Thursday, June 24, 2010

The incredible shrinking relief bill:

In the news:
Democratic leaders in the Senate have apparently failed to win enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster of a bill to help the poor, the old and the jobless, despite making a series of cuts to the measure over the past several weeks to appease deficit hawks.

The legislation, known as the "tax extenders" bill, would reauthorize extended unemployment benefits for people out of work for six months or longer, would protect doctors from a 21 percent pay cut for seeing Medicare patients, and would provide billions in aid to state Medicaid programs.

Both chambers of Congress had already passed the measure, deficit spending and all, but when it came time to combine the bills in May, conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans lost their previous will to help the economy and forced party leaders to begin the nickel-and-dime process of trimming the bill.

The House shortened the Medicare physicians' fix, dropped the Medicaid money, and also $7 billion in subsidies for laid off workers to buy health insurance. The Senate cut $25 per week from every unemployment check and shortened the so-called "Doc Fix" even further, to six months, and on Wednesday Dem leaders trimmed another $8 billion by reducing the Medicaid assistance. The bill has shrunk over the past few weeks from $190 billion, to $80 billion, to $55 billion, to just over $30 billion in the current Senate version.
$30 billion would surely help those it's directed at, but that's going to leave plenty of other people in grim shape.


If you have gone 2 years without finding a job, perhaps you belong on welfare instead of unemployment.

The whole point of Obamacare was to reduce the deficit by slashing doctor pay for seeing Medicare patients. The Republicans should only sign off on the "doc fix" in exchange for a repeal of the health care bill.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/24/2010 6:52 PM  

Yes with an efffective unempoyment rate over 18% in the worst downturn since the depression; there is no doubt that only slackers would face extended unemployment. Real Americans would beat the odds and replace their $80,000/year job with benefits with a couple/three part time jobs pulling in $14,000 with no benefits.

They way people defend a doctors' right to be rich is amusing. And they only went to med school out of love for the little people.

Looks like the only bipartisan stimulus option left to pick up the economy is increase defense spending and slash taxes on the top 5% and corporations...

By Anonymous Mart, at 6/25/2010 11:59 AM  

Um, Mart, when I lost my IT job I went to work as a freelance handyman, painting porches, fixing drywall and tuckpointing. I fucking hated it. That led to another job I hated, which led to the one I have now which I like.

You know what meant the most to my current employer? When I explained to him that I was working jobs I hate, but still showing up on time and doing a good job. Which would he rather have? Me, or someone who had been sitting on his ass for two years waiting for the perfect job to fall in his lap?

Read this?

I'm now up to half of my former IT salary, with a steady job working with my hands as a art restoration craftsman. When I was a 15-year systems programmer, I never believed I would be doing something like this, but I actually have more job satisfaction doing this. I wouldn't have gone back. Who would have thought?

So yeah, if you want a good job, get off your ass and get a bad one. Employers are on to the endless "funemployment" scam, and they are not impressed by someone who spends two years sending out just enough resumes to not have to work. Get a job as a dishwasher. Sweep floors. Do something.

Yes, get three part time jobs pulling in $14,000 with no benefits. Lots of people do it. You're better than them?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/27/2010 6:10 AM  

"Yes, get three part time jobs pulling in $14,000 with no benefits. Lots of people do it. You're better than them?"

What do you not understand about 18 percent unemployment? Lots of people would be glad to work part time jobs IF THERE WERE ANY TO BE HAD.

I wish more Republicans would run pledging to repeal the health care law (it's not a bill. Schoolhouse Rock should have taught you that!) More Americans support the law now that they're beginning to understand what's in it for them. Republicans have been shying away from advocating total repeal, because they can see that young people like the idea of staying on their parents' insurance until age 26, and the abolition of the pre-existing condition restriction.

Republicans are trying to slow-walk economic recovery until the midterms, hoping it will lead to electoral success. It's a short-sighted strategy, but it's what the GOP excels at. If they regain the majority, they won't keep it for long. They've proven they're masters of obstruction who have no governing strategy other than tax cuts for the rich and hatred for minorities and the poor. Since demographics are definitely working against them, if Republicans do take over Congress this fall (which I seriously doubt), they'll lose it in 2012 and probably never regain it for at least a generation.

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 6/27/2010 1:42 PM  

Anono - I am happy for you that you loved ending up at half your old pay; but you are in a position that does not exist for my family. Among many jobs I have enjoyed over the years is scooping up horse manure to send to mushroom farms, and school bus puke cleaner. So I get pissed when you imply I would judge myself above any job. The thing is that horseshit job was a Teamster job that paid $15/hr in 1978. My co-workers had good lives providing for their families. Living wages have been destroyed over the past three decades and I see no reason for you to see that as a good thing. Hell, last year without insurance my family's medical bills would have totaled over $14,000 alone. Yes we could all get jobs at McDonald's and live in a van down by the river, but last I heard that was not the American dream. Anyway, thanks Anono for bravely leading the way forward to lower wages for all Americans so we can compete with team China.

By Anonymous Mart, at 6/28/2010 6:06 PM  

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