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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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Displaying 1-30 of 72 total comments.

  • Moderated Comment

  • JudyE 12/17/2010 12:43am

    Well, I am happy for those who will not be left out in the cold with the passage of the extensions. But, I am far from happy that once again they left the 99er’s out, literally in the cold. Way to go! Do you think we as 99er’s need no further assistance or that we will not be voting in the next election? WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comm_reply
    wstaff 12/17/2010 10:44pm

    I agree with JudyE and let me say while I too am happy for those that will continue to get their claim 450,000 in CA alone (99er’s) their benefits ending
    Dec 4 are now left with no safety net through no fault of their own.

    It surprises me that in this recent tax bill 50 billion dollars will be spent on the wealthiest of this country and not a dime for anyone left out in the cold after their 99 weeks runs out. I was half way through my bachelors degree in criminal justice to improve my self worth in hopes to increase my chances in getting a job and put myself and family back in the game of life. Since my benefits has just ran out I can not continue to pay for classes, also let me fill most of the congress men and women in and let them know, that employers are continually asking me if I am currently on unemployment after I respond with a yes I am told that they are not hiring at the moment.

  • JudyE 12/17/2010 12:44am

    99er’s it’s time to unite in force and ROLL ON WASHINGTON!

  • Comm_reply
    jerkedaround 12/17/2010 7:07am

    Enough they do not care. I have tried emails, calls everything I could do. Increasing a phone bill I cannot pay. Give it up they dismiss us. The 13 month extension was a smoke screen. Notice not one mention of the 99ers. By the President. If I got a job tomorrow it would not change my mind about politicians. I tried to be active the right way. But they turned their back on part of the American population. Only one group lately spoke up for the 99ers that was the Congressional Black Caucus. The problem is who is worth voting for anyway. It is a joke. What do you think is going to happen in January it will be worse. Rebublican Congress. No one has a chance. If Rebubs. were smart they would pass a bill for 99ers in January. They would be Gods! But I said smart! The moon will change to green cheese before that happen. So time to unite and Roll on Washington!!

  • Comm_reply
    wstaff 12/17/2010 11:06pm

    Part of the 2% tax cut to employers should of stipulate that in order to get that benefit,they needed to hire new employees. Why are the jobs being lost here in the United States? Because over the last 30 yrs our brightest governors have sold the American way of life overseas. We have become greedy of a people and our
    own worst nightmare and until we step up and tell big industry you either hire within the United States or move your business, we will continue down a path that will do nothing to help our economy. New businesses in China? How exactly does this benefit us and the economy? I can see were importing may improve. How do I tell my children that we have to sleep in a car? How do I get the basic necessities of life to make it and maintain my self worth and keep head held high knowing as a 993r My Government could careless.

  • DeborahJBrown 12/17/2010 3:05am

    I am incredibly disappointed in President Obama. I believe he knows he left millions out in the cold and intentionally worded thing to create an illusion that true long-term unemployed, the 99ers would receive help. I am certain that he knows that soon millions more will join the 99ers. I believe he has sent a message to middle-Americans that he no longer represents us and that he’s now just a “wanna-be” Republican. Here’s a link to a letter that every 99ers must see… It’s up to us now to save ourselves.

  • Comm_reply
    Checkless 12/17/2010 3:41am

    Ms. Brown – you are so correct! I believe that President Obama knew that he was leaving millions of people out in the cold. As you said, the wording created an illusion that we all would get help. He didn’t really give anything, just an extension of a deadline. One would think that he would have fought harder or would have gotten counsel from the wonderful Democratic party that he has there in Washington with him. Was it too much to give these us 20 weeks of hope? I don’t have a job and now I don’t have the money to get gas to go look for one. I’m living with my sister, but when I can’t pay my own way sooner or later this will get old. This is what I hope happens in January. I hope some Republican take up the cause for the 99ers and put a bill out there to extend the benefits for us and it’s approved, this way the Republicans will get the credit for it. I think that the President missed his chance to truly be the person that he sold to us before he was elected.

  • Comm_reply
    badams82 12/17/2010 5:53am

    God I hope someone will!!! It may play out that way.It’s all a political chess game. The, unfortunate thing is that this game places our daily lives at risk and it has increased our stress to a ridiculously high level. It’s so hard not to let this crap get to you. Very difficult to stay positive at times and not get angry. My kids think I’m angry with them sometimes and I assure them it’s not them and they ask then “what is it then?” Since I’m pre-med I use that as an excuse for my bad mood. However, I want them to stay as far away as possible from this crap and I don’t tell them anything because they don’t need to concern themselves with these matters at such a young age. They need to remain children and worry about school and getting good grades. God I hope things get better soon trying become a doctor is hard enough doing it unemployed with kids is even worse!

  • Comm_reply
    wstaff 12/17/2010 11:36pm

    badams82- I truly hear what you are saying and agree. Children are smart and they usually figure things out on their own. I look at my own kids and they wonder were that next meal is coming. They have watched me get upset because I can not afford to continue college in hopes to better our future. Now with uncertainty what truly do we have to look forward too? Employers wont hire you if your on unemployment and they do ask in the interview. 800 Resumes have gone from my hand to prospective employers and not one hire. I am either quote, “overqualified or because I am currently unemployed and treated like I carry some serious infection” How one person can be so belittled and still carry them self forward is hard, but because you have children you find the strength to continue forward.

  • Comm_reply
    poolplayer 12/17/2010 5:06am

    Obama is not to blame.The Republicans are more to blame than Obama.They are the ones who led you to believe this.Obama mentioned 99er’s when he approached the GOP but they would have nothing to do with it.As a fellow 99er,I am definitely disappointed.I have been paying close attention to see what’s been happening about this matter.But you gotta remember,it’s not Obama that’s to blame.He just talked to 20 top CEOs about job creation because they have been making record profits and just “socking” the money.Those companies have over $2 trillion available!Guess what party they vote for.Let me give you a hint:Republicans! If you think things are bad for you now,just wait till the GOP take over in a couple weeks.It’s just a matter of time before they start cutting off welfare programs that can aid you now.

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 12/17/2010 9:06am

    you said “Obama is not to blame.The Republicans are more to blame than Obama.They are the ones who led you to believe this.Obama mentioned 99er’s when he approached the GOP but they would have nothing to do with it”

    Don’t make stuff up,
    Obama never asked for a tier 5, the 99ers never came up during the negotiations, it is documented right here on opencongress read the last weeks blogs. The republicans never brought us up either.

    Obama never attempted to help us, he never mentioned us period.

  • Comm_reply
    poolplayer 12/17/2010 3:53pm

    I got the info from another site.And I would tell you if I thought you were worthy.I can tell you that it is a Dem-friendly site though.And you are still straying from the point I tried to come across in the first place.REPUBLICANS ARE TO BLAME!!!If they had it their way,you would have probably started committing crimes just so you can be fed and have a place to sleep.Who didn’t want to pass the extensions in June?But please,let’s just stop this blame game and progress.Vote for the party that is not just for the upper class only,no matter who the candidate is.

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 12/17/2010 8:14pm

    the point is you are making crap up, why are you telling lies on this forum?

  • Ktula7 12/17/2010 3:28am

    I’m disgusted…This country has gone so far down the drain it’s not funny. Not too long ago, people in France came together to protest their government raising the retirement age to 62. We can’t retire fully until we’re 70. I mean, come on! I respect the fact that the people of France stood up for their beliefs and came together and rallied against their government. We sit here and complain and vent to each other about how we feel, and sit around and wait for something good to happen. We trusted our government in the past to make good decisions for our country, and once again, they have failed us miserably. What is it going to take before we REALLY let them know what they’ve done? When do we get off our asses and off these computers and really start showing them that we’re not happy with what they’ve done. It was greed that got us here in the first place…

  • Ktula7 12/17/2010 3:44am

    Deborah, I went to the link and read Mark’s letter. He is right. The thieves of this country are the politicians. They don’t mind that the American people that they failed are the ones out in the cold. They don’t feel the pain that comes from being out of work, about to become homeless, being hungry and scared. Perhaps if people like Mark did turn to crime, at least if they got arrested they would have 3 squares a day and a bed to sleep in. Perhaps crime will be the answer for some people. That way they won’t have to worry where their next meal will come from, or if they’ll have a warm bed to sleep in. It is so sad what our Government has done to this country. Feeding more money to the rich and taking from the poor. Shame on our Government! I hope that they have to answer to someone…someday!

  • saturnsc2 12/17/2010 3:47am

    bastards! don’t stop the fight though as i think eventually they will cave in with enough pressure especially when more & more people fall off unemployment without getting jobs. the 99ers have been getting lots of coverage lately. keep up the fight! f

  • Comm_reply
    badams82 12/17/2010 6:06am

    Maybe when enough people become 99er’s they will start to help us. Either way I’m just gonna keep praying I have e-mailed and faxed to no avail. It’s frustrating! It’s insane for them to leave us out in the cold.

  • kjohnson008 12/17/2010 4:40am

    MERRY XMAS….. XMAS BEING THE 99er’s like myself that want to find work. I am going to college full time to try get trained to do something in a high demand feild , so that i may become MORE EMPLOYABLE . so here i am in mid stage of a college degree and my benefits run out…. how will i pay my house payment…how will i put gas in my car to go to classes..HOW WILL I HAVE A CHRISTMAS FOR MY FAMILY…..thanks for turning your backs on me … i hope that you say a prayer for me politicians when you are sitting and smiling and laughing at your holiday feasts….. ill be praying for you while im in the food line with all the other 99er’s… and giving thanks for what we have .

  • Comm_reply
    badams82 12/17/2010 6:04am

    Stay positive I have two freaking degrees and I’m pre-med all was well until I got laid off. This past weekend I just ran out of benefits so I am officially a 99er! Now, I’m going for another degree so I can try to live off my college loans and scholarships and get myself into more debt but I gotta find a way to feed my kids.By the time I become a doctor I will owe way more than I would have if I wouldn’t have been laid off. I’m applying to medical school next year and I’m praying I can get myself through with school loans through the year but that means I have to go to school FT the whole year! All I need is 3 more pre-med classes now I gotta get another degree to survive!!

  • Comm_reply
    nancym 12/18/2010 4:14am

    @badams82—Just a thought, have you checked with your financial aid dept to make sure FT enrollment is absolutely necessary? I’m going to school on federal loans right now and my requirement is actually only 2 courses. The min requirement for federal loans is half-time. I know there is some variation in schools; my program is only for a lower level technical degree. Maybe for med school it’s different, but just a suggestion to check it out for sure.

  • tomjw 12/17/2010 6:26am

    all the polititions wanted to do was get this overwith so they could go home to their nice homes for the holidays and eat drink and be merry.isnt that what all americans would like to do!they are all hypocrites,with all their pork shoved into these lengthy bills,hidden from the prying eyes of the public!so when they get out of the government, they get the good job with those companies that they did their porky deeds for.i think that all of the 99’s should e-mail the billionaires with their stories ,maybe the “bill gates” of this country will have more compassion for our plight then these political monkeys!

  • Comm_reply
    poolplayer 12/17/2010 3:59pm

    Absolutely!We had Presidential Candidate that was like what you mentioned.Ross Perot.Remember him?I bet if he were to be on the ballot next election,he might get some votes.I would vote for him now.

  • Ktula7 12/17/2010 6:47am

    Ok Republicans…Now that you’ve taken over, you’ve got two years to turn this country around…Nice start by making sure that your wealthy friends get yet another piece of the pie. Keep voting “nay” on much needed assistance like unemployment for the long term unemployed. Doesn’t look like your big bailout for the wealthy banks, Wall Street and automotive industries helped this country very much…So, thanks for spending our money on the rich…We love paying taxes so that you can control the money WE make and then not help us out when we need it most. Answer me this…what does caviar taste like anyway?

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 12/17/2010 9:33am

    there was never a vote for the long term unemployed, so they never got the opportunity to vote “nay” Harry Reid and Max Baucus filibustered the tier 5 for the 99ers!

  • Comm_reply
    Ktula7 12/17/2010 1:00pm

    LOL, I know…it’s just a generalization from these past months of the Republicans constantly voting “no” when the American people needed it most. But, add something in a package for the wealthy, and it’s a done deal. I’ve been following on Open Congress for some time know…I know what’s up ;)

  • webrown91 12/17/2010 7:07am

    I haven’t read the entire text – don’t have blood pressure meds or health insurance.
    Another hollow piece of legislation for the unemployed – extends dates, but not benefits. At least they mentioned us this time.
    I believe there is a provision to give a tax break to employers that hire someone on unemployment – unfortunately, the 99’ers are not on the unemployment rolls anymore or not included in that part of the law.
    Somehow we need to hang on – by 2nd quarter 2011, the economy will stall again, because all unemployed will be out of their 99 weeks. Congress will then be surprised (again) and promptly act to pass more weeks in the September/October timeframe…..or maybe not.
    Not sure what to do next – outside of nuke-ing congress and robbing a bank. At least convicts have shelter and 3 squares a day.

  • beenblue 12/17/2010 7:08am

    To say I`m confused would be an understatement. How can we be half a world away engaged in two wars, and talking about their human rights being violated by their oppressors, when our government is no better. I can tell you this much, if Iraq grew cotton, we would not be there, and if Afghanistan did not have a pipeline from the Caspian Sea running through it, I doubt we would be there either. I only bring this topic up to show the depth of HYPOCRISY, as American citizens are drained dry by the parasites, and sent to the streets in winter to find a bridge to sleep under. I find it hard that any American can say that this is the greatest country in the world, while millions of fellow Americans are set adrift into a sea of abject uncertainty, while trillions of dollars are spent on wars.

  • jerkedaround 12/17/2010 7:15am

    One other thing: Reading these blogs across the internet brings me too tears for all the people in this terrible situation. Where is most of the politicians humanity! OOO gone when you get to Washington!! They are totally out of tough with reality.

  • beenblue 12/17/2010 8:38am

    If America wants to save somebody, let them save themselves first!. Empty boasting, empty promises, empty bellies, this is the only certainty this Nation gives it`s citizens in times of need ! I would love to see NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINT THIS AMERICA !!!

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