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Unemployment Extension: Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Bill vs. Budget Deficit – Democrats and Republicans are in a long battle towards the passage of an unemployment extension bill. The Democrats, except for Ben Nelson of Nebraska, support the passage of the bill while the Republicans continue to be against it in an argument that it would just increase the budget deficit of the government.
Clearly, the budget deficit is alarming. There is no doubt about that. Reports say that in the 2010 fiscal year alone, the federal government is projected to collect $2.2 trillion in taxes and spend $3.6 trillion, leaving a deficit of $1.4 trillion. In addition, if the current tax and spending policies continue to be implemented, deficits are estimated to remain near $1 trillion a year for the next decade.
It is worthy to note that the deficit started during the Bush administration especially during its implementation of huge tax cuts coupled with the billions of money used to bail out Wall Street companies during the height of the financial crisis in 2008. So far, the stimulus plan to bring back the economy into its normal growth account for an estimated 28 percent of the budget in 2010 and 14 percent in 2011. To address this issue, Obama earlier called on for a reduction or cut back of the discretionary spending of the government.
There should indeed be a reduction of the expenses. There are other more important things that should be prioritized. However, the Tier 5 unemployment extension bill for the 99ers should not be sacrificed. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, unemployment insurance is the most effective form of economic stimulus, creating $1.93 in GDP for every $1 in unemployment benefits. This is supplemented by Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project saying: “Our real deficit is a jobs deficit. It is urgent that Congress act to restore the extended unemployment and COBRA programs as quickly as possible.”
For all 99ers, please don’t get tired to send emails, letters, fax messages, and phone calls to your state Senators. And for all the members of the Congress, reading this, please help the 99ers. They were there to support you during your candidacy. Now, it’s your time to support them.
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