The children in Congress are at it again:
Once again, the Congress is going to go on a break without having extended long term jobless benefits, as the Senate failed to get 60 votes last night on another plan from Democrats.
By my count, this is the third time that Senators will have gone on a vacation without an agreement on extending those jobless benefits - the first time was Easter, the second just before Memorial Day, and now before the July 4th break.
Clearly, it is far more important to take a vacation than to help 1.3 million Americans stay off welfare. Maybe the Senators could hire a few of their constitutents to flip burgers at the family barbecue. They can label it "job training" and pay for it with office earmarks. Win-win, as they say.
Add to this the latest ridiculous selfish trope the Teabaggers are throwing out with regards to unemployment benefits: that they actually create long-term joblessness.
Anyone who's been on unemployment for a length of time-- and believe me I have-- knows that the unemployment benefit barely pays for food and possibly rent. Maybe, especially if your landlord is sympathetic. It's based on a percentage of your income and is capped at a couple of hundred a week. That might not sound half bad: if you're making $20,000 a year, that published report of $500 a week is more than your salary.
But if you're making $20,000 a year, you won't be eligible for $500 a week. You're generally eligible for half your salary, or $190 a week. And the formula is determined by state. For example, in Arizona, the maximum benefit is $200 a week. One can only imagine what a minimum wage worker makes in unemployment.
None of this takes into consideration the fact that the worst part of being unemployed is the shame and embarrassment of being out oa f job. Most people want to work. Most people will settle for a decent job that pays a decent wage that they can feed their families with. Any lifestyle beyond that, including mortgages and debts, will fall by the wayside.
I know when I was out of work for a couple of years (thanks, Bush family!) my attitude towards my creditors was, "Sorry about your damn luck for lending money to a loser." Now, I never walked away from a debt, but I knew if I had to, I could. It took a lot of the sting out of getting those letters and bills each month.
The GOP attitude seems to be, "well, someone is having fun on our dime, and it must stop." And yea, there's a few people out there, probably a higher percentage now than when the recession first hit, that are enjoying the dole. So?
You folks in Congress work three months out of the year, get your health insurance paid for, despite drawing a six figure salary, have a guaranteed pension plan in place, have healthclub privileges, get free cafeteria food, have expense accounts and that's just for starters with the LEGAL perks of being a Congresscritter! It seems to me the percentage of corrupt Representatives and Senators is a LOT higher than the percentage of folks on unemployment who might buy the occasional six pack to drown their sorrows!
Grow up, nut up, shut up, and butt out!