Corporate interests block jobs legislation

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Combating crisis conditions on several fronts, President Obama renewed a call to Congress to pass much needed jobs legislation. In a letter to members of the House and Senate, the president stressed the need to take action now: "We cannot afford to slide backwards just as our recovery is taking hold. We must take these emergency measures." 

Powerful corporate interests in Congress however are blocking legislation. The New York Times claims that some representatives of both parties are holding extension of unemployment benefits hostage to tax cuts for the rich. In an editorial they said, "Some senators, including Democrats, have balked at an unrelated provision that would begin to close a tax loophole enjoyed by some of the richest Americans. You heard right. Desperately needed unemployment benefits have been held hostage to a tax break for the rich, and the Senate's Democratic leadership has had to delay and finagle to get its own caucus in line."

The political wrangling has deprived recently 325,000 workers of benefits.

The House of Representatives recently passed a scaled-back jobs package, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. A similar bill remains stalled in the Senate. 

The president's new push centers on job creation, tax incentives to small business, aid to states facing deficit crisis and a new extension of unemployment benefits.

White House initiatives in this regard have been repeatedly scaled back by Congress.

The AFL-CIO indicated its strong support for job creation and recession fighting legislation, pointing out that if Congress fails to act on unemployment insurance, "8.2 million workers will exhaust their benefits by the end of 2010."

The labor federation signaled its support to the recent legislative initiatives of Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Baucus has proposed financial assistance to states, local infrastructure proposals and extension of unemployment benefits. Brown has proposed an amendment "to the appropriations bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that would extend the COBRA subsidy for laid-off workers."

However, some conservative Democrats along with Republicans have balked at these and other measures using deficit reduction as an excuse. "Late last week, several Democrats said they were unwilling to support the jobs package before the Senate, which includes several administration priorities. Among them: provisions to revive emergency benefits for unemployed workers, which expired June 2, as well as $24 billion in state aid that Obama has called critical to averting 'massive layoffs' of public-sector workers." 

The National Conference of Mayors convention joined the call for federal action on jobs. Its president, Burnsville, Minn., Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, said, "If this country is indeed emerging from a recession as national economists say, many, many people in our cities don't feel it. The jobs picture in our cities is still dire, and we need immediate federal action to make sure the recovery arrives on Main Street." 

Unemployment figures indicate that "148 of the nation's 363 metropolitan areas will still have unemployment rates above 10 percent by the end of this year, with 110 metro areas facing double-digit unemployment by the end of 2011."

Economists have warned that a double dip recession is in store if Congress fails to act.

Photo: Marilyn Bechtel/PW

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  • American style corporatism is being undermined by careful and skillful Asian indoctrinations! America is losing the Economic war with Asia. Yesteryear we designed our own cars, made our own steel, Today's cars in our streets are Asian designs. Tomorrow's cars in our streets will be Asian built and imported whole to America. The "Double Dip" is just the next normal down cycle in a healthy corporatist economy, only this time, hidden in its troughs is the great depression, as China has denied Geithner and Obama any financial support this time around, already! Wall Street Banksters are comfortably retired with their spoils and the poor American working slob in shirt-sleeves gets to pick up the tab once again.

    Posted by Uncle B, 07/17/2010 4:46pm (4 years ago)

  • Remember these fools (both Dem and GOP) this Nov. These "rectum voids" can give 100's of billions to the rich, but squabble over helping those who vote. No we the unemployed will not "eat cake"!

    Anyone that votes for any incumbent this Nov. is part of the problem!!

    Posted by JustSomeUnemployedDude, 06/15/2010 10:49pm (5 years ago)

  • People it is time to take America back. Vote wisely this coming election. Vote everyone out who is not working for the people.

    Posted by kathy, 06/15/2010 2:36pm (5 years ago)

  • One of the major reasons that the Congress is hesitant to pass the HR4213 is that they fear that passage of the bill will, somehow in the future, affect their raises and benefits. Do you honestly think that they care about anyone but themselves. These are the jackasses who got us into this situation, but they are not worried about us surviving. They ARE worried about there being enough money to pay THEM. Did you know that the salary of a Congress person ranges between $164000.00 per year to $174000.00 per year. Is that a crime or what?
    Problem here is that people who make that much money and have a life-style accordingly live in a different world than the rest of us. They cannot feel what we are feeling. Their bank accounts are loaded. They don't know what it is to have their electricity, telephone, water or heat turned off because there wasn't enough money to pay the bill. They believe that they are above the rest of us and that they are a better class of people than we. They look down their noses upon us and their belief is that we are the dirt under their feet that they unfortunately are forced, by their positions in government, to have to deal with OUR problems.
    This is why it takes so long to get legislation passed which is aimed to help us. They both don't believe that we need their help and they really don't care about OUR problems. After all, they have secure jobs and likewise secure paychecks. Why should they care about us? Their pet animals are regarded more than we are! They probably eat better too! This is what your Congress is! Don't build up your hopes that THEY will help you. They will help THEMSELVES first!

    Posted by micke maloney, 06/15/2010 2:35pm (5 years ago)

  • There should be NOTHING else in the Jobs bill wxcept the unemployment/jobs, FUCK Corporate Ceo's, they have been part of the Downfall of America, selling 98% of chinese products.

    Posted by Tim, 06/15/2010 2:28pm (5 years ago)

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