Jobless workers in imminent danger of losing their unemployment benefits would get a 13-week reprieve under legislation approved by the House on Tuesday.When Democrats run Congress, they lend out a helping hand to Americans in need. If the Republicans were still in charge, you can be certain that unemployment benefits would have been allowed to expire with a dismissive "get a job!" from Congress.
Democrats said the relief was still needed despite signs that their policies were reviving the economy. Republicans said the high jobless rate proved that the Obama administration’s economic strategies were not working.
Similar legislation is pending in the Senate.
The bill, if enacted, would offer a reprieve to more than 300,000 jobless workers who otherwise would run out of unemployment compensation at the end of September, as well as to the more than one million people expected to exhaust their benefits by the end of the year. - The New York Times
It's interesting that 104 Republicans voted in favor of this extension of benefits. After all unemployment insurance is a national, public, fully-funded insurance option available to people who have lost a critical part of their economic security. If the public option is bad because it's socialist and an intervention in the economy, how can unemployment insurance which is essentially the same damn thing, be okay?
In fact, we should all ask our Congressmembers this question. If they're okay with public unemployment insurance, how can they oppose public health insurance?
Dear Congressman,Take the opportunity to write your members of Congress an email or letter, today. As always, feel free to copy my language above.
Thank you for voting to extend the availability of public unemployment insurance benefits to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in this great recession. Given your previous opposition to public insurance programs, such as the public option for health insurance, I was surprised to see your vote in favor of HR 3548.
I assume your support for public unemployment insurance extends to public medical insurance? After all, unemployment insurance is a national, public, fully-funded insurance option in a marketplace where alternatives, like AFLAC, are available from private vendors. The plans for a public option in medical insurance are no different.
If your mind is not yet made up, I ask you, as my Representative in the House, to vote in favor of a public insurance option for health insurance just like we have for unemployment insurance. Your reputation for integrity and principle requires philosophical consistency. Here is your opportunity to demonstrate it.
Oh, and as for the characterization that the stimulus bill did not create jobs? Well, economists say otherwise.
IHS Global Insight, an economic consulting firm, estimates that the stimulus has increased the 2009 gross domestic product by about 1 percent over what it otherwise would have been, with the benefit almost entirely in the second half of the year.
The firm also forecasts that the package will, in total, result in about 2 million more jobs than otherwise would have existed at the end of 2010. Moody's Economy.com estimates that the initiative will increase employment by 2.5 million jobs. Both estimates are below the 3 million to 3.5 million jobs the Obama administration estimated the package would create or save because the firms assumed more modest ripple effects from the stimulus spending than administration economists did.
Still, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Economy.com, said, "I don't think it's any accident that the economy has gone out of recession and into recovery at the same time stimulus is providing its maximum economic impact." - The Washington Post