Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Unemployment Benefits Will Probably Expire

Sahil Kapur of TPM:
1 Opening for every 3 Unemployed
Unemployment benefits will likely expire as scheduled on Dec. 28 for some 1.3 million Americans who are looking for work.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) revealed Wednesday that Democrats will push "after the new year" to extend the federal emergency compensation program for those out of work.

"I believe, as many Democrats do, that an extension of emergency unemployment insurance should be included in this package," he said Wednesday in remarks on the Senate floor. "I'll stand up for those Americans who want to get back to work as soon as possible but face a market where there is only one job opening for every three unemployed workers. That's why we're going to push here after the first of the year for an extension of unemployment insurance -- when the Senate convenes after the new year." ...

House Republicans have been calling this week for an end to emergency unemployment benefits, citing an increase in the number of jobs added in November and a decrease in the (official) unemployment rate. "Bursts of speed right at the finish line always win marathons, no matter how far behind the runner may be when the burst starts," John Boehner did not say, but might as well have. "We'll get to this real soon now," Harry Reid did not say but might as well have.

It is hard to think of myself as lucky, as I am both disabled and unemployed (without benefits, of course; self-employed workers have no such safety net) for five years now. But maybe I am lucky. Barring further complications, I have just enough savings to see me through to a very skimpy Social Security income starting sometime after May, and I have a Medicare card and a supplement policy card in my pocket, both valid from Feb. 1. Of course, those are worthwhile only if the Republican-controlled House and our fake-Democratic president don't join forces to kick the props from under all the social programs I paid into for my entire working life, goddamn their souls to hell if they do that...

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