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Old 10-07-2009, 09:42 PM
 
461 posts, read 818,165 times
Reputation: 57

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Write byline DON LEE Reporting from Washington

Write body With joblessness continuing to rise and the recovery in danger of losing steam, President Obama met Wednesday with top congressional Democratic leaders to discuss new ways to boost the economy and create jobs. But Obama and the Democrats are caught in a double bind: Having seriously underestimated the severity of the recession early this year – especially in terms of unemployment – they face difficult policy decisions about how best to ease the financial pain of millions of idled workers and assure that the recovery continues. At the same time, they are under relentless attack from Republicans and other conservatives who argue that the $787 billion stimulus package approved last winter has sent the deficit soaring while failing to bring down unemployment. That leaves the administration with the sticky challenge of finding effective ways to buoy the economy without appearing to propose more "stimulus." Reflecting the political sensitivity of the issue, White House and congressional aides insisted Wednesday that another "stimulus" plan was not in the works. Yet administration policy-makers and some outside economists are beginning to worry that the still-embryonic recovery could falter in coming months if no new action is taken. Not only is unemployment expected to rise – and remain high -- well into next year, but consumer spending – a major engine of economic growth – remains anemic, and most of the existing money from the Recovery Act will have been spent by the first half of next year. Although officials would not give specifics of Obama's 45-minute meeting with House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the White House has been looking at extending key elements of the original stimulus package, including expanded unemployment benefits, a subsidy for continuing health insurance for laid off workers, and a tax credit for first-time home buyers. These three programs are set to expire by the end of the year. Also under consideration are various ideas to spur job creation, including a proposal to offer tax credits to businesses that hire new workers or extend the hours of existing employees. Most economists believe Obama's stimulus package, which also included funds for highway projects and teetering local governments, has measurably helped the economy respond to the worst recession since the Great Depression. Some are beginning to call for new government action to sustain the budding recovery. "The bottom line is, the economic case for more intervention is overwhelming," said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. Unemployment in September was reported at 9.8% last Friday. Moreover, job losses accelerated last month from August, heightening concerns among analysts and intensifying pressure on the Obama administration, which has been focused on health-care overhaul and troubles in Afghanistan and Iran, to do more to improve the domestic employment situation. Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has suffered a net loss of about 8 million jobs, based on revised figures reported last Friday. Adding that figure to the number of new jobs needed just to keep up with the growing population, Shierholz estimated that the nation was in the hole about o 10.7 million jobs. The severity of the problem, some economists say, argues for additional stimulus despite the unwanted addition to the government's deficit. "The reality is that if we let people just flounder and not help them, we're shooting ourselves in the foot," said Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, noting that failure to act would lead to more dire social and economic problems. But the size of the political challenge for Obama is reflected in the fact that the Senate, home to many moderate and conservative Democrats as well as the vocal GOP minority, has thus far been unable to act even on the relatively uncontroversial proposal to extend jobless benefits for three months. Having passed the House more than two weeks ago, the extension bill has been bogged down in the Senate amid differences over how many states should get the extra benefits, among other issues. Meanwhile, more than 300,000 long-term jobless workers saw their benefits expire last month. "It's like they don't care, otherwise they would have done something by now," said a woman in Chico, Calif., who asked that she be identified only by her first name, Diane. The one-time paralegal said she received her last unemployment benefit check on Sept. 19. "It's sad," she added. "What do they expect people to live on?" Obama's original stimulus package extended the normal 26-week unemployment benefits up to 79 weeks, and also provided a 65% subsidy for employees who lose their jobs to maintain their COBRA medical coverage for up to nine months. Both programs are set to expire at the end of this year. The homebuyer's tax credit of up to $8,000 – which has helped to stabilize the housing market – is slated to end on Nov. 30. In a statement after Wednesday's meeting with Obama and Pelosi in the White House Oval Office, Majority Leader Reid said an extension of the homebuyer tax credit was needed, as well as "creative, innovative ways to encourage businesses to create new jobs." White House officials said the president's economic team has been considering dozens of job-spurring ideas. One of them that appears to be getting a close study is a proposal to give a tax credit to businesses that hire workers. The incentive was used in the 1970s, but members of Congress have expressed concerns that it would amount to a subsidy for businesses and subject to abuse. Obama administration officials said this week that these discussions were preliminary and that they did not have cost estimates for continuing some of the safety-net provisions in the original stimulus. But according to some estimates, extending the jobless benefits support for another year could alone run about $100 billion. To read the full report, visit: The Commonwealth Fund -- Health Policy, Health Reform, and Performance Improvement
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:46 PM
 
461 posts, read 818,165 times
Reputation: 57
Gingrey votes against jobless benefits bill, explains
by Melody Dareing
2 days 8 hrs ago | 661 views | 5 | 1 | |



A recent bill passed by Congress to extend jobless benefits had a dark side, according to 11 th District Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta).

Gingrey voted against the measure when the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009 came to the House floor last week. The bill passed 331 to 83, putting Gingrey in small minority circle of opposition.

“I was particularly disappointed that this legislation included a surtax on taxpayers at a time when we should be providing tax relief,” Gingrey said of the legislation.

“Rather than pursuing regressive economic policies, Congress must enact fiscally responsible legislation that fosters economic recovery.”

Gingrey said joblessness is concern of his, but he doesn’t feel the current President or Congress is really helping the unemployed.

He said Americans need jobs, not handouts.

“I believe that Congress must do more to cure the underlying disease rather than merely treating the symptoms,” Gingrey said, adding that he supports measures that grow the economy.

“I have and will continue to support efforts to enact pro-growth tax policies that will encourage new businesses and create new jobs, and I strongly urge the President to make the country’s economic recovery his top priority,” Gingrey said.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:05 PM
 
175 posts, read 310,014 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by montanaskye07 View Post

Gingrey said joblessness is concern of his, but he doesn’t feel the current President or Congress is really helping the unemployed.

He said Americans need jobs, not handouts.

“I believe that Congress must do more to cure the underlying disease rather than merely treating the symptoms,” Gingrey said, adding that he supports measures that grow the economy.

“I have and will continue to support efforts to enact pro-growth tax policies that will encourage new businesses and create new jobs, and I strongly urge the President to make the country’s economic recovery his top priority,” Gingrey said.


Mark my words, I will go out and vote for WHOEVER runs against him next time. I don't care if it's Big Bird or Mickey Mouse.

So we can all starve and become homeless because he feels the President and Congress needs to wave a magic wand and give us all jobs tomorrow instead of handouts today? WTH????? We'd all love jobs! But in the meanwhile, its okay to let us lose everything? I am just without words... seriously.

This sickens me.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:35 PM
 
189 posts, read 261,863 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyotosong View Post


Mark my words, I will go out and vote for WHOEVER runs against him next time. I don't care if it's Big Bird or Mickey Mouse.

So we can all starve and become homeless because he feels the President and Congress needs to wave a magic wand and give us all jobs tomorrow instead of handouts today? WTH????? We'd all love jobs! But in the meanwhile, its okay to let us lose everything? I am just without words... seriously.

This sickens me.
They are not thinking about a very important thing right now either. There are a lot of people out there that have already lost their benefits, like me, but the difference is like I was telling my husband that there are more 1 family incomes out there where they don't have a spouse that is making the sole income right now while the other is out of work. They are going without food, fixing to be winter and won't be able to pay for their heat, if they are not already going without utilities. Why are they treating us like deadbeats saying we aren't trying to get jobs when we have worked all of our lives to in self respecting jobs to make a name for ourselves, be law abiding, raise our families, work in our communities and do good will for people, be a part of society that does not include the words DEAD BEAT PEOPLE, to be a legacy for our children, someone they can be proud, to be treated like this? I don't think so! That scares me that my children and grandchildren will have to defend themselves from the government as well one day if they aren't already. Use to be I was always helping my children and grandchildren but I am already diving into the last bit of our savings so that we can survive and it's embarrassing to have to tell them I want to help but can't, even though they don't ask. Right now I am not proud to be an American because of what our government is doing to us and what they stand for, the greed and arrogance of it all. They showed {some people out here (where I am staying this week while my husband is working here in Alabama) on television, living under bridges and in tent cities. Some people have lost their transportation or will lose it so how do they expect those people to get to work if they don't have a way? It's not a handout, it's helping our people of the United States. Their is a couple at church we have been giving food and even helped financially because the husband lost his job and was fixing to lose his car, was already behind one payment. They aren't seeing the BIG PICTURE here and what is really going on with people. Do they need to see food lines like they had during the Great Depression to believe that WE NEED HELP and we are all out there with degrees and educations but for every job there are 6 people competing for that same job. Anymore they want the younger, prettier, ones that they don't have to pay as high of wages because they know the ones with the higher educations will expect more money...well of course we will because we earned it but right now I am desperate enough to take just about anything, except selling drugs and hooking! (Dont think my husband would go for that one!)

Last edited by dianeparker56; 10-07-2009 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:42 AM
 
29 posts, read 35,905 times
Reputation: 11
I'm a bit confused about this tax credit for businesses to hire workers/create new jobs.......How in the world can a business do this if they are teetering on bankruptcy themselves? I worked for 20+ years in the manufacturing industry and if you don't have the orders to fill, you lay your workers off. These kinds of businesses can't just "create' new jobs regardless of how dang big the tax credit is. So I'm a bit confused here. I don't know what it's like in corporate America because I have not been there, but in the industrial areas of the country, you can't just create a job if you don't have the orders to fill. I'm not quite grasping how this tax credit is going to help across the board. Can anyone explain that?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:35 AM
 
9 posts, read 9,341 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dianeparker56 View Post
They are not thinking about a very important thing right now either. There are a lot of people out there that have already lost their benefits, like me, but the difference is like I was telling my husband that there are more 1 family incomes out there where they don't have a spouse that is making the sole income right now while the other is out of work. They are going without food, fixing to be winter and won't be able to pay for their heat, if they are not already going without utilities. Why are they treating us like deadbeats saying we aren't trying to get jobs when we have worked all of our lives to in self respecting jobs to make a name for ourselves, be law abiding, raise our families, work in our communities and do good will for people, be a part of society that does not include the words DEAD BEAT PEOPLE, to be a legacy for our children, someone they can be proud, to be treated like this? I don't think so! That scares me that my children and grandchildren will have to defend themselves from the government as well one day if they aren't already. Use to be I was always helping my children and grandchildren but I am already diving into the last bit of our savings so that we can survive and it's embarrassing to have to tell them I want to help but can't, even though they don't ask. Right now I am not proud to be an American because of what our government is doing to us and what they stand for, the greed and arrogance of it all. They showed {some people out here (where I am staying this week while my husband is working here in Alabama) on television, living under bridges and in tent cities. Some people have lost their transportation or will lose it so how do they expect those people to get to work if they don't have a way? It's not a handout, it's helping our people of the United States. Their is a couple at church we have been giving food and even helped financially because the husband lost his job and was fixing to lose his car, was already behind one payment. They aren't seeing the BIG PICTURE here and what is really going on with people. Do they need to see food lines like they had during the Great Depression to believe that WE NEED HELP and we are all out there with degrees and educations but for every job there are 6 people competing for that same job. Anymore they want the younger, prettier, ones that they don't have to pay as high of wages because they know the ones with the higher educations will expect more money...well of course we will because we earned it but right now I am desperate enough to take just about anything, except selling drugs and hooking! (Dont think my husband would go for that one!)
Couldn't agree with you more Diane. So much of what you say pertains to eveyone here. What is it going to take to wake up these people in D.C.? How in the world do they think we're coming out of the recession? These people need a reality check. We are falling further and further behind and even if I ever got a job I'm afraid I'll never dig myself out. I'm 57, and like you said, no one wants to pay for experience. They want younger workers who they can pay minimum wage to. I'm no economics major, but what if they lowered the age limit to receive social security benefits creating more job openings? Allow this for a limited time of course just to relieve the pressure of unemployment. These people could still work part-time without affecting their S.S. benefits. Believe me, I would rather work than be unemployed, but there are no jobs out there. Please Washington, help us. We elected you as the "Pied Piper" and you're leading us to drown.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:42 AM
 
727 posts, read 930,526 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dax666 View Post
Couldn't agree with you more Diane. So much of what you say pertains to eveyone here. What is it going to take to wake up these people in D.C.? How in the world do they think we're coming out of the recession? These people need a reality check. We are falling further and further behind and even if I ever got a job I'm afraid I'll never dig myself out. I'm 57, and like you said, no one wants to pay for experience. They want younger workers who they can pay minimum wage to. I'm no economics major, but what if they lowered the age limit to receive social security benefits creating more job openings? Allow this for a limited time of course just to relieve the pressure of unemployment. These people could still work part-time without affecting their S.S. benefits. Believe me, I would rather work than be unemployed, but there are no jobs out there. Please Washington, help us. We elected you as the "Pied Piper" and you're leading us to drown.
Great idea on the SSI. We have some smart and resourceful people on this site!!!
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:44 AM
 
Location: NW Ga
309 posts, read 565,201 times
Reputation: 27
Angry Constituants

YEAH-- Gingrey is my district...
I cant wait to do my part to make him feel unemployment...it won't be the level I know....
but we might not have a thing left when all is said and done except our right to vote..
buh bye to him as a rep.
i wrote to him 3 diff times about my plight as an unemployed family.
i got one week left till i cant stay here and utilites start getting shut down week after,lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyotosong View Post


Mark my words, I will go out and vote for WHOEVER runs against him next time. I don't care if it's Big Bird or Mickey Mouse.

So we can all starve and become homeless because he feels the President and Congress needs to wave a magic wand and give us all jobs tomorrow instead of handouts today? WTH????? We'd all love jobs! But in the meanwhile, its okay to let us lose everything? I am just without words... seriously.

This sickens me.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:44 AM
 
727 posts, read 930,526 times
Reputation: 47
First-time state unemployment claims up 17 percent in September




By Kristi E. Swartz

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
More than 66,610 laid-off workers filed claims for state unemployment insurance benefits for the first time last month, the Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday morning.
The number of claims is a 17.6 percent increase from September 2008, the labor department said. But the claims dropped slightly from August of this year, when 69,869 first-time claims were filed, the GDOL said.
The number of jobless workers receiving state unemployment benefits soared 58.8 percent in September -- 139,900 up from 88,121 in September 2008, GDOL figures show.
Metro Atlanta leads the state in the number of laid-off workers filing for unemployment insurance benefits for the first time in September, according to figures released Thursday morning. More than 31,150 first-time claims were filed in September, a 26.9 percent increase from 24,553 claims filed in September 2008.
The metro areas of Augusta, Athens and Macon followed in the largest increase in year-over-year claims for September. Dalton, on the other hand, saw a sharp decrease in the number of first-time claims filed. More than 2,290 claims were filed in September, a 34.4 percent decrease from the 3,499 claims filed a year ago.
Also, the average length of time laid-off workers in the state drew on unemployment insurance benefits increased to 14 weeks in September, from 11.8 weeks the same time a year ago, GDOL said.
"This is a strong reminder that we must increase our efforts to help unemployed Georgians find new jobs or careers," State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said in a statement.
Thurmond said he thinks federal, state and local governments must invest in more public-sector resources, which will help small businesses create jobs.
Thurmond told Congress in April that the $220 million Georgia received in additional unemployment insurance money saved the state from having to raise unemployment taxes on employers by about 45 percent. The additional boost, part of the federal stimulus package, increased the amount of time workers can draw unemployment, placed an additional $25 a week in unemployment checks and let part-time workers apply for benefits.
The state's unemployment trust fund continues to deplete, however. Thurmond told a state legislative committee in July that Georgia had $593 million in a trust fund for unemployment benefits. Last December, that account held $1.1 billion, he said.
But he assured lawmakers that unemployment benefit checks will continue to keep coming regardless of what's in that account.
Has any one noticed if the numbers were revised on GA DOL?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:54 AM
 
Location: NW Ga
309 posts, read 565,201 times
Reputation: 27
Senate Democrats debate over extending unemployment benefits - Oct. 8, 2009
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