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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Complete Failure of Bipartisanship; Senate GOP Draft Letter-Tax Cuts Before Jobless Benefits

Feb 7 HuffPo Front Page: Stimulus Bill Comprom...Image by MyEyeSees via Flickr
President Obama's efforts of "bipartisanship"
with GOP, leaves the Middle/Lower Class
Americans and Unemployed Job Seekers, with
nothing in return
On November 30th, President Barack Obama met with Republican leadership Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), upcoming Speaker of the House John Bohner (R-OH) and Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) to discuss the "art of compromise" on legislation including Bush Era tax cuts and jobless benefits.

What President Obama got in return today is a report that the entire Republican Senate caucus signed a letter informing Majority Leader Harry Reid, they will filibuster any legislative measure that comes before the Senate, prior to the body passing approximately $700 Trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthy or penning a Federal budget for 2011.

Ironically, Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) took the first step in the GOP filibuster campaign on November 30th, when he made a one-man filibuster on  S.3981-“The Unemployment Insurance Stabilization Act of 2010, thereby ending all hope for jobless American's continuing to receive supplemental income payments, without hitting the expiration date.

In other words, Obama received nothing in return, despite raising a call within the last three sentences of a 15 minute press conference on November 30th –which mostly dealt with the tax cuts- to pass unemployment insurance for 2 Million jobless Americans who payments expired the same day.

The Associated Press first reported the letter on the night of November 30th. By this morning Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office passed a copy on to reporters in Washington, D.C., showing that he had secured signatures from every Senate Republican.
"[W]e write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers," the letter reads.
"With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike," the letter cited.
So much, for bi-partisanship, Mr. President. The Bush Era tax cuts again, would add $700 Trillion dollars to a deficit that is currently $13.7 Trillion dollars. Most of the cuts would go to individuals making over $250,000 a year, plus a number of Millionaires and Billionaires, who are not hurting financially in the currently economy.

Meanwhile an estimated 800,000 America job seekers, lost all forms of supplemental benefits compensation last night and another 1.2 Million will lose payments up until December 31, 2010. 

The unemployment compensation measures, HR-6419-“The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act” in the House and S.3981-“The Unemployment Insurance Stabilization Act of 2010” in the Senate would add in comparison a mire $56 Trillion dollars to the deficit.

The difference is the unemployed would immediately spend on the average $296 dollars a week received on paying bills, buying essential household items like food or paying for shelter; thereby placing money back into the economy.

Since 2007, there has been no evidence what-so-ever that the wealthy would spend their tax dollars saved to create employment opportunities. In turn, the United States has experience double digit unemployment rates, including current the national 9.6 jobless rate

Many individual states including Nevada, Michigan, California and New York have been frozen with jobless rates in the double digits since mid-2007. President George W. Bush signed the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 nearly over a decade ago.

Showing that he has a backbone to the Republican tactic, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took the floor on December 1st, to condemn what he called, a "cynical" tactic to delay legislative progress.
"My Republican colleagues knew [about the tax cuts meeting] as they drafted this letter. Therefore, they also know that the true effect of this letter is to prevent the Senate from acting on many important issues that have bipartisan support”, Reid stated.
“With this letter they have simply put in writing the political strategy the Republicans have pursued this entire congress: Mainly, obstruct and delay, obstruct delay action on critical matters, and then blame the Democrats for not addressing the needs of the American people. Very cynical but very obvious and very transparent", Senator Reid cited.
Tea-Party leaders like Fox News Glenn Beck believe that the GOP stance and the lack of necessary payments for millions of America's job seekers are "The Perfect Storm". On November 30th, Beck stated on his night network program, compared unemployment benefits to materialism and union membership. 

Beck also incorrectly called unemployed losing their benefits on November 30th to 99ers; exhausted claimants who received between 73-99 weeks of jobless compensation. This group of 6 Million American job seekers have been without any payments since April of 2010.

"In Hebrew, the word "mortar" is materialism. It's what held the bricks together. I fear that that's the only thing that is holding our bricks together, is materialism.  We've got to change the mortar between us. It can't be materialism. Because look at the storm that's headed our way, we have unemployment. These are all the things that are happening. This is the perfect storm," Beck stated.
"Unemployment is at 9.6. Fed projections say it's going to stay that way for a while. SEIU now is counting down the days until the 99ers fall off the unemployment rolls. Why is the union counting off the day until they fall off, 99ers? Because — this is your choice, America: you can either be a pawn or a defender of the republic. You can either be a victim or a survivor, a leader," Beck cited.

What are your thoughts on this article? Is President Obama looking weak and ineffective, compromising with the GOP, only for them to sign on to a letter to blocking all legislation, until they receive tax cuts for the rich? Does "Tea Party" leaders like Beck want to enact a civil "class war" in their statements? Feel free to comment on this story, below!
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