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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Unemployment benefits, the cruelest cut of all

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from www.washingtonpost.com

To 1.3 million jobless Americans: The Republican Party wishes you a Very Unhappy New Year!
It would be one thing if there were a logical reason to cut off unemployment benefits for those who have been out of work the longest. But no such rationale exists. On both economic and moral grounds, extending benefits for the long-term unemployed should have received an automatic, bipartisan vote in both houses of Congress.
It didn’t. Nothing is automatic and bipartisan anymore, not with today’s radicalized GOP on the scene. In this case, a sensible and humane policy option is hostage to bruised Republican egos and the ideological myth of “makers” vs. “takers.”
The result is a cruel blow to families that are already suffering. On Saturday, benefits were allowed to expire for 1.3 million people who have been unemployed more than six months. These are precisely the jobless who will suffer most from a cutoff, since they have been scraping by on unemployment checks for so long that their financial situations are already precarious, if not dire.
Extending unemployment benefits is something that’s normally done in a recession, and Republicans correctly point out that we are now in a recovery. But there was nothing normal about the Great Recession, and there is nothing normal about the Not-So-Great Recovery.
We are emerging from the worst economic slump since the Depression, and growth has been unusually — and painfully — slow. Only...
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