Unemployment benefits tied to tax cut debate, will likely lapse before deadline

By
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

Democrats in Washington are catching on to the idea that they can’t capitulate to an extension of Bush-era tax rates for the rich without at least demanding something in return, and an extension of federal unemployment benefits, set to expire at the end of the month, is increasingly looking like it will be a part of the bargain. While Democratic leadership is still opposed, in theory, to any extension of tax cuts for the top two percent of American income earners, politicians on both sides of the aisle have begun floating a possible deal that would link an extension of the tax cuts to an extension of unemployment benefits:

Representative Pete Sessions, a Republican in leadership, said he could back extending jobless benefits, favored by Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in exchange for an extension of all Bush-era tax cuts, including for the wealthiest groups.

“What we’re going to do is sit down and talk with Mrs. Pelosi,” Sessions told Reuters as he left a meeting of House Republicans. “I see nothing wrong with her winning as long as the American people do.” [...]

“It really strikes me as hard to explain why we would give charity to the richest people in America with additional tax cuts of $100,000 a year and deny the basic necessities of life to people who are out of work through no fault of their own,” said Richard Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate.

Obviously, no deal is yet in sight, but the comments above indicate that a link between the two concepts is becoming increasingly likely — and it’s doubtless a good messaging strategy for Democrats. As a lobbyist pushing for a year-long unemployment benefits extension told the Huffington Post, “Leadership is very aware of the beautiful symmetry of tax cuts for millionaires doesn’t need to be offset but $293 a week for the long-term unemployed does.”

Neither the Senate nor the House plans to be in session next week, however, meaning an extension of unemployment benefits would have to pass this week for nearly 2 million Americans to avoid losing their benefits come December. Linking the extension to the tax cut debate might give it a greater chance of passing, but it also seems destined to drag out the debate and virtually ensure that Congress will allow the crucial benefits to lapse one again. With Republican leadership rescheduling its much anticipated meeting with President Obama until after Thanksgiving, don’t look for any major deals to occur in the meantime.

Follow Jesse Zwick on Twitter


Comments

75 Comments

Justin
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

So much for fiscal conservatism from the right. If debt spending includes tax cuts for the rich; the republicans are all onboard, if it means unemployment extension for those who have no other form of income, forget about it.


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Anonymous
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

Are our representatives really so stupid as to blow the holiday shopping season during a recession? And don’t give me that ‘recession ended in 2009 crap’; when unemployment is over 9% its a recession.

Our Representatives must be looking to create another Great Depression. Ironically, government ineptitude is what ultimately allowed the first Great Depression.

Are we going to have an all out Class War in the streets? I’m pretty sure the have nots outnumber the haves by a hefty margin.


Unemployed....
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

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guest
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

2011 will be another recession year. Might even be worse than previous years. It is really scary to have representatives in the USA making stupid decisions for the unemployed people of the USA.

The Republicans only take care of the rich people!


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Guest
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

If Congress allows unemployment benefits to expire again, they should be ready for a bloodbath. The long term unemployed are sick of being treated like **** under their shoes and will take their anger to the streets. Look for the smoke.


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Anastasia
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

Obama had no business rescheduling such a crucial meeting that effects the lives of millions of unemployed Americans, including those of us over 50 who are having more diddicult time finding work in today’s labor market. (By the way, where is the AARP on all this fiasco?)…
Obama should have gone ahead with the meeting. The Republicans would have had no choise but to attend because there would not want to risk getting blamed by milluions of Americans for losing their lifeline of income. As I have written time and again in several other blogs, the Democrats have not sone the long-term unemployed any favors. Bella Pelosi set the tone last summer when she declared, “there will be no discussion about Tier 5 benefits”. Obama has not done the long-term unemployed any favors either other than delivering pretty speeches as usual and plenty of lip service to all of us who are struggling to get a job, keep a roof over our head, and pay for food and our bills. I have worked all my life and have never asked for any public assistance. It lloks like I would have to apply for food stamps and live on the streets soon because the DemocRats even with a majority on both the Senate and the House for two straight years failed to even introduce legislation to extend UI benefits for all long-term unemployed Americans (Tier 5) until the unemployment rate went down and more jobs are available for all of us especailly those of us over 50 and in states with over 7.5% unemployment rate. We will never forget this Mr. President. For monts you keep talking “Health Care Reform” (like you really care about our health) while forgetting that we need food to take our medicines with, yes Mr. President..GO ON AND ENJOY YOUR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY AND MEET WITH THE REPUBLICANS AFTER YOU ALL COME BACK FROM YOUR LOVELY HOLIDAY.
How on earth will you sit down at your Thanksgiving table knowing that millions of Americans are denied their basic lifeline of income while you have done absolutely NOTHING to create new jobs? How is it that the DemocRats are even considering extending the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans while denying Tier 5 UI benefits extension to the long-term unemployed for months now? Why is it that 99ers those of us who have lost everything due to no fault of our own and after years and years of hard work ending up exhausting our 401Ks and lifetime savings to survive while the top 2% of Americans needs tax brakes? Why Mr. President did you postponre this crucial meeting? SHAME ON ALL OF YOU. WE WILL NEVER FORGET AND WE WILL CERTAINLY NOT BE THANKFUL TO YOU SIR FOR HAVING DONE ANYTGHING TO HELP US.
MR. PRESIDENT, DEMOCRATS, AND REPUBLICANS CURRENTLY IN DC: EITHER PASS TIER 5 UI BENEFITS IMMEDIATELY OR START PACKING YOU BAGS NOW LIKE BELLA PELOSI. 2012 IS COMING FASTER THAN YOU THINK.
YES, MR, PRESIDENT YOU CAN GO BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY ORGANIZING ACTIVITIES SO THAT YOU CAN HELP THE MILLIONS OF UNEMPLOYED THAT YOU HAVE DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO HELP.
ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY, SIR!


guest
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

last sentence is a lie
obama postponed the meeting


leftwingliberalnutjob
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

funny thing , DEMS are in control of both houses and NOW THEY LOST the mid terms their true “compassion” can be seen

they really don’t care about the people
or passing any bills to help the people

hypocritical liberals strike once again


Anastasia
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

Obama postponed the meeting was postponed at the request of the Republicans.


Anastasia
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

Obama postponed the meeting at the request of the Republicans.


Dehesenuts
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

this is all bs until everyone relizes that we the people are being sacrificed so the rich can survive this means nothing its all talk


Natasha
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

REUTERS:

“Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the meeting was put off at the request of Republican leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives due to as scheduling conflict. In the elections Republicans won control of the House and cut the Democratic lead in the Senate….”

Source:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AF6E220101117


Dehesenuts
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

when i say rich there is no politcal difference


Dehesenuts
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

no 1 will fight thats what they r counting on and they will prevail


Justin
Comment posted November 17, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

why not make unemployment a program just as social security and raise taxes to fund the program through unemployment insurance add on’s just as a social security medicare tax is paid. social security has made a profit of 2 trillion on 11.8 trillion paid out since inception; it appears to be a viable solution to the lack of job creation.


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Compassionate Conservative
Comment posted November 18, 2010 @ 2:34 am

just a guess, it appears the tax cuts will remain in effect ( this is a good thing for job creation,,, glad to explain if you are concerned about this ) and the Unemployment Extension will ultimately go through. The Republicans want to cut the spending and deficit, I believe they know they need to keep this life line in place until the Jobs begin to come back.


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Jd
Comment posted November 18, 2010 @ 3:55 am

CALL THESE SENATORS! TELL THEM TO VOTE YES TO EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSIONS! DON’T LET THEM CUT OFF MILLIONS OF MEN, WOMAN AND CHILDREN DURING THE HOLIDAYS! CALL NOW!

Brown, Scott P. – (R – MA) Class I
317 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
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Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) Class II
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Slpicke
Comment posted November 18, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

we’ve had these tax cuts for the last two years. why haven’t they helped up to this point?


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Bigblue2
Comment posted November 20, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

Obama didn’t cancel the meeting,the repubs did!!! The meeting was held without them!


Hercule_Savinien
Comment posted November 20, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

THE SUPER DEBTOR NATION- The new [VW]

[VW’s and Double Dips]

Now in the good old day’s [VW] stood for the German Beatle and not for letters out of the alphabet to describe economic recession to recovery, we had one of those little Red German Beatle’s and sort of liked it but this new [VW] isn’t our cup of tea. So, what in the world is all this [VW], that these over educated, over-paid and looking in the rear view mirror of our [VW] talking about, well most of the time they don’t know and were only guessing, the [V] is not for Victory as in Victory at Sea by William Rodgers, but for the economy taking a dive doing a bounce and then getting back up to were it was before the dive, the [W] is just two [V’s] connected, or a double dip, and we are not talking about a double dip ice-cream, the economy takes one dive, get back to were it was in the first place and then takes a second dive and once again bounces back to were things were in the beginning, and if you think that this is all going to turn out were things are going to return to where they were, we have a couple of weak infrastructure bridges we would like to sell you. Now, these soda jerks are saying there will be no double dip, but there will be a [JOBLESS RECOVERY]. What, a jobless recovery, we have how many out of work and they are going to remain out of work, which means the middle class working stiff is going to have to support the continued unemployment checks being paid out, let alone the soup lines, and homeless shelters, you have got to be kidding, of course there will be no double dip no [W] shaped economic recovery its not even a [V] shaped recovery its simply a dead cat bounce, the economy took a dive and a whole lot of unemployed cats are still going to be in the unemployment line that’s the down stroke of the [V] and at the bottom having taken a dead cat bounce.

[Big Ben and Chermany]

Now, Big Ben and that’s not the clock in London, or Ben Franklin, but Ben Bernanke, is placing the entire blame on the worlds economy upon [Chermany] that’s a new economic country made up by those over rated economic boys, made up of the countries of The Peoples Republic of China and The German Federal Republic, they are THE CULPRITS, the Chermanyor’s, they are standing in the way of World Wide economic recovery, that the almighty Empire, the American-Israeli Military Industrial and Economic Complex, with its broken economy and monopoly money [QE’s] Quantitative Easing’s, base currency has the right to dictate to the world what to do and how to do it. But, the problem is we are now in the [21st] Century, were more than just [Chermany] are willing to tell the Super Debtor Nation what to do and where just to stick it, this blame the other guy approach to economics just isn’t cutting the mustard. Ben is complaining that [Chermany] and Israel have purchased to much of the Empires debt, but was singing a different tune when the almighty dollar was on the skids, and they were buying to stop the slide, talk about being two faced, this guy talks out of one side of his mouth one day and the other by evening end.

[Thrown under the [VW] bus]

So what is the working class stiff, sitting in the local diner, drinking his cup of hot black Joe, after getting his last unemployment check, looking at, just harder time’s ahead, his standard of living after his cash runs out from that last check will be out of the local homeless shelter at best or made on the streets at worst, the poor working class Joe, after additional tax’s to pay for those on unemployment, and no raises in sight, spending those [CD’s] Certificate of Deposits set aside for college for the kids and retirement, and facing broken promises about health care, education, a monopoly dollar, as Ben continues to cry about foreign financial support from [Chermany] and Israel, but continues to print monopoly money for them to purchase, well if you got a job and income, but your seeing your standard of living slipping on a daily bases, with the outlook for your kids not so good, John Q. Citizen can only look in the mirror too see just who they should blame, for not paying more attention to just who they voted into office across the board, and ask what were they thinking if at all. An Old Ben can say along with his economic know nothing’s that there will be no [Currency War] which is in progress, caused by [QE2] Quantitative Easing II, dumping, (€437B/$600B), Four-hundred-thirty-seven Billion Euros / Six-hundred Billion Dollars, in cheap major reserve money, as it holds down interest rates to nearly [0%] Zero percent, and that there will be no protectionism that is already going on, as Ben keeps blowing more and more, hot air into the worlds asset balloon bubble market when sooner or later the inflationary pressure will POP!!! it, but saying it isn’t so doesn’t mean a thing too the guy on his back thrown under the [VW] bus, with a Peace Sign painted on the side for yet another unnecessary monetary and hot economic stimulus war, paid for by monopoly money and soap bubbles.

HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN


Afsjkl
Comment posted November 22, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

typical legislative horse trading, Democratic congress members give Republicans their tax cuts if Republicans give Democrats their social spending. Each makes the debt worse but is politically easy. Then they go crying to the president to ask for money from China and japan to bail out their irresponsible behavior!


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Bush tax cut debate
Comment posted November 25, 2010 @ 10:06 am

Democrats should be hammering the point home that they have actually supported and passed tax cuts, both for individuals and businesses over the past year or so…and stop defending against right wing lies and childish ranting !! Democrats need to get aggressive and take some initiative in this debate.


Kevincowan
Comment posted December 1, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

Greed has taken over a once compassionate Country. By not extending the unemployment benefits, the reprocusions will be horrific. But lets make a deal ! Republicans that now are the House Majority are making the poor suffer by letting the unemployment extension run out right before Christmas. But if the democtcrats are willing to play ball, and give tax credits back to the household incomes above $250,000.00 the republicnas will listen to the unemployment extension. I am not on unemployment, but fear the future as the crime rate is sure to increase, not due to drug addicts needing there fix like now, but add to that delema the fact of stealing to survive, live with a roof over you head and feed your family. The homeless rate is about to explode and get ready to see food kitchen lines like in the great depression. It is so sad that there are no jobs left for the american citizen. Here in Florida, we are in the top 3 states of unemployment and there are no jobs for the hundreds of thousnd floridians that will be affected. Compasion is gone, and has been replaced by greed.


Grizzwaugh
Comment posted December 1, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

The U S senate republicans are holding the US people hostage. And are doing the bidding for only 2% of the population. Under home land security any other tax paying person would be deemed a act of terrorism and would be arrested with no legal right. These senators are not representing the United states citizens.They are doing the bidding for millionaires which guess where they they fall.
My understanding of the 28 amendment that should be against the law. But what I am seeing is that they are above the law. When is the senate going to be held to the same standard as any other citizen.
Watching c-span and the senate is suppose to be in session and 6 senators are there . Isn’t that getting paid to do a job and not doing it.Any other person in the U.S . would be fired. Wouldn’t it be hard to fight the war on terrorism if only 6 military personnel showed up to fight.
When the republicans stopped unemployment insurance is that not also a crime. If I paid for insurance to a company and after years of paying premiums they said you no longer had coverage it would be a crime. I am tired of senators being above the law . They are there to represent the American citizen not just 2% of them.
I think American citizen should stand up and hold them accountable. If we don’t have equal representation then why should we pay taxes. It’s time for American citizen to take back control of this country and not let 42 people hold us hostage.
Restore America and the bill of right for which it was intended.
Michael Waugh Rogers Arkansas


jm
Comment posted December 2, 2010 @ 11:49 am

Mr. Boehner is an unChristian, Cruel Scrooge to even have put it up to bargain cutting unemployment before Christmas and the hard winter ahead. Make no mistake, this man will be going for BLOOD throughout his term, and proud of it he is. He will do ANYTHING to get what he wants, and if that means making victims out of the 98% of Americans who are NOT rich and wealthy, HE WILL. Now, Mr. Boehner, how about closing in on those offshore tax evasion felony accounts, that should pay off our deficit completely and have plenty of money to spare to create jobs everywhere for overcrowded schools, public colleges who have had to abandon programs, filling in the holes in the streets, how about the sink holes in the neighborhoods, universal preschool (as if you Republicans really meant “I’m the Education President”), grants for homeless shelters, AND, Sir, I know how much it KILLS you, just the idea of spending money to keep us paupers alive, as you let my son’s father die for lack of medication, but do YOU want to cook up your own food at your favorite restaurant???, so how about health care, or you can stock the shelves at your local supermarket, ring it up and bag it too, and don’t forget your illegal maid and cook, just think you are going to have to start paying social security, and collecting taxes.
Mr. Boehner is RUTHLESS, and the US is not totally Republican, as we know, 99% of America’s wealth is held by only 2% of Americans, so that leaves 98% of us for him to bargain with, and there isn’t anything he won’t do to us to make his 2% richer and wealthier. Why on earth do these millionaires and billionaires need those 70% tax cuts? They don’t…sheer greed, now that’s not Christian, so when you hear the phrase “Christian Conservative” think twice…you know Christians are NOT greedy.
Mr. Boehner, you starve those unemployed folk right before Christmas, drive them out of their homes, You SCROOGE, and that’s all…you will go where all the Scrooges go. And God Bless all your victims.


Anonymous
Comment posted December 4, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

I favor the following idea from a web user : “”I understand that TARP monies are still not being spent on the scale promised. Perhaps as a solution, now would be a good time to free up some of those funds.”
? ?
1. The rebs have chanted : Are you listening to American people ? ?
? ?
The majority of Americans support the idea of extending unemployment benefits to the jobless, according to a poll out from Hart Research Associates. ?
Nearly three-quarters of the 802 registered voters surveyed agreed that it was “too early to start cutting back benefits for workers who lost their jobs.” ?
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2. Are the reps listening to America people ? ?
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According to CNN polling, voters said that unemployment is roughly twice as important as all other top issues combined. ?
Despite the fact that unemployment remains above nine percent, the incoming House majority has made it clear that jobs and unemployment are not at the top of their to-do list.
Short of a massive investment in a targeted public jobs program, unemployment insurance may be the only tool available for slowing the downward slide.
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3. Are the reps listening to the outcry from their conscience ? ?
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(a). The reps shipped decent-paying manufacturing jobs overseas to lower production costs and eliminated the need to comply with those pesky environmental laws. ?
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(b). The recession caused by the reps wiped out as many as 8.2 million jobs, but they don’t care ! ?
They are instead trying to hold the unemployed hostage by trying to link up the extension of tax cuts for the rich. ? ?
The tax cuts for the rich are bound to drive and distort the debate again.
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(c). Throwing people out into the streets in the cold this holiday season, the heartless, cold-blooded death panels are having a good night’s sleep. ?
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(d). Never before has Congress decided to cut-off extended unemployment benefits when the jobless rate was so high. And not since the 1930s have so many unemployed job-seekers been out-of-work for so long. Congress has historically extended the program by passing emergency spending measures..
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(e). Democrats say they want to shrink the deficit, too, but they argue that battle shouldn’t be fought with the dollars that people need to pay for groceries and utilities. Reauthorization, they say, amounts to an emergency appropriation and be exempted from the “pay as you go” model that lawmakers of both parties say must be implemented.
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4. Are the reps listening to the various reports ? ?
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(a). Ending federal extensions would drain the economy of $80 billion of purchasing power, according to a report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. Every dollar spent on benefits increases the gross domestic product by $1.60, the report said.
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“Workers receiving unemployment insurance payments are typically cash-strapped and will spend their benefits quickly,” the report said. They spend about $6.5 billion a month on the local economy to buy essentials such as food, clothing and utilities.
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“A failure to extend the unemployment insurance program could hamper the fragile recovery,” the report said. It predicts that consumer spending will fall by $50 billion over the next year if benefits are not extended, and that economic growth will be reduced by 0.4 percentage points by February 2011.
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(b). Bloomberg News reported that some economists estimate not passing an extension might result in the economy growing 0.4 percent less between December and February, a significant bite when GDP growth has been hovering in the anemic 2 percent rage
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(c). The CBO reports that the BEST WAY to spur growth is to increase aid to the unemployed. Other efficient ways to grow the economy is by investing in infrastructure and providing more aid to the states.
The CBO also says that without extensions in 2009, the poverty rate might be 15.4 percent, more than a full point higher than it is. ?
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(d). A similar report from the California Budget Project said that unemployment benefits put $225 million into the nation’s economy every day in 2010. ?
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(e). Some opponents of unemployment benefits — mostly Republicans but a few Democrats as well — would have you believe those jobless figures are evidence of laziness, enabled by generous benefits.
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They conveniently ignore three facts. One, there are five unemployed people for every job opening — a profound scarcity of jobs. Two, federal benefits average $290 a week, about half of what the typical family spends on basics and hardly enough to dissuade someone from working. Three, as unemployment has deepened, benefits have become less generous. Earlier this year, lawmakers ended a subsidy to help unemployed workers pay for health insurance and dropped an extra $25 a week that had been added to benefits by last year’s stimulus law. ?
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Given these, there is no danger that continuing to provide extended unemployment insurance will materially raise overall unemployment. ?
Eliminating these benefits, on the other hand, will cause hardship for the long-term unemployed, scale back spending, and weaken the economy since unemployment benefits are one of the most effective means available to support overall demand. ?
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5. Are the reps listening to the denouncement over their duplicity, two standards ? ?
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(a). The Bush tax cut for the greedy without providing a way to pay for its costs will add an additional $700 billion to the deficit over a decade, ?
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(b). Republicans have trumpeted the need to extend huge tax breaks to the wealthy and to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Both actions would significantly increase nation’s debt and lead U.S. down the road to bankruptcy, another major concern for voters.
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(c). On the one hand they want to provide $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest, but not pay for them. On the other hand they demand that unemployment benefits for the middle class be paid for. It’s kind of like someone on a diet ordering a Diet Coke and a Big Mac simultaneously.
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(d). Back when Bush was pushing his tax cut packages through Congress in 2001 and 2003, supporters said the cuts (which weren’t balanced with spending reductions) would initiate an era in which the American economy would grow so robustly the nation would be running a surplus of more than $5 trillion at the scheduled expiration date. U.S. now runs a deficit of about $1.3 trillion
In sharp contrast, Former President Bill Clinton left a record surplus, despite the warning of potential economic disaster over tax increase for the wealthiest. ?
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(e). Since the you-fix-the-deficit puzzle went online, there have been more than one million page views, and more than 11,000 posted Twitter messages about the puzzle, most including their own solution.
The most popular option among all respondents? Reducing the military to less than its size before the Iraq war — included in about 80 percent of the solutions posted to Twitter.


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