Three million casualties of GOP class warfare

More than TWO MILLION victims of the GOP war on working-class men and women will lose their extended unemployment benefits a scant two days from now, and another MILLION will lose theirs in March, according to reports like this. Lost in all the noise about this manufactured “fiscal cliff” (and the upcoming Debt Ceiling War II) is the catastrophic termination of this lifeline for the long-term unemployed.

We had a campaign where essentially NOBODY TALKED ABOUT the sad fact that fifty percent of Americans live one paycheck away from poverty, all while those at the very top continue to prosper. I get that Barack Obama and the Democrats had to do whatever it took to win, and they did that. The anemic recovery we are all slogging through is made MUCH worse by the dramatic contraction of federal, state, and local government employment. In fact, the private sector IS recovering and IS creating new jobs. The unemployment rate remains high largely because governments are laying off more workers than private industry can absorb.

Funding the extended unemployment benefits program is one of the most efficient (in terms of its effect on the economy) forms of stimulus available to the government. The GOP callously ignores the devastating impact of its termination — the pain is imposed on that 47% that the GOP has already written off in its war on workers.

We are now on the brink of doing real and permanent damage to millions of long-term unemployed workers. The loss of these benefits means that students will be forced to leave colleges, homes will be lost, neighborhood businesses will shut down. All because the GOP is so committed to its self-serving political dogma of increasing the wealth of the 1% whatever the consequences.

It’s time to ACT.


5 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Three million may take the direct hit...

    …but in terms of overall damage I fear that number is a gross underestimation. If we assume the GOP really only works for the top 2% and we take the US population as 308M, which I believe is what the last census said, the math would suggest that roughly 300M are getting the shaft from GOP policies.

    • Agreed...

      I wrote this to focus on the Extended Unemployment Benefits program.

      As you observe, a HUGE number of Americans are getting the shaft — the fact that 50% are near poverty while 1% accumulates ever-increasing wealth underlines that sad reality.

      The millions of hard-working men and women who are days away from losing this vital lifeline are the immediate casualties of this particular exercise in GOP cruelty. I want to turn up the heat under our newly-reinvigorated Democratic representatives to get this done.

      While the so-called “fiscal cliff” is a Republican fiction designed to destroy whatever is left of modern American governance — and should therefore be ignored (by undoing it) — we must not fail to extend this vital program.

      Cutting off extended unemployment benefits to millions of working men and women will wreak havoc across the country and do far more harm, far more immediately, then any ill-effects of extending it.

  2. Not to put too fine a point on it

    But the standoff is as much a result of Democratic efforts to impose a symbolic tax on the “rich” as it is a result of Republican efforts to sandbag everyone else in order to protect same.

    • Horsefeathers

      The standoff is the direct result of the GOP holding the entire nation hostage to its right-wing agenda of dismantling government — and society — as we know it. This has been their stance since Barack Obama was elected, and they maintain the same stance even though losing the last election.

      There is no “compromise” with a negotiating party that rejects any and every appeal to the common good, to decency, and to rationality. This is more akin to negotiating with terrorists than any political process, and the baseline in dealing with terrorists is don’t negotiate with them.

      The GOP has been waging class warfare since the extreme right gained ascendancy in the 1980 election. The entire landscape of this manufactured crisis is false, and is erected from a starting point that places the interests of the very wealthy above all else. The “austerity” narrative is utterly false. It led the US to exactly the WRONG policy in 1937, it led Japan to the wrong policy in the late 1990s, it is leading Great Britain to disastrous results now.

      This GOP is the mob that started not just one but TWO wars while simultaneously distributing an irresponsible tax cut that primarily benefited the very wealthy.

      The result is a wealth concentration that is now more extreme than it has been since the Gilded Era, while half of the nation is one paycheck away from poverty and millions of Americans are unemployed or under-employed.

      Your effort to paint the Democrats as equal perpetrators of this economic and political disaster is utterly wrong.

    • Still want to make this argument?

      So Senate Democrats, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama have stretched far beyond what any reasonable measure of good faith demands, and the GOP crazies — waging class warfare — have scuttled it in the House. Do you STILL want to argue that “the standoff is as much a result of Democratic efforts…”?

      These right wing Republicans are political terrorists. They are holding the nation (and the nation’s three million long-term unemployed) hostage to their outrageous demands.

      Now, late in the day New Year’s Day, they have metaphorically starting killing the hostages. Current reports are that they are sending the bill back to the Senate for “revisions” — they’ve killed it.

      Let the full force of the across-the-board tax increases take effect. Then, and only then — as hundreds of millions of Americans experience first-hand the suffering apparently relished by these crazed right-wingers — House democrats should introduce a bill cutting taxes for families making less than $250K/year. Let the House Republicans go on the record, over and over, as opposing a tax decrease.

      Meanwhile, President Obama should begin using his veto power with the same authority that Senate Republicans wielded the threat of a filibuster. The GOP does NOT have the votes in the house to override a veto, on party lines. It’s time for President Obama to leverage that. Democrats in the House and Senate should attach an amendment extended federal unemployment benefits to EVERY piece of legislation that comes out of the House, and President Obama should veto every bill that does not include it.

      It’s time to SIGNIFICANTLY restrict filibusters in the Senate. It’s time for President Obama to ignore the debt ceiling restriction, claiming his constitutional authority as President to fulfill the nation’s financial obligations.

      These GOP political terrorists are using the desire of civilized people to minimize pain and suffering to impose their political dogma on a majority of voters that has just rejected them. When terrorists start killing the hostages, it’s time — again metaphorically — to kill the political terrorists now destroying our government.

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Wed 29 Mar 6:54 PM