President Bush made headlines but dig a little deeper...
by Jan McCracken
Billion dollar bailouts for the big boys but what is really happening with the "working people" in the United States? You know, those folks whose jobs are disappearing left and right by none of their own doing?
Be a little cautious in lauding President Bush and Congress for taking care of the "real workers" of our nation!
Headlines are everywhere: "The Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008, signed by President Bush Saturday, extends the current 13-week Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program by an additional seven weeks in all states..."
A little sigh of relief for all... NOT!
Quoting right out of a California unemployment handbook, "the Extended Benefits program becomes effective ONLY when unemployment is very high." Well, we've got that part right... Then comes that catchy little phrase that reads "you will be notified... when you become 'potentially eligible' for this benefit!"
Just a few months ago we had people in this country trying to make a decision whether to put gas in their cars so they could go to work with gas prices approaching $5 a gallon or whether they should call in sick and go to the grocery store using their gas money for grocery money to feed their families... and we thought it was bad then...
Those were the "good ol' days!" And what's really going on in the heart of this country isn't being reported because journalism has truly died this year! The heart of America is being ripped out... the people who have built this country... ignored.
You see, if you lose your job, no matter where you are in the United States, you only have unemployment benefits for what has been paid in. No one wants to deal with people who just can't understand why they don't get 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. The media headlines are reporting that unemployment benefits are being doled out for 26 weeks with an extension now of up to an additional 22 weeks! Hooray! The Federal Government is bailing out "Joe Worker." Doesn't that just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over?
Many of the unemployed want to work and can't find a job because there are none. So they're losing their homes because last month they had a job and now they can't pay the rent or they can't make the house payment... and groceries have become a choice... every purchase... a choice.
The headlines gave everyone hope that they would have a few more weeks through the holidays and the first of the year to try and see if they could figure something out... or if money might fall out of the sky... just for the essentials of day to day living...
Today hopes are being dashed all over the United States because the "Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program" is hog wash! Once again, another program for those that are "better off"... certainly not for the workers in the trenches and the backbone of the US economy...
In order to "qualify" for this trumped up program, the unemployed individual is misled to believe that the program pays additional benefits to those who have collected all of the money in their regular claims and aren't eligible for any other UI claims... not true!
That individual MUST have made FORTY times their current weekly benefit during their highest quarter to qualify! Strings attached? A bailout for the good ol' American worker?
I discovered today that a woman in California was denied this extension because her wages that needed to be forty times her weekly benefit were short 25 cents, yes; one shiny US quarter in currency... no human need considered... this is not a "bailout umbrella!" Only the ones that made the bucks qualify!