Senate Votes To End Stalemate On Extending Unemployment Benefits

The bill that will restore and extend unemployment benefits to millions of out of work Americans just got one step closer to reality this afternoon, with the Senate voting 60-40 to end the stalemate that had logjammed the legislation from being voted on.

The 60-40 vote was just what the bill needed overcome an opposition filibuster that could have tied up the bill interminably. Now the Senate can vote on passing the actual bill and move it onto the the House of Representatives, which is expected to take up the matter tomorrow.

It’s expected to pass through the House without much of a fight and end up on President Obama’s desk by Friday.

The bill will not only extend benefits for those who have been unemployed for more than six months, it will restore the benefits to more than 2 million people whose benefits lapsed during the battle over how this bill should be funded.

While Republicans say they were in favor of extending benefits — something that Presidents from both sides of the aisle have done in times of need — their biggest concern was where the extra money would come from.

Here’s Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from before today’s vote:

We’ve repeatedly voted for similar bills in the past. And we are ready to support one now… What we do not support — and we make no apologies for — is borrowing tens of billions of dollars to pass this bill at a time when the national debt is spinning completely out of control.

To this sentiment, Pres. Obama has this to say:

The same people who didn’t have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are now saying we shouldn’t offer relief to middle-class Americans.

Whichever side you fall on, this is nothing but good news for those still looking for work. The average weekly payout for the extended benefits is around $309.

Says Pennsylvania’s Sec. of Labor and Industry:

I can’t tell you how relieved we will be when Congress passes this. We have in Pennsylvania about 200,000 people who have lost their unemployment compensation coverage because of their inaction… Folks need this money for their mortgages, for food, and so our goal is to get them their payments as quickly as possible.

Unemployment benefits extension clears hurdle [Houston Chronicle]

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  1. blueneon says:

    Question – I have 3 weeks of unemployment benefits left, if I still have not found employment when my benefits run out, would I be eligible for this? Or is only for people that have already had their benefits expire?

    • Hoss says:

      Yes, the old program said the filing deadline for extended benefits was June 2. The new deadline to file (apply) is Nov 30. So as long as your regular benefits expire before Nov 30, you’re in

    • FiorellaMajumdar says:

      The answer depends on who you ask. If you ask a Republican, it doesn’t matter because you’re lazy, a drain on America and should just die in the least bothersome way possible (well, least bothersome to the rich people you continue to annoy with your layabout attitude and continuing need to take such welfare–despite having paid into unemployment insurance).

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        And if you ask a Democrat, they’d say, “You’re eligible for as long as I am planning on running for office.”

        • thezone says:

          That’s a big load o stuff. Please show any time in history when either party has filibustered unemployment benefits during an economic downturn. It hasn’t happened until now. The Repugnant-ans are the party playing politics with middle class families. There are 5 people applying to every single job. Until we can get unemployment under control there will be families who need help.

        • Rain says:

          What if I asked a 3rd party candidate?

      • BonzaiSamurai says:

        The employer pays into UI not the employee

    • attackgypsy says:

      If you’re a 99’er and completely run out, you’re screwed. Get in the long lines to apply for welfare.

      • blueneon says:

        Ummm no I’ve (thankfully) only been unemployed since February. I wasn’t sure if an extension would apply to me or not. I’m hoping to get employment before I have to “get in the long lines to apply for welfare”.

  2. Dallas_shopper says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I think it says a LOT about the desperate situation this country finds itself in when we talk about extending unemployment benefits for people who have already been on them for nearly two years (in some cases).

    On the other hand, people need food and shelter. Hard to say no to them if they’ve really been trying to find work and have simply had unbelievably bad luck…which does happen.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      I would love to see a WPA for the new millennium. If someone is receiving a government paycheck, no reason not to perform government work.

      Perhaps it’s part time to permit job searching, but we have a crumbling infrastructure, the post office wants to cut delivery days, schools can’t afford more teachers, etc. etc. etc.

      And besides letting people contribute while they search for permanent employment, it also could result in people learning new job skills that widen their employment possibilities.

      • nbs2 says:

        Yes.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Well, you just said it in your last sentence. Job training. The infrastructure is crumbling but people need to know how to do the job in order to do it. I certainly wouldn’t know the first thing about burying power cables, and I have a feeling I can’t learn what I need to know in a one-hour orientation that includes a video of “Don’t Do What Donny Don’t Does.”

        I’d also say that for every 10 unemployed people right now, there’s 1 that is unemployed for a very good reason: because they’re just a bad employee. I really wouldn’t want the guy fired from working a cashier job at Disney World for stealing money to be entrusted to deliver mail, nor the guy fired for doing a half-assed job of washing windows paving a 75 mph speed limit road.

        • thisistobehelpful says:

          The government jobs are centered around places with military bases as well so it’s kind of hard to get to them for some people. Like around here, I got nothin. Even state level stuff. What kills me is that even though no matter what job you take you will be given training, they still expect you to have already had training in something completely unrelated or a degree. My mom has a degree in graphic design and didn’t want to do it after about 20 years. She got a new job doing something completely unrelated to what she did before and had to retrain entirely to do her current job. So they could’ve taken anyone with reasonable mental acuity (discoverable with a really cheap test) and just trained them. NO SENSE.

        • SkokieGuy says:

          Then sounds like you wouldn’t be a good choice to lay power cables. Betcha might be able to dig a ditch, clean litter from a park, sort mail or be a crossing guard?

          If we got even 25% of the unemployed working part time, imagine the impact.

          • dadelus says:

            Although if he can dig a ditch then he has a pretty good grasp of the “first thing” needed to lay power cables.

        • Daemon Xar says:

          You don’t get unemployment if you were fired, just if you were laid off.

          • Traveller says:

            Not true, at least in Taxachusetts. I was terminated with cause and receive unemployment. But as of today I still haven’t been able to find a job, and I’ve scraped the bottom of the barrel in my field.

            • thezone says:

              If you were just a bad employee or they didn’t like you that’s cause but you would still receive unemployment. But if you stole something from the company you should not have received unemployment. Of course in most states the company has to actively attempt to deny you benefits in order for you to not receive them.

              • RvLeshrac says:

                If they give a *wrong* reason, that changes things, as well. When I was on UI, my previous employer had given me one reason on my termination papers, and had given the Department of Labor a completely different reason, neither of which were reconcilable (either reason being valid would have invalidated the other).

              • Traveller says:

                I worked for Sears. Need I say more? *laughs*

                Seriously though, while I liked most of the people I worked with, the management are a bunch of idiots, and the company policies were worse, because they were actively designed to work against the customer.

                Then again, Sears is no longer a retailer, but a hedge fund masquerading as one. It’s all about maximizing Eddie Lampert’s profit at the expense of everything else. I used to shop at Sears, back when I was a kid and Sears meant something. Sears is no longer worth the time or hassle, and I am far happier away from there.

                Anyway, I apologize because I went off on a tangent. I didn’t steal anything from them. I simply brought it to the Store Manager’s attention that the company he works for is anally raping its customers and that I had issues with this. To make my point I comparison shopped Lowes and Home Depot, found that both companies offered superior customer service to Sears, and made my findings known.

                Store Managers don’t like it when their employees figure out the truth.

        • thezone says:

          If you are fired for reason (like stealing) you do not receive unemployment benefits. If you were fired because you just are a terrible cashier you do.

        • JonStewartMill says:

          +1 for the semi-obscure Simpsons reference.

      • El_Fez says:

        Shit, I’d do that in a hot second. I’d gladly take a government job, even if it was just digging a ditch.

    • theothered says:

      This does not extend benefits beyond the 99 weeks that had previously been in effect, it just keeps the extended benefits in place. After the authorization ran out in June, most states had reverted to a 26 week benefit which is well short of how long the average job search is.

      P.S. This bill also cut the $25 per week supplement that had been in place. Hence it is a cut to previous benefits, just not the draconian cut from 99 weeks down to 26.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Sorry, I had no idea; I have been fortunate enough to not have to follow this story too closely, but I know it could be me just as easily as anyone else. Best piece of advice ever given to me by mom when I was whining about something semi-trivial and said “why me?” was “Why NOT you?” Translation: Shit happens and it can happen to anyone, anytime.

        So I support keeping the safety net in place. Definitely. Folks gotta eat.

    • Snoofin says:

      The problem isnt that people cant find a job, hell anyone can work at McDonalds and they are always hiring. The problem is that people dont want to go back to work unless its a job that pays the amount that they were making before, otherwise they stay home and keep getting unemployment since they wont end it. The only way people will go back to work is if they cutoff the unemployment.

      • blueneon says:

        I am going to assume you are currently not unemployed due to no fault of your own, with that attitude you have. Because I was at McDonalds this am to drop off an application and possibly interview – there were 4 others there. So it’s not always a case of people choosing to sit on unemployment. A fast food job would pay half my previous job (and the fast food places pay $8-$9/hr), but even those are hard to get where I am. So please don’t have such an ugly attitude about the unemployed, we’re not all eating bon bons and watching Oprah.

        • thisistobehelpful says:

          If you are really pretty I recommend trying bars that have walk around service girls (I don’t mean strip clubs). They’re less discriminating about overqualified because of the looks requirement.

      • thezone says:

        Once again people who don’t know are talking out of their behinds. McDonald’s isn’t always hiring. In fact many people are interviewing for entry positions and are being denied because they are over qualified. The fact is there are many more people looking for jobs than there are jobs in all industries. Stop listening to wing nuts.

        • TouchMyMonkey says:

          What they’re doing is taking applications. Big difference. One of the favorite motivational techniques of businesses who hire lots of low-wage people is to get all their current employees together in a mandatory meeting and threaten them by showing them a really big stack of applications. Life sucks in so many ways when you’re working for minimum wage.

      • ARP says:

        McDonalds isn’t hiring most of those people because they’re overqualified and know they will leave very quickly. Employers are also discriminating against those who are unemployed or those who have been unemployed for long periods. So, no, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • thisistobehelpful says:

        What they said. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

  3. BettyCrocker says:

    Republicans have no problem extending 300 billion dollars in tax cuts again but 30 billion to the unemployed is just too much money. Fvck them all. Last week they woudln’t vote to extend it – the bill failed by 1 vote… This week it’s now 60 to 40?!?

    • bhr says:

      Replacement Senator from WV.

    • jsl4980 says:

      The republicans were demanding that cuts be made to make up for the costs.

      Lets not forget back in Februrary when the Democrats passed the “Pay as you go” bill which required them to make cuts equal to any spending. Now, they’re refusing to follow their own rules that they made 5 months ago.

      The republicans are also hypocrites because they are not offering any cuts to even out the budget if the Bush-era tax cuts are extended.

      • thezone says:

        Pay – Go does not count for emergency expenditures. Historically, unemployment payments during recessions are counted as emergency.

    • Tim says:

      Are you asking how it got from 49-51 to 60-40? It was actually 59-41 last week and the Republicans were threatening a filibuster (or maybe actually filibustering). So the Democrats needed the extra vote to force cloture and end the filibuster. The new guy from West Virginia is that extra vote.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      Class warfare for the win!

      Are you really so vindictive to think that it’s a good idea to raise taxes on the middle class and upper class small business owners?

      And how do you propose to pay for this extra $30 billion in spending? Oh yeah, my kids will be cashing the check you wrote. Kind of you, thanks.

      • FiorellaMajumdar says:

        Middle Class does not include those making over $200,000 unless if by “middle” you mean 99 percent of America. Hardly a “middle” if you ask me. The GOP is filled with hypocrisy, screaming that aid to those with no resources needs to be budget neutral, yet deficits don’t matter for handing over welfare to rich people. The problem is companies are holding more cash on their balance sheets than at any time in history, desiring to keep their grubby hands on the money rather than invest in jobs and getting Americans back to work. THESE are the Robber Barons the GOP represents, and the very people you republican pages and interns are earning college credit defending in this forum.

        • Traveshamockery says:

          Let me get this straight:

          The “Robber Barons” are the ones providing jobs and goods for millions of people.

          The “Good Guys” are the politicians who raise taxes on job providers and those who make money working for the “Robber Barons”.

          The 2 Trillion dollars sitting on company balance sheets right now is a measure of the lack of confidence the economy has in this administration. They don’t know the cost of this healthcare boondoggle, they don’t know what types of new profit-sapping regulations are going to come into place, and they don’t know if people will have even LESS disposable income a year from now because of expiring tax cuts.

          As much as you hate the wealthy, those people buy goods and create jobs with their spending. Taking their money and giving it to the government will just reduce the goods they buy and further destroy the job market as purchases decrease.

          • TailsToo says:

            I don’t think that the last 30 years has really seen this happen. It sounds nice, but it’s not what played out. The rich pay less, but they’ve used that money to find ways to escape paying their even lower taxes, and playing the Wall-Street Casino, which does nothing more than suck money from the real economy. For the lower and middle classes, their wages have remained flat while the cost of living has increased, and they’ve seen their jobs moved to cheaper, overseas locations.

          • GearheadGeek says:

            Unfortunately, today’s robber barons aren’t the Gilded Age types with vast manufacturing empires employing the nation. They’re officers and shareholders of financial institutions making their fortune off the investments of others and while they do constitute part of the economy, returning them to the level of taxation they were paying in 2000 isn’t going to ruin them, and isn’t going to make them suddenly close up shop and retire to Belize.

        • WhoLikesPie? says:

          Actually no one did ask you.

      • BettyCrocker says:

        How to you propose we pay for the 300 billion in tax cuts?

        • Traveshamockery says:

          Oh, I don’t know, about about we CUT SPENDING!?

          I answered this objection further down the page, so I won’t rehash my answer again.

        • iggy21 says:

          The glory of that question is: We don’t have to. That’s what a ‘cut’ means

          • BettyCrocker says:

            Sorry – I meant breaks. Tax BREAKS. How do you propose we pay for those?

            • iggy21 says:

              I’m not sure you follow. When we give a tax cut or tax break to a group, there is no changing hands of money. The government is not adding to the deficit, they are not paying out to anyone. They just aren’t collecting the same amount. Now, to argue that they need to make up for this money loses the sight that the government is spending too much. If there is $300 billion less coming in, then the gov has the option to cut certain programs and spending. If they agree to spend $30 billion they don’t have, there is no choice, they are already in debt. The last thing we need to do is keep adding to the debt.

              Now, if you think like a conservative, then you know that the Government likes to live above their means. In other words, the more money you give them, the more in debt we’ll be.

              • GearheadGeek says:

                I’m not sure YOU follow. When the government cuts $300 billion in revenue while INCREASING its spending, it’s adding to the deficit both by reducing revenues and by increasing expenditures. In the fantasy world you’re imagining, where spending magically drops when the government has less money, it’s true that cutting taxes by $300 billion wouldn’t have added to the deficit. That unfortunately is not the world in which the US government lives.

                • iggy21 says:

                  Someone’s a bit snippy. How is the government increasing spending with tax cuts? I can see your point with tax ‘credits’, not with tax cuts though…

                  Also, are you admitting that government spending is bad?

                  • GearheadGeek says:

                    Now you’re being intentionally obtuse. The point that’s been made repeatedly is that the government didn’t cut $300 billion in spending when it cut $300 billion in taxes, therefore the net effect of that tax cut was an increase in the deficit.

                    Others have pointed out that at the time those cuts were put in place, the annual deficits were small, but the responsible thing to do would have been to reduce wasteful spending, leave taxes where they were and pay down some of the accumulated debt, which was already large in the first years of this century.

                    All other things being equal, wasteful government spending is bad. When the economy is strong, government should trim fat and pay debt and not borrow, but the economy is far from strong, and Herbert Hoover learned that when the country is teetering on the economic brink, it’s a bad idea to enact draconian austerity measures.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Again, for comprehension: It’s only “class warfare” when the wrong class starts fighting back.

    • iggy21 says:

      I see what you did there, you almost made me believe that $300 billion was money spent by the Republicans. Very tricky…

      So.. the republicans were NOT spending money with the tax cuts, and now, they are balking at spending $30 billion. So far this seems consistent.

      I understand the the sob story of the unemployed, but how many times have we already extended the benefits (how many more times will we? indefinitely?) Seems like no matter the number of extensions, there will be a lot of pissed off until we make this an indefinite benefit.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        The Republicans were in fact cutting $300 billion in revenue without offsetting that with $300 billion in spending cuts, saying that these tax cuts would magically do so much to improve the economy that the government would actually take in MORE revenue from all the frenetic productive economic activity that would materialize.

        So, if you write off the fabulist prediction that tax cuts will *always* increase tax revenues, the effects of the 2 different actions are comparable. It’s true that there are some gains in economic activity to be had from moving from very high tax rates to more reasonable ones, but returns diminish as you start from lower tax rates in the first place.

  4. smo0 says:

    This doesn’t address the real issue as to why these jobs are gone in the first place and what we need to do to bring them back.

    A part of the issue is the increased amount of outsourcing.

    Not once has this administration mentioned that and what they can do to help find a way to bring jobs back.

    Please, post me anything from the Obama administration in regards to outsourcing (I’m talking legitimate news outlets).

    • SkokieGuy says:

      Published: July 7, 2010 – WASHINGTON — President Obama, who vowed in his State of the Union address to double American exports over the next five years,

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/us/politics/08exports.html

      • smo0 says:

        Wo0t, recent article!
        But… all of the existing companies that have INCREASED outsourcing?

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          Well, there you go. Double American exports [of jobs].

        • SkokieGuy says:

          No, it means we are selling more stuff overseas. From the same article:

          The White House said there has been a 17 percent increase in American exports during the first four months of this year, compared with the same period from last year.

          If the economy in the US is in the tank, so individuals and companies are buying less, one way to maintain sales is to increase overseas sales. Apparently it’s already happening.

          I think it’s reasonable to assume that without overseas sales to replace lost US sales, we’d have even more job loss.

    • Nogard13 says:

      Outsourcing is what keeps prices low. What good is it to have the manufacturing of goods in the US and then have to pay 10x as much to purchase the product? How does that help the economy (especially since it’s a net loss when you subtract jobs from how much money won’t be spent)?

      It’s easy to pin it on “job loss” due to outsourcing. What isn’t easy is to pick up a legitimate news article about it and see how this actually HELPS our economy and our country. We have transitioned from a less-skilled manufacturing based economy to a more-skilled service based economy. The problem is the educational system that doesn’t provide for the teaching and training required to fill these higher-skilled jobs.

      • Tim says:

        You’re thinking about it in the wrong direction.

        At one time, a lot more goods were made and sold in the U.S. Some people couldn’t afford those goods, though. So goods-makers decided that they needed to lower prices so more people could buy goods and the goods-makers could get more profits. Of course, the goods-makers need to cut costs in order to do that. One way they cut costs was to outsource. So yay, everyone can buy our stuff, but a ton of jobs are gone.

        Does this help our economy?

        • TheMonkeyKing says:

          This is not the case. Many, many companies in America are publicly traded. To keep the stock healthy and more people wanting to buy that stock, the compnay ust look good on P/E ratings.

          How do they do it? Maximize profit with lower cost input. Along with that, prices must reflect the buying attitude. With less free cash, prices have dropped on many items, which makes the profit margin smaller. Making the profit margin bigger means cutting costs which for manufacturing means outsourcing labour to other countries and have it low enough to offset the cost of shipping.

          So no, outsourcing was not used to lower prices. Outsourcing is used to contain and extend profit margins. There will come a time however when the standard of living will be raised in these third worlds to the point where it will become cheaper to produce goods in one’s own backyard. Then we will have a third world riot on our hands when these jobs get pulled back. Or, riots when the labor in these countries perceive they are working too cheaply and want better wages.

          • smo0 says:

            Exactly what I was looking at – we made so many products in this country – and survived… what changed? The higher ups got greedy and found a new way to cut costs – micromanagement and outsourcing.
            In fact, I had this discussion with people about how when these foreign economies start to flourish and it becomes cheaper to mass produce back in the states… what will happen…

          • frank64 says:

            Prices ARE lower due to outsourcing.

          • craptastico says:

            that’s why China keeps their currency pegged to the dollar. as long as the exchange rate stays as is, it’ll always be much much cheaper to produce there b/c 2 US dollars a day is a livable wage there and they don’t need to provide them with insurance/benefits.

    • areaman says:

      I believe the president has addressed the issue of outsourcing.

      Obama Promises To Stop America’s Shitty Jobs From Going Overseas

      http://www.theonion.com/video/obama-promises-to-stop-americas-shitty-jobs-from-g,14269/

  5. Nogard13 says:

    Just fund it by repealing the Bush Tax cuts. Seems simple to me!

    • Traveshamockery says:

      Yeah, raising taxes in a deep recession will be great for the economy!

      • Naame says:

        To declare that allowing tax breaks to expire is the same thing as a tax increase would be like declaring that the end of a retail store’s sale is the same thing as a price increase.

        They are not the same no matter how you slice it. They can only be compared in such a way that makes your party look better using fancy words rather than actual substance. It’s like a lawyer trick.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          We can sit here and debate semantics for a thousand years, but if a rate goes from 25% to 29%, that is an increase. Whether we call it a “tax increase” or a “reversal of a tax cut” or “purple mountain magic” is irrelevant.

          What is relevant is how people are going to react. People are going to do everything legally (and probably cross into slightly illegal territory) to try and bring income from 1/1/2011 into 12/31/2010 so that they pay taxes on it at the lower of the rates (or, vice versa, delay expenses from 12/31 to 1/1).

          Among other things, but that’s the most basic idea.

          • Naame says:

            True, but the other side of the reality is that despite their efforts to do exactly what you are saying there will also be additional tax revenue collected as well as a very large number of other positive reactions. Much of that revenue will be used to open up many opportunities for the middle class to help this economy grow and flourish again.

            • TuxthePenguin says:

              Tax increases/reversals of tax cuts NEVER bring in the revenues they estimate they will. Cuts never “cost” as much as estimates. Why? People react to incentives. When Reagan simplified the tax code, he lowered the highest rates. But soon they were collecting more money… why? More income was “recognized” and subjected to taxation.

              As for the ability for government spending to make things better… didn’t we just spend close to a trillion dollars doing that? I seem to reclass a bill titled something like “Stimulus” that was supposed to do that…

              • thezone says:

                No more income came in after he raised rates later. But anyways the Obama administration only wants to allow the rates to reverse on the top wage earners who can afford it.

              • ARP says:

                Reagan paid for his tax cuts through deficit spending. He was the one that started our climb to $10T+ in debt. It lowered during Clinton thanks to tax increases, but then shot up again during Bush 2. Under Republican presidents debt has gone from 30% to 80%+ of GDP (since Bush 2’s budget carried over into 2009). Under Obama its gone from 80% to 87%.

                http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

        • RobSmalls says:

          A lawyer trick? You mean like comparing something compulsory (taxation) with something discretionary (retail purchase)?

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      You mean those Bush tax cuts that will by and large be sunset on January 1, 2010?

  6. Mike says:

    I thought it was lame that all of a sudden fiscal conservatives decided that THIS bill needed to be paid for. Not the two wars, not the tax cuts, but the bill that helps people on unemployment is the bill they decided to make waves about. Lame. Seriously I can’t take any politician in Washington who calls them self a fiscal conservative who voted for both the wars and the Bush tax cuts without insisting that they are paid for.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      You do realize that the “tax cuts” were back in 2001 and 2003. What was the deficit projection for those two years? What about war funding? What were the deficits back then? Measure it any way you want to against last year and this year’s deficits.

      There is a difference going 10 over the speed limit and 30 over the speed limit. What we’ve learned is that the Republicans have no problem with going over by 10, but their comfort zone is lost somewhere between 11 and 30.

      • thezone says:

        The Republican mantra is to starve the beast. When times were good rather than paying off the debt like they should have they decided to give tax cuts which disproportionately were going to help the rich. Furthermore, for the first time in American history they decided to not pay for war. And your “compare the projections” is apples to oranges since the Republicans never counted war spending in projections and Obama CORRECTLY added it in. Don’t give me the Republicans want to only go 10 over. The Democrats want to spend when you need to ie during an economic downturn. The Republicans want to give big tax cuts to the upper classes so when times are tough they can reduce social programs.

      • ARP says:

        Reagan paid for his tax cuts through deficit spending. He was the one that started our climb to $10T+ in debt. It lowered during Clinton thanks to tax increases, but then shot up again during Bush 2. Under Republican presidents debt has gone from 30% to 80%+ of GDP (since Bush 2’s budget carried over into 2009). Under Obama its gone from 80% to 87%.

        So Republicans are OK with raising our deficit 50 points, but go nuts when it goes up 7 more?

        http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

  7. El_Fez says:

    Thank god! While I have a job at the moment, it’s only a short term gig and will be over in at the beginning of September. And then it’s right back on the unemployment dole, where I couldn’t get a interview (let alone a job) in over a year..

  8. dcseth says:

    Close…the Senate only invoked cloture on the measure today, limiting debate to an additional 30 hours. Now, conventional wisdom is saying that lawmakers will yeild back the time & take a final vote (or pass it by unanimous consent) but it ain’t there yet. It is currently being debated on the Senate floor. WATCH C-SPAN2!

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      Uh, no. The Republicans are being dicks and using the 30 hours to throw a collective tantrum.

  9. Traveshamockery says:

    Yay, more free money from Obama’s stash!

    The Democrats made such a big deal about their wonderful Pay-Go rule, and now they just circumvent it whenever it becomes inconvenient.

    • BettyCrocker says:

      Because the 300 billion in tax breaks is also being paid for? I guess you’re just okay with “free” money from Bush’s stash then.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        But the 300 billion is going away here in (looks at Calendar) six months.

        And you do realize that the tax cuts were voted for back in 2001 and 2003, right? Pick any measure comparing the deficit then to the deficits now and see if you might see some (even if faked) reason to take a fiscal conservative stand on spending.

      • Traveshamockery says:

        No, I support drastic spending cuts to pay for the extension of the tax cuts.

        Government is far too big. Check out the YouCut website for weekly information on absurd programs that we’re paying for and should be slashed. http://republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut/

        • Naame says:

          Ok fine.

          If you are so concerned about fiscal responsibility and making sure these extensions are paid for via “PAYGO” then about we pay for the unemployment extension by transferring funding from our Defense fund.

          Oh wait that’s right. You don’t just want to make sure it is paid for. You want to make sure it is paid for using money allocated only to spending that you currently do not support. How could I forget?

          Also, you may wish to brush up on history. Did you know that not once in the entire history of the United States have we ever allowed UI to expire when unemployment was this high? Read:

          http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/1953-Congress-Has-Never-Let-UI-Benefits-Expire-With-Such-a-High-Unemployment-Rate-

          • thezone says:

            You know you’re making our point for us. Your diagram shows that the only time unemployment was allowed to expire was when the rate much lower. At 10% this is unheard of. If the rate were under 6% I’m pretty sure there would be less panic.

        • thezone says:

          A 1.4% raise for federal employees is wasteful? Also, we will save 15 Billion to not enforce a law that will generate revenue. Cantor loves to make so much up. Most of these “savings” are just ways to remove funding from public programs. If Cantor wanted real reforms there would be plenty of people to co-sponsor bills.

    • PunditGuy says:

      Emergency spending is exempt from paygo. Historically, unemployment insurance extensions have been treated as emergency spending — even under GOP leadership.

      There have been some exceptions, however. In 1991, there was an extension paid for with full offsets — in the form of a tax hike. I don’t think there’s ever been an unemployment insurance extension paid for with offsetting spending cuts.

      • Traveshamockery says:

        Only the “emergency” in this case is the chance of losing 50+ Democrat seats in the midterm elections.

        It’s time for everyone to stop saying “well, why did you say it was okay when THEY did it!?” and using that as an excuse. We’re not five years old.

        Our country’s fiscal solvency is not a partisan issue, it’s a question of the beliefs of our culture, and we need to demand that our political parties start listening to the people, instead of acting as unpaid advocates for whatever policy our favored group pushes next.

        The problem is a lack of jobs, and patching it up this way is just a cheap political ploy to take the pressure off a President who has never created a job in his life.

        • PunditGuy says:

          “It’s time for everyone to stop saying “well, why did you say it was okay when THEY did it!?” and using that as an excuse. We’re not five years old.”

          Because, as has been pointed out before, you sound like a partisan douche otherwise. It’s not okay to be silent while the national debt is doubled, and then scream like a banshee when the next guy tries to spend money in a recession.

          The deficit didn’t magically appear in the last 18 months. It’s been building for 30 years, and there’s been no serious effort to do anything about it. If you or the GOP have any real ideas, let’s hear them. Is Cantor doing anything about any of the ridiculous spending highlighted on his site, or is highlighting it so hard that there’s no energy left to actually do anything about it?

          You want to cut spending? Fine, let’s cut spending. I have no idea how much these ideas would save, but I’m guessing that it would be more than the ridiculous “$35 million over 10 years” for printing costs that Cantor seems to think will solve our problems.

          1) Close all the cold-war-era military bases around the world and bring the equipment and personnel home. “OMG — WTF do we do for way points to the mid east warz?” I think we can find a NATO country to let us refuel in.

          2) End private contracting of military duties in Iraq and Afghanistan. We handled the logistics for 3 million men in Europe in the 1940s, but we need KBR’s help to handle a tenth of that number in 2010? Please.

          3) End corn-based ethanol subsidies. It’s bad for the environment, and there are better sources of plant energy.

          4) Reduce the Cost of Living Adjustment for current Social Security retirees. (A little something I like to call Diet COLA.) Reagan already raised my FICA taxes; it’s time for some cuts instead.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Clearly, you have stolen John McCain’s brain. This explains both your post, and his speeches during the last election.

            It would be nice if you could return it!

        • ARP says:

          So, when Republicans increase our deficit from 30% to 80% of GDP to give tax cuts to rich people, that’s OK. But when Obama increases the deficit by another 7 points to try to spend out of stimulus, that’s not?

          http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

          Also your side says that its OK to have deficit spending for tax cuts, but not for new spending, which is how we got here in the first place.

          http://dailyradar.com/beltwayblips/story/deficit-fraud-jon-kyl-you-should-never-have-to-offset/

          Sorry, we tried your way- cutting taxes in good times and bad times doesn’t work. In fact, it put us where we are now.

        • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

          “It’s time for everyone to stop saying “well, why did you say it was okay when THEY did it!?” and using that as an excuse. We’re not five years old.”

          So, you (and the Republicans) don’t have an answer for that question. Thanks for admitting this–however no need to be snarky about it. Own it.

        • annabelle327 says:

          Let me make sure I understand you “emergency” conclusion. The way you phrased it, me being evicted, with no transportation, and no way to eat is not an emergency? I had a substantial savings that has since been depleted, and am living with my sister and brother-in-law who is also laid off to save expenses. I have been searching high and low for job and can’t get hired at anywhere close to a livable wage…try and live on 8$ an hour in Seattle.

          So, just for my understanding, what is your definition of an emergency?

  10. thisistobehelpful says:

    PLEEEEEEEEEASE.

  11. Allison Wunderland says:

    “While Republicans say they were in favor of extending benefits — something that Presidents from both sides of the aisle have done in times of need — their biggest concern was where the extra money would come from. “

    How about we take it out of their paychecks as retribution for being obstructionist?

  12. TuxthePenguin says:

    Not to raise the obvious question, but how long are we going to continue to extending the benefits?

  13. hmburgers says:

    “If all goes as expected, about 2.5 million people will receive jobless benefits retroactively”

    Editor please fix that–replace “people” with “potential voters” :)

    “…injecting almost $3 billion into the economy once they’re paid out”

    Please don’t open this can of worms… no matter how you slice this this are either borrowing money or taking it from someone else… so there is no money being injected… at best it is being shift and at worst it’s diluting.

    • BettyCrocker says:

      Does not thinking of them as people make it easier for you to not extend the benefits?

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding…you win the internets for this astute observation. +1

    • RvLeshrac says:

      If businesses were hiring, this wouldn’t be necessary. Businesses are bringing this on themselves, so don’t give me any BS sob story about how this will somehow “hurt” them by making them pay more into the UI pool.

  14. cmdr.sass says:

    The expression “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” comes to mind.

    • FiorellaMajumdar says:

      From the “rich people were most likely to survive that sinking ship because rich people get benefits first” point of view, yeah, “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” does make sense. Most of those who died were in steerage, and relegating people who WANT to work to the poverty rolls just so you can fund tax cuts for the rich–cuts that have never shown any benefits to America as a whole–is much like sealing in the women and children below deck so American Royalty can get their choice of seat on the rescue boats.

  15. pantheonoutcast says:

    Unless this bill includes provisions for creating / restoring long term, sustainable jobs and making labor-intensive, yet fair-wage jobs inaccessible to undocumented workers, all it does is delay our slow collapse into an unrecoverable debt.

    Unemployed people don’t need a handout from the gov’t (ie, the taxpayer) for a few more months – they need employment and a salary they can depend on. All this does is secure more votes from the indentured class.

    • DorsalRootGanglion says:

      So where do these jobs come from? There was a recent article in the Times discussing people who had just graduated from a government-sponsored job training program that, among other things, taught computer literacy. These people learned marketable skills, in theory, but were offered minimum-wage jobs that did little to draw on these skills.

      Until businesses cut back just a bit on profits and start hiring, this is going to be the story indefinitely. People will be, at best, underemployed and at worst, chronically unemployed.

      http://finance.yahoo.com/news/After-Job-Training-Still-nytimes-3665558803.html?x=0 – Link to the article VIA Yahoo.

    • InnerRayg says:

      *shrugs* I don’t think we’re losing all these jobs because of a few mexican families in the southern states honestly. Just my personal opinion.

  16. FiorellaMajumdar says:

    Let’s not forget that when it comes to providing welfare to rich people–people who are paying less in taxes for their bracket than almost any time in our history–the GOP is completely comfortable with the attitude that “deficits don’t matter,” and that this will let the rich spend our nation’s way out of the Depression. But, when you suggest spending a fraction of that money on thousands of times as many people, the demand is that we use a budget-neutral approach. What horsepoop is that?!?! We have decades of evidence that tax cuts for the rich fail at improving economic conditions; if the GOP were right, we’d be living in a Utopia by now following cuts that stretch back to Reagan and Trickle Down Fecalnomics. It failed…their whole economic philosophy has failed…but we continue to give them permission to talk with the rest of us adults. Amazing…

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      We also have decades of evidence that shows that throwing money at people doesn’t improve the economy, either. I’d rather subsidize a multinational conglomerate who will provide jobs to Americans than subsidize the lowest economic class who essentially provide nothing in terms of tax revenue. A company like Ford builds manufacturing plants which ostensibly can provide employment – in the long run, it pays to cut their taxes so that they may fund these capital improvements. If they don’t build new plants, then the unemployed will stay unemployed. Giving people money for not working does not increase their chances to find employment.

      • TailsToo says:

        Those corporations aren’t interested in making new jobs right now. They’re using the recession to lower pay for the remaining workers, and increase profits. Take a look at earnings. They’re better than any time in the last 10 years, and that’s in the middle of this economic mess.

      • ARP says:

        But they don’t end up doing that. A small fraction of that money is actually used to create jobs (a trickle, if you will), a majority of that money is used for dividends, (which mostly benefits the wealthy, since they hold a vast majority of securities in the US) and paying executives even more since they’re running the company so well. The wealthy don’t spend like the rest of us because they’re not living hand to mouth, so giving these kinds of benefits has a minimal impact on the economy but a huge impact on the rich and powerful.

      • FiorellaMajumdar says:

        Show me one “multinational conglomerate” that’s looking to create domestic jobs, and not move them overseas where they can get people to work for a dollar a day. Really? That’s the best you can come up with? Really?

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          I could name a hundred US-based companies that employ US citizens in this country, and would greatly benefit from some sort of tax break they could use for capital improvements and subsequently increase employment. But I’m afraid that wouldn’t change your mind; you’re obviously anti-corporate, and judging by your post above with the $2 / $3 example, anti-personal responsibility as well.

          • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

            Question. Are the present unemployed, and those that are looking four unemployment insurance payouts, lacking personal responsibility?

            • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

              “FOR unemployment…” Damned no-edit feature.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            OIl companies are making a profit of millions of dollars a day. You’re telling me that there’s absolutely NOTHING they could do to create new jobs?

            Same thing with banks and credit agencies. These companies make *billions* in profit, but they can’t even create a few hundred jobs? Instead, they’re laying American workers off at an astounding rate?

            Even *AFTER* they were given *MASSIVE* tax cuts by the previous administration?

            Funny how the only company doing major hiring in the US is British Petroleum.

      • BettyCrocker says:

        Giving people money to keep a roof over their head and their children fed DOES give them ability to look for employment.

      • thezone says:

        If there is no demand because people don’t have jobs to pay for goods and services then the companies will not make capital improvements. Many large companies already receive tax incentives and subsidies. In fact even oil companies with their record profits receive money from the government. We subsidize them 4.5 Billion a year while they obviously don’t need it and we begrudge hard working Americans unemployment when time are tough. Unbelievable.

      • cromartie says:

        I’d rather subsidize a multinational conglomerate who will provide jobs to Americans than subsidize the lowest economic class who essentially provide nothing in terms of tax revenue

        And that complete lack of empathy for people with less than you, while wifully turning a blind eye to what “multinational conglomerates” actually do with the money you would rather give to them than people in a lower economic class than you, (and have done with the money since the early 1960s, as part of a process that was greatly sped up by NAFTA, explains quite nicely why you are a failure as a human being.

        • craptastico says:

          he’s not a failure as a human, but you’re a failure as an economist. you should give money where it’ll help the most, and that’s often employers, b/c that creates jobs. giving money to people who are not working only rewards not working. you’re enabling them.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Lets take this as a simple thought problem:

      I am working. Bob is not.

      I make $5. Bob makes $0.

      The government takes $2 from me and gives it to Bob. I have $3. Bob has $2.

      How did that stimulate the economy? And that’s assuming no overhead for the transfer…

      • GearheadGeek says:

        Okay, I’ll play. It costs you $2 per pay period for basic living expenses. You earn $5, spend $2, hoard $3 because times are tough and you’re nervous about spending any money you don’t have to. Now, at the rates we’re discussing… if $5 is just 2.5x the poverty line, you’re not likely to pay $2 in taxes, it’s more like $1-$1.50 So let’s say it’s $1.50 and all of that is magically transferred to Bob who’s not working (but has worked consistently for the last 20 years and is actively seeking employment.) Bob can add 50 cents from his savings and barely afford to pay his mortgage and buy groceries, putting every cent of the $1.50 plus money from his savings back into the economy… perhaps even buying products your employer makes, helping assure you continue to earn your $5.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          I was arguing against the social reasoning for unemployment insurance – that I agree with. I was arguing that transfer payments will somehow stimulate the economy…

          So add this phrase sentence in the front – “Bob and I both have our necessities paid for.”

          Now we’re discussing growth… which was my point. Transfer payments, by their very nature, cannot create growth.

          • BettyCrocker says:

            That’s great but Bob, who is unemployed, is relying on that extension to have his necessities paid for.

            • GearheadGeek says:

              Actually I think Tux meant to say “… was NOT arguing against the social reasoning for unemployment insurance” and just had a typo. Re-reading the first post in this subthread it makes sense.

      • FiorellaMajumdar says:

        You make $5 and your neighbor Bob makes $0. You keep your money, Bob loses his house to foreclosure and your home value is cut from $10 to $3 because his empty house is now an eyesore. Bob has to move to a bad neighborhood with is kids who don’t get the quality education they could have gotten in your neighborhood, thereby preventing them from earning $12 in the future and paying $3 to your Social Security and Medicare, so now they earn $2 flipping burgers until one gets pregnant by the local dirtbag at the project and now makes $0 (or $1 if she can dance). You hold on desperately to your home, which might go to $4 by the time you retire, but the economy is so crappy because you screwed all the Bobs that no one buys your home. You stick it out until you die–prematurely, mind you, because Bob’s kids can’t contribute the $3 toward SS and Medicare so you continue to live out your life in dignity–whereupon you’re buried with $0 because putting cash in a coffin is stupid. The end.

    • smo0 says:

      I never understood tax brackets…..
      it goes from 15% to 20% to 25%, 30% then the more money you make, the more loop holes… so it goes back down from 25% to 20% to 15%… then all of the sudden you’re paying no taxes or even getting kicked out of the IRS office because they’re afraid they owe YOU money!

      Why can’t it be something like.. a flat 20%….

      I made $100, government takes $20.
      1,000 – 200
      10,000 – 2,000
      100,000 – 20, 000
      1,000,000 – 200,000

  17. XTREME TOW says:

    Charity begins at Home!
    Where do you “find” 30 Billion Dollars?
    How about in the Several Trillion Dollars spent every year (for the last 40 years!) on Non-Disaster-type “Foriegn Aid”. Those nations that have, for decades, relied on US Foriegn Aid need to stop their racial and religious disputes; and pull themselves up by their own bootstaps!

    The long term stability of Americas’ Economy depends on the short term financial security of the Average American Citizen.
    THIS IS NOT SOCIALISM, PEOPLE! Do not think of it as “A Socialstic Expenditure”.
    Think of it as “CAPITALISM”!
    As in: “A Capitalistic Investment” in the future earnings, (and subsequent Tax Revenues!) of all Americans!

    • GearheadGeek says:

      Well, while foreign aid possibly qualifies as a non-essential expenditure (even though it makes positive contributions to the world-wide economy) I think your numbers are WAY off. Per the Census Bureau, US foreign economic and military aid totaled about $42 billion in 2007. It’s enough to offset the benefits extension, but it’s hardly “trillions.”

    • ARP says:

      If you’re not a Teabagger, you’re exhibiting all the usual traits: Lot’s of caps, lack of knowledge and misguided belief in single causes of our problems.

      1) Our non-emergency foreign aid is around $50B per year. It’s spread out; the only sizable chunk goes to Israel, so they can turn around and buy military gear from us. Or in your language: “ONLY BILLIONS SPEND ON BROWN PEEPLE, NOT $$TRILLIONS!!!!”

      2) I would rather spend $50B in foreign aid per year if it can prevent a few $1T wars. BTW- if you remember from 2003, the UN estimated that it would cost a Billion dollars per year to monitor Saddam’s compliance.

      3) Most of our budget is military spending. We just topped $1T in war spending. Tax cuts for the wealthy, without offsetting them with reduced spending, caused most of our debt problems as increases in tax receipts wasn’t enough to offset the cut in revenue.

  18. jim says:

    so many points. our economy is a joke. companies outsource labor and jobs and money and headquarters because it is cheaper to do overseas. You can blame the “fat cats” all you want, but you can also blame your 401k account just as much.

    as for extending unemployment benefits, wouldn’t it be more honest to call it welfare? That is pretty much what it is if it is just going to keep getting extended until the economy recovers, one day…

    As for increased taxes stimulating the economy, that is another huge joke. The government is financing most of what it does through deficit spending. This is just more money for them to burn through. That is assuming they can collect it, the higher the tax rate the better that companies become in not paying taxes, via outsourcing, job cuts, etc.

    • thezone says:

      It is called unemployment insurance and we all pay into it. It was meant to be available when you lose your job through no fault of your own. During every recession we’ve had we extend that insurance because we know it’s better for our economy and our communities when people looking for work have some income. So no, it’s not welfare since these people paid in.

      As for increasing taxes I find it funny that during the largest most sustained growth in American history the top tax rate was over 80%. So please don’t pretend that higher taxes on the top wage earners is going to destroy our economy because it won’t. The Bush tax cuts went to the top class disproportionately. It didn’t help create jobs. It just made the rich richer.

      • G. G. says:

        Wrong – where in your paycheck does it say unemployment insurance tax? Unemployment benefits are paid by employers. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/federalbenefitprograms/a/ucprogram.htm
        We need to stop expecting things to be given to us. Start working hard. Start competing with the global work force rather than crib and moan about offshore. Its a world economy, we benefit from it and we lose from it as well. We need to be competitive rather than a bunch of cribbers and moaners looking to the govt to pay for our needs.

      • jim says:

        unemployment insurance runs what, 6 months? not 2+ years. The funds your employer pays goes into a state pool, which I believe most are virtually bankrupt. The funds being paid by the federal government have nothing to do with this insurance, it is just another blank check guarantee.

        As for the 80% tax rate period, yes, that was true, but all expenses were deductible, all interest paid, medical expenses, taxes could also be paid based on an average per multiple years rather than big “spikes”. When the tax rates went down the taxes collected went up.