The jobless claims dropped from 557,000 to 545,000 during the week of September 7. Not cause for celebration, but less than what the experts projected. But still, we wait. Could the drop in numbers have anything to do with the fact that during the month of September, over 400,000 jobless lost their benefits and have been dropped from the unemployment rolls and the numbers of jobless that receive benefits, that is calculated by our Government on a weekly basis? By all expert accounts, unemployment remains the lagging number in a recovering recession. But still, we wait. Lawrence Summers and other top economic officials tell us that the unemployment rate will go up before it comes down, and will remain high for a long time. But still, we wait.
American taxpayers with advanced degrees watch as their former employer ships their job overseas. But still, we wait. A mother with two small children stopped receiving unemployment benefits in July…was evicted in August…now lives on the street. But still, we wait. Tent cities, cars repossessed, home foreclosures, renters being evicted. But still, we wait. Age discrimination goes undetected for unemployed American citizens in their fifties and sixties who are not appealing to employers. But still, we wait. One job opening can yield 1,000 applicants. But still, we wait. American citizens commit suicide because hope is gone as a result of the change in their employment and financial status. But still, we wait.
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) has introduced H.R. 3458 to pass 13 weeks of unemployment extension sooner, rather than later. But still, we wait. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced S. 1647 to extend unemployment benefits, and the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on September 15 to discuss its importance. But still, we wait. Congress discusses the need to do something for American citizens who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and for those who will soon. But still, we wait. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called an extension of unemployment benefits essential, and that the House will work to make this happen. But still, we wait.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the unemployment situation would be addressed soon after Congress returned from its August recess, that the case for extending unemployment benefits could be made. But still, we wait. The White House said it would support another unemployment extension. But still, we wait. The Democrats are impotent, notwithstanding having a majority in the Senate. Two Republican voice's is all it takes to make the unemployed American worker wait. Senator Kyl from AZ stopped the vote based on his argument that he would like to see how passage of a jobless Bill would affect the CBO. Too bad Senator Kyl wasn't concerned with the CBO when our esteemed members voted on the Bail Out a year ago. A couple days later, when once again the Bill was brought to the floor, Senator Hatch from UT declared his opposition to this Bill declaring that we (as in the Senate) need to focus on jobs recovery. Well, that's great Senator Hatch-while America waits on "jobs" and the jobs recovery, what are the unemployed without benefits supposed to do-wait and lose everything they worked their whole lives for, while you Senators debate and pontificate a jobs recovery? Last week, Senator Isakson from GA decided to add his amendment to the jobless bill of extending the $8000 first time home buyer program. Although a worthwhile program, it does not need to be in the jobless Bill as any further amendments will only slow the passage of getting the jobless Bill passed. And to all who think this is yet another Bail Out-let me remind you, that all of these jobless Americans paid in to the fund while working-a fund created to provide workers-who through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN-lost their jobs. It is a way to allow these taxpayers to survive till employment is re-established. And in this bottomed out economy, with one job for every 6 who apply, these funds are critical in providing a life line to the millions of unemployed Americans in this Country. And still, they wait.
The huge "Cash for Clunkers" program was about to run out of money after one week. Congress acted, and within three days an additional $2 billion was injected into the program to extend its life. Quick action was necessary before the money ran out. There was no time to wait. Reckless executives and workers at insurance companies and banks nearly brought a Super Power to its knees. Of course, they were too big to fail, so quick action was necessary before we experienced another Depression. There was no time to wait. Of course, Pakistan deserves $7 billion for economic and social programs. At the same time, it is okay for the American jobless with expired benefits to wait.
H.R.3458 was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee on September 10. The House passed this bill on September 22. The Senate Finance Committee has discussed the importance of extending benefits now, yet nothing has changed. There is no real sense of urgency within Congress to do something about the plight of the unemployed and herein lies the problem.The bombardment of phone calls and emails from unemployed American citizens has allowed Congress and their staff to carefully draft scripts in response. The deluge of calls is considered annoying and an interruption to their day of earning a salary from our tax dollars. They kick the can down the road and watch American citizens scramble to grab that can in order to survive. So, we wait.
We wait while a cheaper wage earner is preferred over years of experience and maturity. We wait while more American jobs are outsourced to lower wage countries. We wait while once productive American citizens struggle to keep their heads above water, unable to contribute to restoring this country's greatness and work towards building a sustainable future. We wait while America becomes the land of the free to lose everything, and the home of those brave enough to live on the street.
What are we waiting for?
Written by Nyleac and edited and tweaked by Flyfishva.