To start off, let me be clear: I generally loathe politicians on an equal opportunity basis. Okay, maybe there's a slightly more special place of loathing in my heart for the Constitution Party, those folks are kinda scary. But otherwise, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian...whatever. I tend to be especially annoyed by party-line voters, be they constituents voting for candidates or politicians voting on...well, whatever they're voting on. Because party-line voting is pretty much synonymous with "I can't think for myself and don't really care about the people I represent" if you ask me. (Note: Just because one agrees with the party doesn't automatically make it party-line in my mind. Fine, blurry lines and all that.)
But right now, I have a general hatred towards Republicans. Read on.
So, as you might know, before we moved to Oregon, I talked to several people in Maryland's unemployment to verify that if I were to move, I would have continued eligibility, that leaving the state wasn't going to hurt me and all that. No, I was told. I would have continued eligibility. I just had to keep complying with the rules- you know, look for a job, file every two weeks, all that nonsense. And I was told not only that, but I was already approved to have unemployment eligibility through at least sometime in February- longer, if any more extensions were put into effect, but no less than that. Three different people told me this. Each time I asked, very carefully, if there was anyhting else I needed to take into account, was there anyhtign else that could affect or interrupt my unemployment eligibility?
I was told no, absolutely not. I would just need to remember that when I got notice of one tier of my extended unemployment ending, that I would need to call in and talk to them, whereupon they would hit a button in the system, and I would roll over to the next tier. Nothing else? Nope, that's it, good luck to you.
Except, they were wrong. You see, what all these fine people FAILED TO TELL ME was that my continued eligibility was dependent on congress periodically voting to renew the extension. Now, I saw a number of notices about this on the Maryland unemployment website, but until the most recent one, those things have been VERY misleadingly worded- there was nothing in any of the notices to make me think that they applied to anyone who has already even approved for the extended unemployment. What's there now is only slightly better- it's only obvious that it applies to you if it's already happened to you.
So anyway...I went to pick up my unemployment payment last week...and it wasn't there. I called Maryland, and found out that it was suspended because congress hadn't voted to extend it yet, but if they do, it will be released shortly. Did I mention that I never got a letter saying "Oh, by the way, they haven't renewed the bill so you're going to lose your benefits in a couple of weeks".
Was that too fucking much to ask? Well, I did get a letter- later the day that I found out that it was gone.
Long story short, we've got a bit of money saved so far. We ended up going and applying for food stamps. Gavin's disability overs our rent, so we didn't have a whole lot to worry about- but still, we had to worry about it.
Thankfully, it was passed earlier this week to renew the bill. I might not get my money for filed weeks until sometime next week, but hey, at least I'm going to get it.
Which brings me to the subject of my rant. See...I've been reading news articles about this now that I have the internet again, and I've seen clips of stuff in the news. The bill passed by what...one vote? Two? Because every single member of the Republican party, except for two voted against it.
Some of them have been in the news whining that they're being portrayed as heartless meanies and they don't understand why people are so upset. They only opposed the bill because they disagreed with the source
of the unemployment funds.
Is that all it is now? Well gee whiz sparky, why in the fuck didn't you try to introduce your own bill suggesting that? Why don't you publicly denounce some of the shit your colleagues are saying?
Or are you completely clueless to the other members of your party who have been shown on the news saying things like...Several Republicans have suggested that extending the benefits would give workers less cause to seek jobs. "Continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said earlier this spring.
(From here: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/taxes/democrats-unemployment-benefits/19561761/
Some additional gems:During a door-to-door tour of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County businesses today, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but that many people are purposely remaining unemployed, in order to collect benefits. He says he’s heard this from business owners across Pennsylvania. “One of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’’ He said. “They’re literally telling him, ‘I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.’ That’s becoming a problem.” Found here, complete with sound recording
And from Rand Paul (R-KY) "As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen." Here, again with recording.
And then there's Last Friday, Bauer told an audience in South Carolina that his grandmother told him "as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed."
He compared this to receiving assistance from the government, which he said is "facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
from Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina. He's since made some vague gestures that are supposed to look like an apology, I guess.
It seems, Andre that people who are poor or unemployed really don't like being compared to animals who don't know any better. Shocker, that, eh? But you know, what should a rich asshole like you have to be surprised about when your comments aren't met favorably?
A clip from his apology is almost as good: "I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before...tying people to animals: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"
The fuck????? Sir, I hope you have no pets. Because if you do, and you can't reach the logical conclusion of getting someone to come and feed your cat, or boarding it at a kennel when you're going to be away, you should be immediately charged with endangering animals. Oh, and by the way, unemployment- it's like a pet-sitter. When you're out of work, unemployment feeds you while you look for work. See what I did there? I'd brag about out-clevering a politician, but that's not much to brag about. In June, Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle said that "what has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job." She added: "They keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does."
Also from the same site:Back in May, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that Congress needs to think twice about continuing unemployment benefits "because you're out of the recession, you're starting to see growth and you're clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it's important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you've got to acknowledge that we're not Europe."
And from Tom DeLay: DeLay praised Bunning, and added that "there's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out."
Crowley pointed out that saying "people are unemployed because they want to be" is a "hard sell."
DeLay responded: "Well, it is the truth."
(Here, with video
You know, it must be so nice to be so easily able to pass judgment on people's economic situation when you've never been there yourself. I know that not all American politicians are particularly rich, and some even come from a working class background but I also know that plenty of them have never had to work or wonder where their next meal, or next week's meals were going to come from.
I know that there are some people who take advantage of the system, but you know, things can be done about that. You can, say, require people to keep records of their job hunt in order to maintain benefits and verify them- to a certain extent anyway, employers only keep applications and resumes on file for so long, but, you know, spot-checking can go a long way to dealing with this. Requiring people to register with the states department of labor workforce development office- or whatever you call it in each state- and spend a certain amount of time in those offices, or on their website looking for suitable jobs is something else that can be done.
I'm also really pissed off about the ones who are all "You should just take a job, any job and shut up and get off unemployment!" you know, in Baltimore, I couldn't even apply for most jobs that I cam across because they didn't pay enough? Well I could have...if I wanted to live in a hole in the wall in Coppin Heights with no electricity. And I don't mean "I want more money!" I mean I wouldn't have been able to pay my rent and the few bills that Gavin and I have or buy groceries. And we don't have a car, or kids or credit cards or medical bills or any other extra expenses. Nevermind what other people may have. I can tell you that it's a different story now- Minimum wage in Oregon is higher and living expenses are lower, so there are a LOT more jobs that I can apply for- and am. Don't fucking assume that people aren't taking jobs because they just want
And the crack about unemployment paying more than jobs- in a lot of cases, no, it really doesn't. How much you get is dependent on how much you've made in the last four fiscal quarters, with the highest quarter thrown out and the other three averaged out. Or something like that.
Don't you people even fucking know how this unemployment thing works? guess not.
Gawds. As Gavin has said, even if Obama does everything
else wrong for the rest of his presidency, I will be continually grateful that he made the assholes in congress go back and re-vote on this.
If you think this is unfounded and I'm just a republican-hating bleeding heart liberal whatever, please find me a democrat who's had shit like this to say. Please