Showing posts from August, 2010

Fox runs with discredited theory in its assault on unemployment insurance

More tools for the 99ers and their argument: MediaMatters cites numerous sources which dispute Professor Robert Barro's claim that unemployment rates would be lower if unemployment benefits ended sooner rather than later.

"What we need now is more jobs, not bigger corporations."

"...And that means focusing on the demand side of the economy, not the supply side."Robert Reich, concluding his article entitled "Warning: Why Cheaper Money Won't Mean More Jobs"


I've taken the elevator pitch and formatted it onto a one-page PDF suitable for printing and faxing. Especially faxing.Update 1: Version 2 is also available. It makes our point a bit more dramatically.Update 2: both versions have been polished up to improve their appearance, and both have been linked in the Tools You Can Use section of our Act page.If you have access to a fax machine, send a copy of this to your Senators. Use your cover sheet to add a personal message: that you're a constituent, that you're a 99er or know someone who is, this is how the bill will affect you if it passes or if it fails.Use Congress Merge to reach your senator and their staff.As always, please and thank you.

A Response To Conservative Camel

(The original blog post I'm responding to is posted on Conservative Camel.) Humphrey,I came across your blog post while doing some research on S. 3706. You've written a thoughtful critique.Please allow me to offer a rebuttal to some of the points you've made:You've summarized the bill's provisions fairly and accurately. Senator Stabenow did sponsor the bill, and as of the August recess, it has eleven co-sponsors, including the Senators you mentioned.You've speculated that Senator Stabenow picked a cutoff unemployment rate of 7.5% to benefit Democrats in the midterm elections and to benefit President Obama in 2012. It's certainly a possibility, but another possibility is that 33 states and the District of Columbia all have unemployment rates higher than 7.5%.Consider the road the bill has to travel: it's currently in the Senate Finance Committee, but not on their legislative calendar. It will have to get onto their calendar, be reported out of committee…
August 28, 1963 - I Have A Dream - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we'…


It's time to take a mental health day, and recharge for the week ahead.On the agenda for next week: networking with fellow 99er bloggers and online activists, posting free ways to fax the Senators and staffers we need to reach, and reviewing the game plan for passing S. 3706.
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Elevator Pitch for the Americans Want to Work Act

You're probably familiar with the "elevator pitch" - a concise summary that you can deliver in the time it takes to ride an elevator. This is the elevator pitch for S. 3706, the Americans Want to Work Act:At least 1.3 million unemployed workers1 have exhausted their benefits.The job market isn't keeping up: There are fewer than 3 million job openings2 for almost 15 million job seekers3.We're caught in a vicious cycle: Businesses aren't hiring because their chief concern is poor sales, and people aren't buying because they've lost their jobs.S. 3706 will break the cycle in two ways:by growing the workforce: 3706 will extend the HIRE Act, which is already credited with adding 5.6 million jobs4;by adding a fifth tier of unemployment benefits, which add $1.61 to the GDP5 for every dollar spent.Please ask Chairman Baucus to add 3706 to his Committee's legislative calendar. Americans want to work.Contact your Senators, especially if they're on the S…

A No-Brainer

When they return from the August recess, the Senate Finance Committee may be asked to look at renewing the Bush tax cuts for high-income earners. From the Wall Street Journal:Washington business groups are urging Democratic leaders not to use procedural shortcuts to bring major tax legislation to the Senate floor later this year, arguing that it would be 'a grave disservice to the historical and constitutional role of the Senate.' What they’re not saying: such an approach would also offer a better shot at passage of legislation that would extend Bush-era tax breaks for high earners - families making more than $250,000 a year - due to expire at the end of the year.The Finance Committee may also have another bill to consider: S. 3706, the Americans Want to Work Act.If the Committee is serious about addressing the economic problems we're facing, passing 3706 should be a no-brainer. Based on the models Mark Zandi at Moody's put together, extending unemployment benefits wil…

The Republican Message To The Unemployed

The following table tallies the votes that members of the Senate Finance Committee have cast on extending tiers of unemployment insurance benefits. The table is sorted by the number of 'yes' votes, and each row is colored to show the Senator's party affiliation.Senate Finance CommitteeVoting Record On Unemployment Insurance BenefitsSenatorPartyStateVotes to Extend UEState UnemploymentMax BaucusDMT12/127.30%Jeff BingamanDNM12/128.20%Maria CantwellDWA12/128.90%Thomas CarperDDE12/128.40%Kent ConradDND12/123.60%John KerryDMA12/129.00%Chuck SchumerDNY12/128.20%Debbie StabenowDMI12/1213.10%Ron WydenDOR12/1210.60%Blanche LincolnDAR11/127.40%John RockefellerDWV11/128.60%Bill NelsonDFL10/1211.50%Robert MenendezDNJ9/129.70%Olympia SnoweRME9/128.10%Chuck GrassleyRIA5/126.80%Jon KylRAZ5/129.60%Pat RobertsRKS5/126.50%Michael CrapoRID4/128.80%John EnsignRNV4/1214.30%Orrin HatchRUT3/127.20%Jim BunningRKY2/129.90%John CornynRTX2/128.20%Michael EnziRWY2/126.70%source: http://www.opencongre…

We Interrupt Our Regular Programming...

Image remind our readers of what General Colin Powell said, on October 19, 2008. The words he spoke then, on Meet The Press, are equally relevant in today's manufactured controversy over the Park51 project in lower Manhattan:Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy I'm also troubled by... what members of the (Republican) party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, 'Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.' This is not t…

$1.00 in UI Benefits = $1.61 in GDP

Mark Zandi, the Chief Economist at Moody's Analytics, testified before the Senate Finance Committee in April of this year.The data he presented is well worth remembering in light of the Americans Want to Work Act.The critical piece of data: each dollar of unemployment insurance benefits paid turns into $1.61 of GDP in one year's time. Returns on investment as high as that are hard to come by.I've added the table below to the Stat Pack page.Economic Category/ActivityGDP GrowthTax Cuts
Nonrefundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate1.01Refundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate1.22Temporary Tax Cuts
Payroll Tax Holiday1.24Job Tax Credit1.30Across-the-Board Tax Cut1.02Accelerated Depreciation0.25Loss Carryback0.22Housing Tax Credit0.90Permanent Tax Cuts
Extend Alternative Minimum Tax Patch0.51Make Bush Income Tax Cuts Permanent0.32Make Dividend and Capital Gains Tax Cuts Permanent0.37Cut in Corporate Tax Rate0.32Spending Increases
Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits1.61Temporary Federal Financing of…

Death And Joblessness

Annie Lowrey, writing in The Washington Independent, on unemployment and suicide:
The unemployed commit suicide at a rate two or three times the national average, researchers estimate. And in many cases, the longer the spell of unemployment, the higher the likelihood of suicide.
Please share this article with anyone you see criticizing anyone who's unemployed. Ask them if they're okay with the blood of a neighbor, a fellow American, on their hands.

...Strong Words To Follow*

Here are some numbers for your blackboard:14,623,000unemployed workers2,937,000available jobs1,326,00099ersThose are Americans you're so casually dismissing. Hard-working Americans who want to get back to work. Who are working just as hard to find a job as they did when they had a job.Get a job, you say? Get two?Get your head out of the sand.*I'm sure there are those who know the start of the quote.

#99ers, We Need To Make Our Voices Heard

...whether it's getting in touch with people who are familiar with unemployment advocacy, or how a bill becomes a law....if you have a few minutes to add some information into a spreadsheet, or send a fax to your Senator.Any time you can spare is greatly welcome.We have a to-do list.And we could use your help.

An Open Letter To President Obama From A 99er

Dear Mr. President,

I am a 99er. I’m sure you already know what that is, but to clarify: A 99er is a person who has exhausted all available unemployment benefits, including all 4 Tiers of federal EUC as well as state extended benefits.

I was originally laid off in December of 2007 from a job I had held for 12 years. I have sent out multiple copies of my resume daily and filled out countless job applications since then. About a month ago, I finally got my first callback and interview.

My first. Since December of 2007.Please read the complete letter here.

Americans, Desperate For Help

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Vote Yes: The Americans Want To Work Act

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Read about the bill. The Americans Want to Work Act provides incentives for businesses to hire and it provides a bridge for job seekers, by:Creating an additional tier of benefits for those who have exhausted their unemployment insurance;Extending the successful HIRE Act payroll tax exemption through the end of 2011;Doubling the general business tax credit to encourage businesses to hire the hardest hit Americans.StatusAs of 8/13/2010, the Americans Want To Work Act has one sponsor and nine11 co-sponsors. The goal is a filibuster-proof 60 yes votes.Quoting from "EspiritE"Bill Status for the 99ers “American Want to Work Act – S.3706” I spoke to Nancy Pelosi’s & Harry Reid’s offices as many of you are aware the bill was introduced last week by Senate Stabenow and supporters of the bill last week. At this point it’s tracked to go through some of the regular bill processes as in routing to the Congress…