Think about this: There are more people in America today with NO INCOME AT ALL than there were net new jobs created since October of 2009 when the unemployment rate peaked at 10.2%.
Sure, since the Great Recession many of the older workers opted out for an early Social Security retirement at age 62 if they had to --- and single moms with children might have qualified for a meager welfare check. And many people even found low-paying temp jobs, only to be laid off again (and qualifying for less in an unemployment check).
And many people (if they were VERY lucky) after perusing a Social Security disability claim, finally were approved after suffering two or more years of worry and a mountain of paperwork.
But millions of others have already exhausted all their unemployment benefits over two years ago and never qualified for any other type of government assistance, and so had NO INCOME AT ALL (I am but one).
So what if people's payroll (and/or federal income) taxes go back to where they once were. Big deal. At least they have an income and a tax to pay. What about those who are unemployed, but yet are still obligated to pay federal income taxes on their unemployment checks?
Also, there's been a lot of talk in the media lately regarding the "fiscal cliff" and how 2 million people might have their extended UI benefits paid retroactively --- bla, bla, bla....
Millions of Americans have already been there, done that.
Exactly two years ago in 2010 the Republicans in Congress bickered over extending the Bush tax cuts (especially for the rich) in exchange for extending unemployment benefits and food stamps for the poor. Remember that?
That was the time when President Obama once said he didn't want to raise taxes on ANYBODY because of a "bad economy". (Meaning, "bad" for working and jobless people, but not "bad" for big corporations and banks, those who made record profits and whose CEOs made record salaries.)
But what about today, and the 7 million+ long-term unemployed people who have already exhausted all 99 weeks of their unemployment benefits and are still unemployed (and have been so for a very long time) and have tried living with no income at all?
What about those who couldn't find another job, especially if they're "50-something" -- those who are too old to hire and too young to retire?
What about them, and what about the "99ers"? Why is the media harping about those who are already blessed with jobs and an income, who might see their taxes go up, just a little. Bid deal. People like me WISH they could pay taxes!
The "99ers" have been literally swept under the rug. I've been out of work since 2008 and I can't collect a REDUCED Social Security payment until I'm 62 years old...that's 5 more years from now! And I'm quite sure there are many others in the same boat as I am.
God bless him, Ed Schultz, who used to mention the "99ers" on his TV show on MSNBC, but not lately.
The government's reported unemployment rate (the U-3 rate) was at 10.2% in October of 2009 when over 15 million Americans were unemployed. At least 8 million of them were laid off between 2007 to 2009 during the Great Recession.
Today the government says the unemployment rate is only 7.7% with 12 million unemployed; and that millions more just simply disappeared and "dropped out of the labor force". The government claims they stopped looking for work, as though, if they really were looking for that mystery job, they could actually find one.
NOTE: We had 12 million people consistently unemployed for a very long time, because the labor force's "participation rate" is reduced with all those "discouraged workers" who stopped looking for work. But then, how does the unemployment rate drop if 12 million is a greater percentage of the overall shrunken work force? I still don't understand the government's math.
Also, since the unemployment rate peaked:
- How many NET new jobs were created since October 2009?
- How may more layoffs and out-sourced jobs were there since October of 2009?
- How many of those 8 million laid-off Americans found another job since October 2009?
- How many young people who graduated from high school and college found a job since October of 2009?
- How many "guest-workers" from foreign countries were granted jobs here since October 2009?
My unemployment benefits expired in June of 2010 when I was 54 years old. Now in December of 2012 I'm 57 years old and living on
food stamps ---- and only food stamps. If it weren't for food stamps I'd be dead, but the Republicans want to cut food stamps
I guess the Republicans want me dead, because more jobs will go to Asia and more foreign "guest workers" will come here to work in America.
And all the NEW jobs, meaning, more low-paying jobs at places like Wal-Mart and
McDonalds, will go to young college graduates --- and not to long-term unemployed
old people with only a high school education (or less). They were the
ones who used to get those jobs, them and the teenagers.
I can only hope that within the next 5 years the Republicans don't have their way and completely eliminate Social Security too --- or won't raise the eligibility age to 70. If that happened, I'd be more screwed than I already am.
If your payroll taxes and/or federal income taxes go up (just a little) next year, big deal. I can't pay taxes. I didn't have to file a federal income tax return for the first time in 40 years.
If your taxes go up a little next year, count yourself one of the lucky ones because you'll have an income and can pay taxes. Many can't, regardless of whether they wanted to or not.