At last, we could say, some sense came into the heads of some republicans (only 6, but its a start). The six Republicans voted to break the filibuster “motion to proceed” to a bill that would extend federal emergency unemployment compensation for three months.
Because Congress has failed to pass legislation extending emergency unemployment benefits, approximately 1.3 million hardworking Americans lost a key lifeline this week. These benefits help support these individuals and their families as they look for work. Normally you would think the Country or The Government should protect its inhabitants, but in the U.S.A. it seems possible that those who are voted by the public react against their own people without any blush on their face.
If Congress doesn’t take action to extend these benefits soon – as Republicans and Democrats have worked together to do many times before – even more families will be in need in 2014. Nearly 5 million workers who are actively looking for jobs and their 9 million family members depend on this insurance to make ends meet.
The President noted:
“…This insurance helps keep food on the table while Dad is sending out résumés. It helps Mom pay the rent while she’s learning new skills to earn that new job. It provides that extra bit of security so that losing your job doesn’t mean that you have to lose your house, or everything you’ve worked so hard to build for years. We make this promise to our fellow Americans who are working hard to get back on their feet, because when times get tough, we are not a people who say, you’re on your own. We’re a people who believe that we’re all in it together.
But looking at what happened the last year I do really wonder if those Americans are really willing to feel united and sticking together. To me I see the rich ones becoming richer, the middle class becoming poorer and the poor being pushed deeper in the gutter and having them now freezing death in the very low winter temperatures. (“Nature will clear them” they probably think.)
The 7th of January president Obama spoke of a nursing home administrator who is currently unemployed. This person who gave her time and energy for other people had to rely on unemployment insurance to pay her bills and stay financially afloat for the past few months. This “Katherine” is a college graduate, and a single mom with two sons — both of whom are serving in the military. Since losing her job, she has lost 15 pounds, and keeps her home at 58 degrees just to cut costs — she wears a coat and hat indoors at all times.
The President drew upon Katherine’s story throughout his remarks, saying:
“When we’ve got the mom of two troops, who is working hard out there, but is having to wear a coat inside the house, we’ve got a problem. And it’s one that can be fixed. And Katherine is not alone.”
When I was listening to Katherine, I was just so struck by her strength and dignity. And I think people when they bump into some tough times, like Katherine, they’re not looking for pity. They just want a shot. And they just want to feel as if — as a part of this country, as a part of their communities, that if misfortune strikes, all the things that they’ve done in the past, all the hard work they’ve done raising children and paying taxes and working hard, that that counts for something, and that folks aren’t suddenly just going to dismiss their concerns, but we’re going to rally behind them. That’s not too much to ask. That’s who we are as Americans. That’s what built this country. That’s what I want to promote.
Five years ago this month the American economy was shedding 800,000 jobs just in one month. Incredibly the North Americans buckled down and worked hard and sacrificed, and their businesses have created more than 8 million new jobs since they hit the bottom.
Their auto industry having used a lot of money of the Belgian government which had to be used to invest in Belgium transferred in American hands and the Belgian workers put on the streets.
In the States people may look at the rebounding of manufacturing and of the housing market whilst stock markets are restoring retirement accounts. The promise of energy independence is actually in sight. Health care costs eat up less of their economy; over the past four years, costs have grown at the slowest rate on record.
Since Obama took office, they’ve cut their deficits by more than half. though they may not become too over enthusiast. There may be a growing economy but they have still lots to do to get more justice between the wages and work-conditions of their people. They have got to do more to make sure that all Americans share in that growth. Like in Belgium and other parts of Europe those in charge of the country should create opportunities for the factories not to waste to much money on unnecessary taxes, making sure those jobs offer the wages and benefits that let families rebuild a little security.
We as a community should not allow it that today in this day and age, there are people who are earning more than three hundred times more than the workers in the same enterprise. those who want to invest in a venture should receive some reward for their risk-taking, but that has to be in proportion.
As Obama rightly said:
we should build on that progress with what I said should be the first order of business in 2014, and that is extending insurance for the unemployed.
For the Americans who have joined me at the White House today and millions like them who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance has been a vital economic lifeline. For a lot of people, it’s the only source of income they’ve got to support their families while they look for a new job. These aren’t folks who are just sitting back waiting for things to happen. They’re out there actively looking for work. They desperately want work.
But although the economy has been growing and we’ve been adding new jobs, the truth of the matter is, is that the financial crisis was so devastating that there’s still a lot of people who are struggling. And, in fact, if we don’t provide unemployment insurance it makes it harder for them to find a job.