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Unemployment benefits chart, showing how many people will lose benefits in 2013 if Congress does not act.
It's been a difficult year for the unemployed in this country.

Come the first of January I will be one of the 2.1 million Americans to loose extended unemployment benefits should congressional legislation not be passed. A week ago I wrote about what the effects could be on consumer confidence and the holiday shopping season in which near 40% of our GDP is based on. I aptly called it a war on consumer confidence that will cause a contraction in our economy should those with little money but a strong desire to spend on family/loved ones not do so.

If you got this letter right before the holiday's would you be more apt to spend?

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.

Now what has changed? Well the asinine announcement that President Obama has offered up social security reform for the debt negotiations of the fiscal curb. I am willing to have my benefits expire and suffer the hardship that it will cause. Believe me - poverty is not fun and 230$ a week does not go far in NYC when your rent is already 1,000 a month. I can not speak for the other 2.1 million Americans that will suddenly be without a lifeline.

I can speak for myself and my belief that I can suffer temporary hardship now so that future generations will be able to have the same earned lifetime benefits that their parents did. Social security does not add a single dollar to the deficit. The fact that it is being included in the talks does not speak to the fact that President Obama won election with over 5 million plus votes over Mitt Romney. It does not speak to the new Senate majority. It does not speak to the Presidents mandate and the political capital that he has earned.act  No democrat worked for Obama's reelection to be betrayed. Is that word to harsh? I'm sorry - no democrat worked for Obama's reelection to have earned lifetime benefits selectively traded for a marginal tax increase on the wealthy.

In fact we should be listening to the Fed when it says that Unemployment is the real danger facing this country right now.

Forget what you read in the newspapers about the “fiscal cliff.” The real showdown in Washington is not between Democrats and Republicans. It is the bizarre collision between self-righteous politicians of both parties promising to shrink government spending and raise taxes, while the supposedly independent and nonpartisan Federal Reserve pleads with them to stop before they totally wreck the economy. What threatens to take the country over the cliff is the political momentum of the establishment’s wrong-headed propaganda.

The mild-mannered Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is standing in the way, but nobody important seems to take him seriously. Though not given to inflammatory rhetoric, Bernanke is virtually standing in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, waving his arms and screaming at the lawmakers. Turn back! You are heading in the wrong direction. Don’t you understand? The real economic problem is not too much government debt. It is too few jobs!

Here is a list of every democratic president that offered up social security as a bargaining chip with republicans in budget negotiations.

1. President Barack Obama.  

Notice something? So take my unemployment benefits. I only worked 7 years for them. I'll do without. I'll continue to be under employed and move back home at 30 to live with my parents. I'm lucky I have that option still. Just leave social security alone. There are millions of people who have paid into this system since they were young. To those that say "oh tying it to the cpi isn't that big of a deal." - I say no deal is better. If President Obama has learned anything over the last few years I would hope it would be that if he gives a little to these insane terrorists then they will ask for everything.

I've got enough "skin in the game" now.  I'm willing to play hard.

Stand with all the progressive democrats and give them your support.

From that way back time on Oct 6th, 2012.

   President Obama and Romney agree that we need to make gradual changes to make sure Social Security stays solvent over the long term. The disagreement is over how to do it — and that’s where President Obama and Romney have fundamentally different ideas.

    President Obama will under no circumstances agree to put your retirement at risk by privatizing Social Security, and he will reject any plan that slashes Social Security benefits. Because Romney opposes any effort to raise a single penny in new revenue, his Social Security plan is forced to rely solely on big benefit cuts to maintain solvency — analysis of a similar plan showed current workers would see cuts of up to 40 percent that would badly hurt their financial security.

    Romney and Ryan also supported the Bush privatization plan that would have had exposed Social Security benefits to the financial crisis that devastated many pension funds and retirement accounts.

ACTION:
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

You won the election President Obama.

Act like it.

No deal if social security is included in these "Fiscal" curb talks.

Tell President Obama to take Social Security cuts off the table, in current and in future negotiations.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Recommended, brother (10+ / 0-)

    No deal.

    Regulate banks, not vaginas

    by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:04:04 PM PST

  •  I am aghast that Social Security should have (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tool, JeffW, mrkvica, Spirit of Life, DvCM

    any place in these talks. It has a place in these talks because there are still Republicans around that are carrying on a grudge they've held since 1936. They just don't like Social Security. Or any of it.

    Frankly, it's the tax part of this that is really whacked. We can afford all of this if we raised the ceiling on FICA. It's a really quick fix, but unfortunately, unpopular amongst millionaires. Which is why we're having this conversation in the first place.

    Get your goddamned guns out of my church. This means you.

    by commonmass on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:06:48 PM PST

    •  the problem isn't Repubs they've always been (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Tool, WheninRome

      that way this is coming from Democrats and from the top with Obama who has put cuts to SS in every deal he could.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:21:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, aliasalias

        I can't fathom it. I'm willing to have to move back home and not have a lifeline rather then trade social security which I hope is there for my future and my mom who is nearing retirement age.

        •  I don't think you'll have to do that, friend. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tool

          But you made your point very eloquently, and frankly, having met you in meatspace, I actually believe you are dead f*cking serious in this diary.

          Get your goddamned guns out of my church. This means you.

          by commonmass on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:38:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am dead serious (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            not being hyperbolic at all. I can hardly make my rent right now. Without unemployment benefits I can't make it at all. I've already made alternative plans to move in with them on the 5th of Dec if no deal is reached. I'm lucky I have a support structure. Many people will not be as lucky as me.

            •  I know you are, and I'll just tell you: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tool

              I had to get an apartment with my mom when I was 30 because of financial situations (hers AND mine). It's not the end of the world. In fact, it's amazing when we have that opportunity when we need it.

              Hundreds of thousands of people are not that lucky.

              Get your goddamned guns out of my church. This means you.

              by commonmass on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:53:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The only bright (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                commonmass, Anne was here

                spot is that my mom remarried a few years back. My step dad and her have been together for 15 years and I have a little 5 year old brother. I've hardly got to know him and if I have to look for a silver lining - it is that I get to be in his life more right now.

                I am glad it turned out good for you. These things just tend to start happening at bad times. I start school to finish my degree next month, got financial aid, all registered, and now instead of having a 30 minute commute to the college it will be 2 hours each way. So yay fiscal cliff. These things have real life implication for people.

                •  Yes, they do, which is why your diary is so (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tool

                  important. Put a human face on this. We're people first, citizens second, and "consumers" NEVER.

                  Bad timing about college. Jeez. Effed up.

                  Get your goddamned guns out of my church. This means you.

                  by commonmass on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:05:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  answer? Obama is a neoliberal and I don't know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tool

          what more he has to do to make that understood by even his most ardent supporters.(a general statement, not directed at you)

          In an interview President-elect Obama talked about 'reforming' SS before he even got sworn in and within his first year because members of Congress wouldn't go after the third rail Obama created his Cat Food Commissions which he personally stacked with some of the most rabid opponents of Social Security. People that have spent multi-millions of dollars attacking SS thru foundations like Pete Peterson's, the one Obama spoke at (heaping praise). When Obama appointee Alan Simpson called SS recipients "greedy geezers" he wasn't reprimanded by Obama , asked to apologize , or removed from the committee and when that one failed we got the Super Cat Food Commission with SS once again front and center 'on the table'.

          I know that isn't news but if I'm surprised at anything it's how this surprises anyone.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:01:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed - the FICA is what we should be dealing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, JeffW, WheninRome

    with. You are spot on Commonmass. The fact the wealthy has such a dominate role in the conversation says a lot about our system. The people who need the social safety net the least have the biggest say in how it is allocated. How is that fair?

    I say no deal if this is what they are offering.

    •  Look, I don't understand why it is such (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Tool, mrkvica, Spirit of Life

      a difficult sell to the very wealthy that in the long run, slightly higher taxes and a modest increase in the FICA cap for them saves everyone--including them--lots of money in the long run. Lowering the cost of healthcare overall by making sure that Medicare and Medicaid are solvent and that more people have access to preventive care (thanks, Obamacare, for at least trying to address this on a "step one" kind of level) benefits everyone.

      I'll tell you this: if there is a Hell, I fully expect to meet Grover Norquist there.

      Get your goddamned guns out of my church. This means you.

      by commonmass on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:28:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lose, not loose... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bright, commonmass, JeffW, Tool

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:15:29 PM PST

  •  Well said Austin! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tool, Spirit of Life

    I'm not on unemployment but I sympathize with everyone who is. It's very noble of you to offer up your benefits in order to keep the best government program in this history of this country in tact.

    I feel the exact same way. I'm very fortunate to have a good paying job and I already pay a lot in taxes every week but I'm more than willing to pay even more in taxes rather than see President Obama give in to these corporate fascists. I say let ALL the Bush tax cuts expire and then come back in January and pass the Barack Obama tax cuts for the middle class and dare these lunatics to vote against them!

    We will clean their clocks in 2014!

    Well behaved women rarely make history.

    by IamNotaKochsucker on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:02:32 PM PST

  •  I am truly heatbroken about your circumstances (0+ / 0-)

    I was the same until July of this year. My benefits exhausted but I was able to get a part time temp position very soon after. My question to you is how many of the other 2 million people in danger of losing their benefits do you think feel the same as you about this? Many may not have anywhere to turn to for any kind support whatsoever.

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