Jim Trainer

Long Cold Winter: 310,000 Millionaires and You

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2010 at 6:58 pm

But hey we can just build a great wall around the country club, keep the riff -raff out until the slump is through.”-Steve Earle

Congress adjourned last week after effectively blocking a bill that would temporarily extend Unemployment Benefits for another three months by a vote of 258-154.  Congress will return after their week-long Thanksgiving Holiday with one day on the clock until the benefits of 800,000 unemployed Americans expire on November 29.  If benefits are terminated it will be the first time in American history that this has happened with an unemployment rate over 8%.  Republicans stated rationale is not that they wish to cut benefits but would rather find other means to fund them than by adding to the deficit. 

Also on the floor is the decision whether to extend Bush-era tax breaks due to expire on December 31.  The point of contention between the two parties here is whether or not to continue tax breaks for those who make over $250,000 a year. 

The tax breaks and Unemployment Benefits spending will both undoubtedly add to the deficit.  Here’s the math according to this stellar article in the Columbia Journalism Review:

The total amount for extended Unemployed Benefits:  $12 billion.  The total amount in taxes from the  2% of the population who make over $250k:  $36 billion in 2011.

I don’t pretend to understand politics or economics but it looks to me like Republicans are using a different orifice to speak out of.  Like how when they say that Socialism is bad, they just mean that it’s bad for YOU.

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