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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

 
Playing Chess With People's Lives

by digby

This is just ridiculous:

Wanda DuVall has been collecting unemployment benefits since she lost her job back in February 2009, saying that she filed her most recent claim on Monday. On Wednesday, she did not receive the deposit she expected and called the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation to find out what happened.

"They informed me that, unless a miracle occurs in Congress, my unemployment benefits would end. The 19th would be the last check," said DuVall, 69, a former employee of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

DuVall had been receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits, which provide up to 53 weeks of federally-funded compensation on top of the initial 26 weeks provided by states. The program will lapse on April 5 -- after that date, people like DuVall will lose eligibility for additional "tiers" of benefits after their current tier expires.

Last week, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate played a game of political chicken with a temporary extension, failing to extend eligibility for another month before adjourning for a two-week break. Republicans took a stand on deficit reduction, blocking a Democratic measure to extend benefits on an emergency basis without paying for them; Democrats voted to adjourn, gambling that people will simply blame the GOP for the lapse.



Why would they do that? They'll blame the people in charge, of course --- the Democrats. (Why does everyone believe average people think like Machiavelli?) In fact, here's what Wanda DuVall actually thinks:

"They just failed to pass it and they went on their vacation," said DuVall.



Evidently, this problem will be rectified. But every time this happens, a little teabagger gets her wings. And for good reason: the government seems like a bunch of Keystone Cops who either don't care about the suffering of their constituents or who are too ineffectual to fix these problems. Either way, it's just plain dumb.


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