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Monday, December 13, 2010

Disappointed by Pres. Obama tax deal, should 99ers pursue legal strategies for relief

President Barack Obama and Vice President Jose...Image via Wikipedia
Chief Economic Advisors of both President
Obama and Vice President Biden agree that
the '99ers' need a job creation program, yet
no actions for this exist in the current 'deal'
with the GOP for the group.
Update @ 6:30pm EST- The Senate voted to close debate on the re-named "Reid-McConnell Bill" HR-4853on December 12th. Vote total of cloture was 83 Yeas, 15 Nays on the measure. A final vote on the bill in the Senate is expected to come, by Wednesday, December 15th. From there, the bill would go to the House of Representatives.
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The '99ers', whom were among the first set of victims by the recession of 2007, have been either jobless and/or unemployed since early 2008. 


Facing an over 9 percent unemployment rate for two years, age, jobless discrimination and a tight employment market; an estimated 45 percent of the first group impacted by the recession are still not employed. 



An aspect of the failed 'Tier V Bill' "S.3706-The Americans Want to Work Act" left out in the President Obama 'deal' on the 13 month extension, was a job creation component for the longest-term job seekers.

Originally, a $2000 tax credit originally offered in the bill sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for employers to hire the longest term unemployed. 

Twenty additional weeks of compensation benefits were also included in the measure.

S-3706 was blocked in the Senate on September 28th after a single stand-alone filibuster by Senator George LeMieux (R-FL).

Questions are beginning to arise on if the Obama Administration has met the standards of the purposes enacted into law on February 19, 2009.

The 'Statements of Purpose' of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Stimulus Act of 2009 (ARRA) contained provisions to:

  1. To preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery.
  2. To assist those most impacted by the recession.
  3. To provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health.
  4. To invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.
  5. To stabilize State and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.
In the ARRA $400 million for was allocated for employment services or retraining type of programs to specifically assist unemployed job seekers with returning back to work.

One such program in Michigan, 'The No-Worker Left Behind' program stop accepting new unemployed and underemployed claimants into the program in July 1, 2010, citing lack of continual funding by the stimulus act

Similar actions have occurred in many other states, during the summer months of 2010, cutting opportunities for desperately needed retraining programs to place members of the ‘99ers’ back to work in high-demand fields. 


On Tuesday, December 7th, Vice President Joe Biden's Chief Economic Advisor Jared Bernstein acknowledged that the 'compromise deal' -(H.R. 4853-the re-named Reid-McConnell Bill that advanced on December 12th with 83 Yeas, 15 Nay)- with the Republicans did nothing to help '99ers'. Many unemployed since early 2008, have been most impacted by the recession. 

Bernstein conceded job re-training components are needed to assist this group.
"Well look, I think someone that experienced that extensive length of  long-term unemployment they absolutely need help. I think they help they need most, is some type of structural training or something to help them get back into the workforce”, Bernstein stated to CNN’s Ali Velshi about the ‘99ers'.
"Because I think the case is that they need some type of skill enhancement. That is obviously a huge part of our agenda, not part of this agreement", Bernstein stated.
On December 9th, President Obama Chief Economic Adviser Austan Gooslbee, acknowledged on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, that the '99ers' are in a 'very difficult spot' to receive long-term economic improvement in the current economy but, stopped short of citing ways to assist the jobless group.

You Tube video on Austan Gooslbee President Obama Chief Economic Advisor on 'The Rachel Maddow Show' via FiredoglakeTV







Both of the recent statements acknowledge the White House has not lived up to provisions of ARRA law President Obama signed on February 17, 2009. With such, '99ers' groups might be wise at this point, to consider legal than legislative remedies to hold the Obama Administration accountable for not including a direct job creation component, in the 'compromise deal' with Republicans.

To make a case for civil actions, the defendant burden of proof is to establish that a 'Tort' or legal harm was committed by the plaintiffs. In the case of the ,'99ers' evidence that a series systematic factors –beyond their control- exist, impacting their job search efforts.  

Employers also acknowledge that the longer a person is unemployed, the less attractive the candidate would be to bring on board at their company, even with tax credits.
"I may hire someone but restricting my search to the 99ers is plum stupid. I would select the best candidate who also felt that my company was a good place to work = win/win", stated Christopher Grande-Principal at Walnut Advisors in Massachusetts.
“If my taxes increase, I’ll likely not only spend less, but certainly wouldn’t hire someone new. But I will find ways to keep more of the money I work hard to make”, Mr. Grande stated.
Others feel that even if the President Obama tax deal with the GOP is passed, the tax cuts proposed are not enough to add employees to their bottom line.
“The cuts aren't large enough, aren't permanent, and there's still too much uncertainty about health care and that impact”, stated Joshua Steimle, CEO of MWI an Online Marketing Firm in Utah.
Even with the tax credits, the instability of the current economy along costs associated training/development of a new employee and the length of unemployment, factors into the hiring management decision making process to add staff.
“First, $2,000 (tax credit incentive to hire 99ers) isn't very much, when you're talking about hiring someone who is going to cost you $50-100K per year”, stated Steimle.
“Second, do I really want to hire someone who has either been unable or unwilling to get a job for 99 weeks? Chances are, that person isn't a very good employee, and $2,000 isn't going to make up for the problems I'm inviting by hiring such a person”, Steimle noted.
Unless employment retraining is offered by Federal and/or State Governmental entities for the longest-term jobless, ‘99er’ group estimated 6 Million individuals, could double to over 12 Million by the end of 2011.

The statements by White House Administration Officials Bernstein and Gooslbee verify that no measures do not exist or are not proposed by President Obama, to stem tides of the growth in ‘99ers’ next year.

Gregg Rosen, Co-Founder of the American99Union.com stated that although disappointed by the actions of Washington, the union is committed to ensure that the plights of the longest-term unemployed job seekers are heard.
“We support the sustained resolve of the 99er Community, who work to save American lives while in turn rebuilding the American Economy. We are simultaneously disappointed at the sounds of silence emanating from Washington, as America’s longest termed unemployed are literally dying to be heard”, Rosen noted.

What are your thoughts on this article? Do you believe that '99ers' should take steps to pursue legal tort actions on the lack of job creation ideas by the Obama Administration? Feel free to comment on this story, below!
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