(Drew Sheneman via Gocomics.com)
The NYTimes explains how “For Want of a Word, Arizona’s Jobless Lose Checks“:
… That last extension of unemployment benefits — typically received in weeks 80 through 99 of unemployment — is paid for entirely with federal money and does not affect state budgets. But because of ideological opposition and other legislative priorities, Arizona and a handful of other states, like Wisconsin and Alaska, have not made the one-word change necessary to keep the program going.
Right now about 640,000 jobless Americans are receiving this last tier of benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project. The money, appropriated in the 2009 federal stimulus package, was initially intended for states with jobless rates higher than they were two years earlier. Since the recovery has been much slower than predicted, though, Congress decided last December to allow states to continue receiving the money if their unemployment rates were higher than they were three years earlier. States simply needed to change “two” to “three” in the relevant state law.
Some economists say that cutting off the long-term unemployed from extended federal assistance could backfire by putting further strain on state economies instead. Indeed, most states were quick to make the one-word change, counting on the federal money not only to support ailing families but also to serve as a strong stimulus (jobless benefits are normally spent more quickly than, say, tax refunds). Nearly every state — Arizona included — had opted into the extended benefits program when it was introduced.
But now Arizona is reluctant. When Gov. Jan Brewer called a special session to address the issue last week, legislators didn’t introduce a bill. Republican legislators said they would consider the change only if it were packaged with other provisions, including tax cuts and stricter rules for receiving unemployment benefits in the first place….
Five states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Utah — never accepted these federally funded benefits. Of those that did, some fought for months over whether to extend the program before finally acting as the deadline approached, including Florida, Pennsylvania and Nevada just this week. In North Carolina, the governor issued an executive order forcing the change after a long standoff with legislators.
Besides Arizona, two other states have not yet made the one-word change required to continue receiving the money. In Wisconsin, for example, the advisory council that refers bills on unemployment insurance to the state legislature has not even taken up the issue. The council comprises representatives from business and labor; the labor side has been too busy fighting back attacks on public unions…
Seems like every single move Republican legislators make ties back to another facet of their anti-American ideology. Speaking of religion run amok — it’s come to the point where they’re openly sacrificing their unfortunate constituents to the golden idol of the Invisible Hand, pointing forward to the Orwellian future with its middle digit.
I’m not a violent person, and I never advocate violence or harm to those who disagree with me.
But I’m still astounded some 62 year old unemployed AZ citizen hasn’t violently assaulted one of their R state reps.
I read that story yesterday. Can we call Republicans evil, or is that still officially a shrill word?
I cannot believe those state Republicans didn’t understand the situation. Therefore, they chose to remain inactive, which is a choice.
That is just so mean spirited.
Along the same line, I understand the House Republicans are trying to squeeze blood out of the WIC program, which is also just hateful.
Fixed that last para for ya.
Christian Randians. Ayn would cackle with delight at the thought and call them all idiots to their faces.
My wife works in the WIC program in Georgia and their caseload is really down as hispanics flee.
Setting aside the morality of these assholes’ decisions, it makes absolutely no economic sense. Unemployment benefits are right up there with food stamps as the single most stimulative policy a government can implement during a recession. These decisions will likely prolong the problem, which is probably a bonus for these imbeciles.
It is hard to sell politically, but austerity just makes matters worse in a recession.
To the Neo-GOP mindset, unemployment insurance serves only as a disincentive to work, not a lifeline to survival. It wouldn’t if they knew how desperate the situation is for many people. They are sociopaths, so inflicting suffering is seen as an incentivizing solution to getting people off their lazy asses and into all those waiting jobs, as long as it’s others doing the suffering. Besides, none of their decent white friends are unemployed, so what’s the problem?
I can imagine. How is the harvest coming along?
stuckinred @ 6.. I have volunteered for years at a local charity and business has really dropped off. They are either fleeing the state or staying in hiding. Personally it makes me sad because I was always thanked with a smile. The one good thing though is maybe a few Georgians will agree to pay a living wage to have yard work done. hahaha, yeah right.
Davis X. Machina
It’s easy to sell austerity in a recession. Bad times are divine punishment for moral delicts, like our national lack of thrift.
Economists live in something called ‘an economy’. The rest of us live in an opera, featuring us. There are bad guys, and good guys, and a story arc. If the production values are good enough, and the story compelling enough, people don’t even mind going hungry if that’s the price of admission.
Presently God — who is remarkably like The Market in His ubiquity, omnipotence and invisibility — has set His face against us like flint, because we have marginal income tax rates that are too high.
But if we take steps to crank up our aggregate virtue, if we’re just good enough, the ewes will lamb again, the cows will calve, the wheat will be heavy in the ear, and U6 will plummet.
Davis X. Machina @ #11: “if we take steps to crank up our aggregate virtue, if we’re just good enough, the ewes will lamb again, the cows will calve, the wheat will be heavy in the ear, and U6 will plummet.”
That earns my nomination for comment of the month. I assume someone’s keeping track of these (like ESPN’s web gems) and there will be a tally at the end of the year.
Drive By Wisdom
Right now about 640,000 jobless Americans are receiving this last tier of benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project.
as hispanics flee.
Maybe your nutroots should buy some bus tickets rather than preying on the government to give them some more money for not working.
Anti-American? Poppycock. Balderdash. Risible.
They are liberating Americans from the state of enslavement they voluntarily submit to by a nation-state which desires above all compliant servants addicted to the steady flow of gateway social aid they receive.
Back in the 1700s, when anyone of any note was a rugged individual yeoman farmer, we were better people. More free. Pretty much. Many of us at least. In so many ways. Not so much in others. And as always there were a few items to be corrected over time such as the Peculiar Institution.
We can’t teach our communities the value of voluntarily supporting their neighbors if we elide their role by getting the white slavery overlord to hand the unfortunate or, more likely, ill-planned and insufficiently motivated, a supposed ‘lifeline’ which will truly be an anchor in the moral sense, no matter how better their material position may be.
And who are we to determine that it’s better for a man’s soul that he maintain his home and his utilities and his children’s nutrition by throwing the golden yoke around his neck, or if by losing it and seeing his freedom whatever his and his family’s condition?
We only have one short life, and for some people it must needs be more nasty and brutish and short if our net freedom and pride would increase.
Davis X. Machina
Scratch any of us, and you’ll find a peasant inside. 90% of us were peasants just a heartbeat ago on a historical time-scale.
That’s why political appeals to the inner peasant work.
It’s a constant battle not to look to the big house for the solutions to our problems, to not think ‘one good procession with the Virgin through the fields will do the trick’, to not consider going one village over and stealing their stuff an answer. And forelock-tugging is a reflex for some large moiety of your basic electorate.
This is all part of the economic sabotage campaign the GOP has been engaging since the party decided the best way to regain the White House is to keep the economy in the crapper.
Alan in SF
The Times story quotes James Buchen, the lead management representative on the Wisconsin council that’s rejecting unemployment benefits, as saying, “The real question is whether there is still a need for extended benefits. We are increasingly hearing from people that they are having trouble hiring workers who are on unemployment because they want to wait until their benefits are exhausted.” A more curious person than the Times reporter might have asked Buchen exactly where he was hearing that — would have made an interesting story. Either that or it’s a total fucking lie.
GED Jan and the wingnut leg. were willing to let people on the medicaid organ transplant list die in the name of austerity cuts.
Cutting unemployment benefits is a walk in the park.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
you know, if the message that the economy is in the shitter because of the republicans, was actually successful, and held firm by enough people, the republicans wouldn’t be thinking they can win by keeping the economy shitty.
are the republicans, the real ones, really that stupid, or do they believe they can blame the shitty economy on the democrats?
to me, blaming republicans for the shitty economy, with proof, is the priority message. every other fight is ten times harder, because that simple message, that fact, has not been established.
Then they’re not looking in the right places or the jobs pay squat. We’ve got 3 friends who have been unemployed for almost 2 years, another who lost her store and now does nanny work, and another who was an office manager who now walks dogs. The last two are technically employed, but they eat a lot of no-name mac’n’cheese dinners and struggle to pay the rent every month. These are all people with graduate degrees, by the way, nice middle class folks…or used to be anyway.
James E. Powell
This is so obvious that one can only wonder why Obama and the congressional Democrats did not make this their primary message from before Obama was inaugurated. It may have put pressure on the congressional Republicans to join Obama in his economic recovery efforts.
I am neither an O-bot nor a firebagger, but the fact that this was not done, at the decibel level of the “Democrats are weak” in the post-9/11 days, will always puzzle me. Also too, it will always support the charge that Obama failed at a critical moment.
Davis X. Machina
And in a generation — about how long it took to emplant the idea that the party that won WWII, that created the post-war containment regime, that essentially brought the the cold war to a non-radioactive conclusion, thank you, Jimmy Carter & human rights, Helsinkii process, etc, etc, was soft on defense — the message will finally get through.
The election, however, is in 18 months.
After all, the GOP is still the party of Lincoln, and the party of Civil Rights, in some quarters, and that’s not been the case for a bit now….
@13 TYVM, now you can get your bailed out auto industry car off of our publicly funded roads and sit your cracker ass in your front seat and watch the weeds grow in your front yard of your HUD home. jive ass m*****f*****.
the GOP are sociopaths. plain and simple.
Well, it tells you just how far right the Arizona legislature is that even our benighted governor Jan Brewer called them “cruel” for failing to pass the legislation. In the view of many in this state, it was Washington’s socialist policies that led to the Great Recession in the first place and Obama’s stimulus bill made it much worse. We would have jobs aplenty and housing wouldn’t be in such a mess, if Obama had just left the economy to the free market to correct.
No evidence can change those views.
Ah, messaging. Send thy mind back to, maybe, two days ago, where Nancy Pelosi got on the teevee cuz The Media thought she was going to talk about Weiner’s weiner. As soon as she started talking about jerbs, jerbs, jerbs, The Media lost its hardon and went back to ads about Hoverrounds.
Then the firebaggers attacked Pelosi for not tricking The Media into covering jerbs, jerbs, jerbs by lying that she was going to talk about sexting.
Thanks for at least noting what happened in NC.
Kind of a big deal for Democrats if they want to pay attention.
PAY THE FUCK ATTENTION TO NORTH CAROLINA, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU
@25,Mike M: Sounds a lot like the guys up in Phoenix, all right. And an alarmingly large amount of people in Tucson as well. Sigh.
Common sense and brains so rarely win out in this state. It’s really depressing.
Coming from a mean spirited state in a mean spirited country, I’m hardly surprised.
dude, really? Is the media that bad that you don’t even KNOW they did what you said they should?
but but but, the bully pulpit will change their minds, right?