative to the economy.  Why does it feel we've been here before? Maybe because we have.  Obama's in the strongest bargaining position he's had yet and fritters it away.  

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:40:09 PM PST

  •  I'm one of "those" people. (5+ / 0-)

    I am 52.  I have worked since I was 12, without interruption.  I have a college degree.  I was marketing communications manager for a manufacturing company, but I wanted to move into a job that was more altruistic, so I took a cut in pay to enter into health care.

    Huge error in judgment on my behalf.  After an acquisition and being "transferred" to another "organization," as an at will employee, my position (along with four other people who were 50+) was "eliminated due to restructuring."

    Meet educated, smart, savvy 52 year old looking for a job.

    I'm a Buddhist.  I will win this.  

    But it's all crazy, and then some.

    I have several irons on the fire, but I need my EUB.  Just sayin'.  I've paid for it and into my whole fucking life.

  •  2014 can't come soon enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    We all knew 2013 wasn't going to be pretty. Hopefully in 2014 we can take back the House. Republicans suck and will always suck if you work for a living. They would rather have us die than concede anything and that is not an overstatement. The GOP is evil. And yes voting does matter(see 2010). At least the next Supreme Court nominees won't involve more fascist RATS like Roberts,Alito,Thomas,Scalia to damage to our democracy.

  •  Perhaps after giving back the benefits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, KibbutzAmiad

    ..in order to avoid an insurrection..

    Someone in DC other than Bernie Sanders will mention the 10 or 15% of seemingly invisible Americans who have been living through nothing less than a second Great Depression for the last decade or so.

    Or not..

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:27:04 AM PST

  •  Why are you falling for their framing? (0+ / 0-)

    This is not about unemployment insurance which they eventually fund when push comes to shove.

    Their fake crisis fiscal cliff bs is allowing them to cut Social Security while continuing tax cuts for fat cats. Exactly the opposite of what we just saw Americans vote for last month.

    "Your Actions Are So Loud, I Can't Hear a Word You're Saying" thanhdlu.com

    by toosinbeymen on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:08:43 AM PST

  •  the elephant in the living room (0+ / 0-)

    is this: every part of government except for the military (whose objective is to destroy stuff) has the ability to generate its own revenue.
    I'd like to live in a world where FEMA would be allowed to set its own interest rates and keep whatever it makes off of interest; where the USDA can sell SNAP to anyone who wants to buy them; where Medicaid is a "public option"; where the patent office charges much more for maintenance fees; where tolls are enough to cover the cost of infrastructure maintenance; and all sections of the federal government can do their purchasing through the GSA, which would be allowed to negotiate aggressively for lower prices.

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