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Two Years of Tax Cuts for One Year of Unemployment Insurance. Nothing for the 99ers

December 16, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The Democrats’ epic cave-in on the Bush tax cuts is now complete. Late Thursday night, by a vote of 277-148, the House of Representatives approved a deal brokered by President Obama and congressional Republicans to extend, for two years, the Bush tax cuts for all income levels in exchange for a one-year extension of the filing deadline for federal unemployment insurance. Because the version passed by the House is identical to the bill passed by the Senate earlier this week, it will be sent to Obama immediately and is expected to be signed into law later today.

The bill, H.R.4853, is estimated to cost $858 billion, and is entirely financed by increasing the federal deficit. In addition to the income tax extension and the unemployment insurance, the bill includes a one-year reduction in social security taxes, a two-year reduction of the estate tax (35% with the first $5 million fully exempt), a smattering of tax cuts designed to help middle-class families, and about $55 billion in pork for special interests.

Last week, the House passed slimmed-down version of the bill that would have let the Bush tax rates expire for all income above $250,000 and extend them for all middle and lower-income families, but that plan was rejected by Republicans in the Senate. On Wednesday, the Senate went ahead and passed the full Bush-tax-cuts extension. House Dems had already held an internal caucus vote showing near unanimous disapproval of the Senate bill, and on Thursday they revolted and caused the bill to be pulled from the floor for 7 hours. In the end, however, the majority of House Democrats voted for the Senate bill because it we the only option they were going to get from the Democratic leadership for keeping tax rates for the middle class from going up on January 1st.

Conspicuously missing from the bill is an extension of unemployment insurance for “99ers,” unemployed workers who have exhausted all of their available benefits and are still unemployed. This is a mounting crisis in the U.S, with millions of people who lost their jobs in the deepest part of the recession set to exhaust all government support and face a job market with a steady 9%+ unemployment rate. The Congressional Black Caucus talked about pushing for 99er relief in the bill for a second, and, according to OC commenters, the topic came up several times in the House debate before the bill was passed. But, in the end, the leadership just did not encourage the 99er advocates at all, and the bill was passed without even having a 99er-related amendment formally proposed at any point in the legislative process.

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Comments

Displaying 61-72 of 72 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    Marcy 12/18/2010 12:39pm

    Umm, you do know community service is not a bad thing. Community service is something that a lot of teens have to do before they can graduate high school now. It’s not dressing in an orange jumpsuit and picking up garbage from the sides of a road.

    If it is something like volunteering, then I am definitely for it. “Huckabee also said they can be assigned for job training or some type of schooling to better their chances of getting a job in this job market. You can train people to do all sorts of jobs and further their education as a contingency of collecting unemployment, but now you just have more trained workers applying for the few jobs out there.”

    What is wrong with people getting more training or schooling to better your chances of getting a job?

  • Comm_reply
    Marcy 12/18/2010 12:47pm

    If I were able to regain my benefits with the contingency that I spend a couple of hours or more a day working for the county/state/Gov I would be happy to do so.

    Right now I have found a part time job and am working on a small business plan so I can ramp up some seed money. Hopefully by the time they do come up with a TIER V or some sort of amendment to help us, I won’t need it.

  • Checkless 12/18/2010 1:31pm

    I would love to volunteer after I get off from a job that I so desperately need to pay my bills and have money to get gas to do volunteer work. Any more suggestions Marcy. Perhaps you know of somewhere that they are giving gas vouchers to be able to go do volunteer work. If so, my ears are open.

  • Comm_reply
    Marcy 12/20/2010 5:43am

    I’m volunteering right now, Checkless. You want suggestions,I’m sure you can get a list of places to volunteer from google. /sarcasm off

    If you actually read what I said in context, I said “if it were something like volunteering, than I am definitely for it.” I’m for almost anything that would get my benefits reinstated while I continue to search for a full time job. The key phrase is ‘almost anything.’ NO drug testing,or things of the like.
    I desperately need that money also, to pay for bills and gas to get to what job interviews I have received.

    Don’t be an arse and take your anger out on me. I already have enough of my own over this.

  • Comm_reply
    Checkless 12/20/2010 7:35am

    Marcy,

    Perhaps in a hurry reading the comments, I misunderstood your intent and for that I apologize.

    I would never want to be considered as an arse because that is something that seems to be pretty contagious these days.

  • Comm_reply
    Marcy 12/20/2010 8:12am

    No worries. I’m definitely going to read that last line as inference of Huckabee being the arse, if you don’t mind; it made me laugh

    I’m sorry if I came off as being too abrupt in my answer.

  • Comm_reply
    Checkless 12/20/2010 8:26am

    Marcy,

    I pray that we all are held back from the danger of falling off the cliff of that which we linger on. I pray that God will show up in this situation and give us the peace of mind that we all need so terribly. I pray that he will provide the provisions that we need so that we are not completely stripped of our dignity. I pray that our government will do something for us swiftly so that we all know that we still live in country that is “for the people”.

    I hope that you have a Merry Christmas. I apologize again if I offended you in any way.

  • JudyE 12/18/2010 3:40pm

    lETS UNITE AND ROLL ON WASHINGTON. GIVE YOUR EMAILS SO WE CAN UNITE.

  • Checkless 12/19/2010 7:23am

    To All: Please Pray about this!!
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/12/19/930218/-Will-Obama-Notice-11th-Hr-Unemployment-99er-Bill
    Provisions of H.R. 6556:
    ••• This section provides 14 additional weeks of emergency unemployment compensation in Tier I.
    ••• This additional benefit will be available for those who have exhausted all their benefits (99ers and other exhaustees) as well as those who will be unemployed this year.
    ••• This expansion is similar to the expansion in Nov. 2009 which provided an additional week of benefits to Tier II.
    ••• Adding these extra weeks in Tier I makes them available for all chronically unemployed and not only those currently collecting unemployment benefits from a “high unemployment state.”

  • Checkless 12/19/2010 9:35am

    Please go to this website:http://www.crewof42.com/?p=4087&cpage=1#comment-2751 and say thank you for this bill, H.R. 6556 being put out there to show our gratitude for someone actually standing up for us. Before now, no one has gone this far. I think if we make our comments this will let Congress know that we are serious about getting the additional unemployment that we so need and we are all united. Forward to as many 99ers, newspapers and websites as you can that will help us get the word out there.

  • Marcy 12/20/2010 6:01am

    Also, do not forget to fax and email Reps. Barbara Lee and Robert Scott, thanks personally as they are the Sponsor and Co-sponsor of this bill. Those two alone have stood up and actually put their thoughts into action on this. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h6556/show

    And I hope all of use who are affected by this keep in mind as well those politicians who do not actively support this bill and those like it, and when 2012 comes, get rid of them.

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