As the weeks sneak past, the cry of the unemployed becomes fainter and fainter.  It’s official. The Republicans won. They were right; we were wrong. For them, indeed, it was a good political move. They were right. Everyone cares about money saved; no one cares about people anymore, even those suddenly destitute, hit almost without warning.

I guess since there are no stories out there now of what it is like to have no money, the Republican got it right about our concern over the long term unemployed. Those unemployment checks were going to freeloaders and as soon as the money quit, they all got jobs.  At least that is what one would certainly think, from the silence, from the complete lack of stories, lack of diaries, or even lack of pleas to get something moving again on the assisting the unemployed.  It’s like the Republicans said “no”, and that was it… no more long term unemployment… Gravy train—> over… Back to work you scum….

Who would have expected it could have worked out this well?  Certainly no one I know.  We are all shell-shocked that any concern for these fellow citizens has just gone, evaporated. It appears that people are indeed, despite their lip-service, privately tired ot those lazy, cheapskates, mooching off the public dole, and that, though they say “tisk, tisk, you shouldn’t cut them”, there simply is no heart in them anymore to treat people more humanely than say, corporations….

Just out of curiosity over how this could be so, how we could have been so wrong, I wanted to crunch numbers for myself to see if it was true.

It is estimated that there are 4 million workers who are over 26 weeks unemployed. As of December 28th, there were 1.3 million who would lose benefits.   That would be week zero of the crises.  From December 29th through January 4th.  70,000 more were Immediately dropped high and dry. Then the following week, January 5th through the 11th,  another 70,000 tumbled off the roles.. The week following, January 12th through the 18th, 70,000 more…. Last Saturday, saw the grand total rise by another 70,000 people…. We have now gone a full month, at four times 70,000 and have added 280,000 more destitute families to our national roster….  1.58 million families are facing their own personal Grapes of Wrath… In the silence of public outcry, Republicans just laugh and laugh while they swim in the Congressional pool and wipe their clean butts now with clean towels, (now that the sequester and shutdowns are over)….

What’s the effect of all this?  I do Federal Budgets so these numbers are small to me… What’s a million?.  Chump change…  or  1 X 10^-12  or 0.000000000001 of my problems….It is so small it is very hard to visualize the human cost.  It is far easier to visualize the dollars saved.. The initial cut saved approximately . $ 397 million  ($306 listed as the average unemployment check amount)… Each subsequent week that total climbs as 70,000 X $306 or $21,420,000 gets added to the amount the Republicans are saving America….So as of last week, January 25th the chart of weekly savings looks like this….

  • $397 million  as of January 4th
  • $418 million as of January 11th
  • $440 million as of January 18th
  • $461 million as of January 25th.

Total saved America courtesy of the Republicans of the United States of America is… $1.76 billion dollars! Roughly one thousandth of our budget….

The total number of people claiming unemployment benefits in all programs for the week ending January 4 was 3,706,087, a decrease of 1,003,734 from the previous week. There were 5,659,482 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.

Hats off to them.  They saved money by taking care of a problem Democrats were too squeamish to handle.  Why have extended unemployment at all?  There was no where else that money could be saved, and it was time those lazy, useless freeloaders went back to work anyways.   There is no where else to make up that money.

For last month they already let tax breaks expire for college tuitions.  That’s been done; $4 billion saved.. Last month they let teachers writing-off their classroom expenses, expire.  That saved almost a billion.  No mortgage insurance premiums can be now be deducted. That saved over $5 billion dollars.  If you lived in a state with no sales tax, where you used to be able to deduct state and local sales taxes, .. you can’t now. Savings of $16 billion. The mortgage-modification tax break expired… meaning if your home was under water,  and you got relief from a bank, you get taxed on the amount of relief, thousands more than you can afford….  Got to love those Republicans, saving America money..

And of course no one can make changes to these tax breaks... The Cato Institute estimates that direct  federal subsidies to corporations costs taxpayers almost $100 billion every year. Furthermore, the tax code gives corporations special tax-breaks which reduced what is supposed to be a 35 percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually,,, Likewise, special tax breaks for hedge fund managers allowing them to pay only 15% rate?  (This is the break where the multimillionaire manager pays less of a percentage in taxes than her secretary). Estimates are that this costs taxpayers $83 billion annually and 68% of those who receive this special tax break earn far more than $462,500 per year (the top one percent of earners).

So Republicans are laughing all the way to the bank.  None of their money was touched, and $1.6 billion was saved on the backs of people who apparently live inside the cone of silence… I don’t hear outrage anymore, do you?

After all, what they did all those freeloaders, was apparently a favor. They finally got them off their ass and made them get a job. No lazy asses in a Republican-run world.. Bring on 2014…

They did all get a job, right? No one is saying anything to the contrary, so surely, they all got a job, right? All you have to do is walk up to a business and say, “I need a job” and they give it to you on the spot, right? Of course, right? Isn’t that how it’s done on TV sitcoms? If you need a job, you just go out and get one. Like Drake and Josh? So, everybody is now working, right, except those lazy butts whose long term still has not run out!

Let’s look. Here is the unemployment table for December 2013….

  • A)  According to the BLS 37.7% or over one third of all our unemployed are over 27 weeks…
  • B)  24.4% or one fourth land a job in 4 weeks and start in 5…
  • C)  Another quarter or 24.4% get a job their second month… that’s up to 8 weeks between jobs.
  • D)  The remaining 16% or one seventh of the unemployed, get their replacement job somewhere between the 3rd and 6th month….
  • It is the first third, or 37.7%,  who will lose benefits…. They are the losers….

“These had better get off their sasses, get over to Burger King, and start flipping (cooking) burgers.” (actual statement by Congressman on Budget Committee). So are they?

The advanced number for seasonally-adjusted insured-unemployment during the week ending January 11, was 3,056,000, an increase of 34,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,022,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,939,000, an increase of 31,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,908,000.

What? Unemployment claims are rising? That can’t be. People should be going back to work, not more people getting laid off! How will those long-term people now with no income, courtesy of the laughing House Republicans, get all those jobs they were supposed to walk in, demand, and get? You say there are now even more unemployed?

December’s unemployment for the month, was at a 6.7 %… The last monthly rate below 6.7% occurred in October 2008... the month after Lehman collapsed. (Amazing this Obama)  Unemployment is almost at pre-recession levels. But wait! Something must be wrong… 1 million unemployment claims just disappeared overnight on December 28th… What jobs did they all get? Burger King?

January’s jobs data is embargoed until February 7th…. But based off of December’s estimates, here is what HAS to happen for Republican wet dreams to come true. Over the course of last year, across all of 2013, the ranks of the long-term unemployment declined by 897,000. For Republican dreams to materialize, this month of, January 2014, total employment must rise by 1.58 million workers or by a total equal to all those left unpaid by long term employment…. For the record, that would be a 60% increase in one single month, over the entire past year’s hirings decreasing the totals of the long-term unemployed….

It probably won’t happen.

Since the unemployed usually spend all their check each week, the economy for January just toof a hit of $1.67 billion dollars from the lack of money these unemployed would have spent.. Most of that was felt immediately in retail. Retail just hired 55,000 new hires in December. I hope most still have jobs.

One further factor which sort of smudges up the calculations, making things not so clear cut, … is the the huge number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) which has remained essentially unchanged at 7.8 million through December. These individuals who are working part time because their hours have been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

I expect this to probably be where most of the absorption of the ex-communicated long termed unemployed will be found…..

Now so far, all I’ve talked about is money. But being unemployed is much more. It is about people…Human beings less fortunate than you or I, but, at a moment’s notice, at the whim of a boss and having no protections, we know we could be there too.(let’s hope the swirling rumors over HSBC’s imminent Lehman-sized collapse, aren’t true.)

How does one possibly show the human cost that this Republican obstinance is doing to the optimism, and the pride of this nation, the United States of America? Many of you are too young to remember this image ingrained in us,  but try to imagine a map of the United States of America and that it is under attack by nuclear weapons… When a strike hits, a white circle flashes on the map showing each lost city….

December 28th 2013….. San Diego…… Gone…… 1.3 million people.
January 4th 2014….. Wilmington Delaware…. gone… 70,000 people
January 11th 2014….. Canton, Ohio…… gone…. 70,000 people.
January 18th 2014….. Rapid City SD … gone…. 70,000 people.
January 25th 2014….. Scranton PA…… gone…. 70,000 people.

If these were real nukes dropping on our fellow citizens, launched by a sub-class of our fellow citizens, would we still be as silent, afraid to step out of line and express concern over fear of how we’d look to our corporate bosses and the snitches we work beside, and just shrug off the laughing Boehner and Cantor as they dry off with clean white cotton towels in the U.S House of Representatives members-only pool? I’m worried the answer is yes.

Well, guess what? There is something you can do. Act. Stop waiting. Do something. Act. Phone. Email. Text… Just act and tell your friends to act too.

Addendum: I saw this afterwards… it’s so ironic. After snuggly bashing the Soviets for years (and I was good at it) as being softly inferior to us tough, old capitalists, I with pure admiration today see their progeny in the squares of Ukraine, who won’t accept injustice lying down, who won’t see their dreams arbitrarily squelched, who won’t let something just get taken away from them because that entity is so powerful and distant, it seems senseless to contest it… I see them, and I say… wow, we really suck as human beings.. What is wrong with us?

And then I again see by the pool, Boehner and Cantor, just gaffawing away at us timid Democrats… Oh well. I guess that is how it goes. Sigh.