Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fighting High Unemployment, Michigan Republicans just reduced unemployment benefit weeks!

Does anyone in this country really think this is the way to govern? Break up the unions, take down labor murals, take away their health care assistance, share the pain of low wages and benefits, and now…shorten the weeks of unemployment benefits.

This is Dickensian economics.
Detnews: The Michigan state Senate approved a bill today to extend unemployment for about 150,000 workers slated to fall off the rolls by the end of the year — with the catch that state-level unemployment benefits for future filers would be limited to 20 instead of 26 weeks. 
Democrats strenuously objected to a last-minute amendment that would tie receiving the federal benefits to a permanent reduction in eligibility for state unemployment benefits. The bill passed 24-13 along party lines. 
"There is nothing in this legislation that helps Michigan's business community, but there is plenty in this legislation that would harm Michigan's unemployed workers," Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing, said in a statement … “we're instead handing a tremendous cost down to our unemployed workers who will be cut off from their benefits earlier."
What kind of defense could Republicans give for actually shortening the benefit time?
Sen. Mike Kowall, R, praised the bill for cracking down on unemployment fraud, noting a recent auditor general report that cited overpayments, uncollected penalties and millions paid to illegal aliens.
That sounds like a bureaucratic problem easily taken care of by competent governing.

But get this; Republicans are doing this during high unemployment, to save money in the overdrawn insurance fund. A simple solution that cuts the time people can keep their families sheltered and fed. That will show them.
Republicans claim the fund is $3.9 billion in debt due to massive unemployment payouts during the decade-long recession. 
“Massive unemployment” depleted the fund? CUT THEIR BENEFITS.

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