The first news I read this morning was a very depressing New York Times editorial.
Here's what I learned from the sobering statistics in this editorial. Since June 1st, when federal unemployment benefits began to expire, an estimated 325,000 jobless workers have been cut off. That number will swell to 1.25 million by the end of June unless the U.S. Congress extends the benefits. The U.S. Senate, so far, has failed to act.
Some U.S. senators, including Democrats, have balked at an unrelated provision that would begin to close a tax loophole enjoyed by some of the richest Americans. Yep, folks, you heard it here. Desperately needed unemployment benefits are being held hostage to a tax break for the rich!
Closing the tax loophole for the rich would raise an estimated $25 billion over 10 years. Many private equity executives, venture capitalists and other partnerships have lobbied to keep as much of the tax loophole as they can.
Most Republicans and some Democratic senators -- including John Kerry of Massachusetts, Mark Warner of Virginia and Maria Cantwell of Washington -- are doing the bidding of the rich while holding the poor hostage!
U.S. senators may vote on the bill at the end of this week. Then it will need to be reconciled with the House-passed version. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands more unemployed Americans will lose benefits.
The editorial ends with the following paragraph:
That so many senators have balked is a bad sign for the economy and for the most vulnerable Americans. The fact that lawmakers are not willing to ask the nation's wealthiest to pay their fair share of taxes also makes a mockery of all their talk about deficit reduction.
I suggest the U.S. taxpayers/voters send these U.S. senators to the unemployment line!
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