I don’t often talk about politics. I find that, like religion, you are not going to change someone’s mind. And I am not really talking about a political view. I am talking here about the political process. The politicians in Washington, on both sides, seem to be unable and unwilling to concentrate or focus on an issue. Case in point: the supposed Unemployment Benefits bill that died in the Senate last night. If you listen to the news it says the Republicans killed it, thus they are the villans. If you dig further you find it is because the Democrats could not come up with a way to pay for the extended unemployment benefits. So that makes them a villan.
If you check even further into the bill you find it is filled with a TON OF CRAP! According to Washington Correspondent Jamie Dupree, in his blog Jobless Benefits Fail, the jobless benefits section of the bill is just one bullet point. Here is a sample of what else has been included:
- $35.5 billion to continue unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless through November. In a majority of states, the unemployed could have received benefits for up to 99 weeks.
- $16 billion for states to help cover Medicaid costs and avoid layoffs of public employees.
- $6.5 billion to provide a six-month reprieve from a scheduled 21 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors.
- $4.6 billion to settle long-running class-action lawsuits brought by black farmers and American Indians. One lawsuit concerned the government’s management and accounting of more than 300,000 trust accounts of American Indians. The other is a discrimination lawsuit brought by black farmers against the Agriculture Department.
- $4 billion to expand the Build America Bonds program, which subsidizes interest costs paid by local governments when they borrow for construction projects.
- $1.5 billion in relief for farmers who suffered crop damage from natural disasters in 2009.
- $1 billion for summer jobs programs, for workers ages 16 to 21.
That totals to an additional $33.6 BILLION in items not related to unemployment! As much as I know how many people need additional or continued benefits I would not have voted for that either.
To see what else is tossed in to this bill you need read Jamie’s blog. I think it is time we tell politicians to focus and quit playing games. Our lives, our livelihoods, our homes and our future depend on it.
Is my frustration showing?