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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Michigan's Gov. Jennifer Granholm takes weekly radio address, to call for jobless extensions

WARREN, MI- SEPTEMBER 12:  Michigan Democratic...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D)
took one of her last weekly radio addresses
to ask Congress to quickly pass extende
Michigan's Outgoing Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) on December 3rd, took one of her last weekly 
radio addresses, to ask Congress to extend unemployment benefits for state job seekers.

In the address, Granholm called out the 'ironic' nature of Republican members of Congress calling to extend tax cuts wage earners making over $250.000 a year, including the very wealthy; while denying unemployed a 'few hundred dollars a week' basic needs.

Governor-Elect Rick Snyder (R), on a December 2nd two-day lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., chose instead to address only Michigan's unemployment compensation debt, not the extension of jobless benefits.

Snyder noted he believes that 'job creation' should be his highest priority; not advocating for the much-needed supplemental income for the states' 181,000 unemployed workers.
"Theoretically, it's in the role (as governor)," but, "the highest priority is job creation in Michigan", Snyder cited to the Detroit News.
Michigan's unemployment rate is the second highest in nation, at 12.8 percent. In October 2009, the states' jobless rate was a shocking 14.3 percent. During this period General Motors, Chrysler and more, have added employment back into the state, assisting with lowing jobless numbers.

The Senate is scheduled to take a set of test votes on December 4th, separately on tax cuts for wage earners making under $250,000 a year and above. 

An second vote on the renewal of S. 3981, 'The Unemployment Insurance Stabilization Act of 2010' in the Senate, was blocked in a single stand alone filibuster by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) on December 2nd. In blocking the vote, Barrasso stated that a better way to help the unemployed would be to improve the economy by giving "certainty" to businesses on taxes.

Read the text of Governor Granholm's weekly radio address speech below, and listen to her entire call on the importance of Congress, to extend unemployment benefits for the nation jobless.

"It’s the holiday season, traditionally a time a joy and happiest. But for thousands of unemployed Michigan workers and their families, the holiday’s is not so bright. Not only are these workers jobless, many of them will be losing one of their lifelines, unemployment benefits, unless Congress acts quickly.

On November 30th, congress did not renew the emergency unemployment compensation program. Full Federal funding for the Extended Benefits Program ended as well. Unless Congress acts unemployment benefits for 181,500 Michigan workers will end, between now and December 30th.

As a result, the typical household receiving these benefits could see its’ income fall by a third. The scenario is even worse for those households where there is a sole wage earner receiving unemployment benefits, in those households, unemployment benefits is 90 percent of their income.

Unemployment benefits help the jobless make ends meat while they look for work. People use unemployment benefits to pay for food, housing, utilities and other necessaries. Extending unemployment benefits is not only the right thing to do; it’s the right economic policy.

Money from unemployment benefits rapidly spend in the local economy at places like the grocery store, the corner pharmacy, the gas station, all stimulating demand. It’s estimated that employment in Michigan is about 42,000 jobs greater now, because of emergency and extended unemployment benefits provided over the last two years.

Conversely, letting millions of jobless Americans fall further into hardships by not extending benefits will hurt our national economic recovery. The impact on Michigan will be 26,000 fewer jobs. And ending the benefits will stretch our social safety net to the breaking point.

What is ironic, is that the same members of Congress who are blocking extending unemployment benefits, are adamant that Congress have to first extend tax cuts for the wealthiest in our nation.  So after denying a few hundred dollars a week to an unemployed worker, they would extend tax cuts for those with household incomes for over $250,000 and more. 

This is not only unjust, but it’s poor economic policy.

There is still time for Congress to do the right thing and, extend unemployment benefits for another year. I urge Congress to do it now, and make the holidays a little brighter for unemployment workers and their families in thought-out Michigan and the nation. Thank you for listening."

What are your thoughts on this article? Do you believe that Governor Granholm taking her weekly radio address was the right move to take for 181.500 job seeking Michiganders, who will be without the supplemental income, unless Congress act? Did Governor-Elect Rick Snyder take the right action by not addressing extending unemployment benefits, just the states' jobless debt, on his trip to Washington, D.C.? Feel free to comment on this story, below!

What are your thoughts on this article? Feel free to comment on this story, below!
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