By Manifesto Joe
The best Christmas gift I could have gotten from whatever gods may be came to me on Christmas Eve. I got a job offer, after just over five months of unemployment. I happily accepted.
Not everyone out there is so fortunate, and there but for the grace of God go I. On Saturday, December 29, federal emergency unemployment benefits will end for some 2.1 million Americans, including those in my state who have been jobless for over six months.
I'm certain that Republicans, being the smug types that they are, will try to somehow blame President Obama for this, since he refused to just bend over and spread them for Orange Julius & Co. to continue all the lovely tax bonanzas for the super-rich. Obama gave away plenty trying to strike a budget deal before Christmas, and Orange Julius instead tried to float his own ludicrous "Plan B," and had to sheepishly admit that he did not have sufficient control of his own caucus to get it passed. Obama said he would have vetoed it anyway.
In any case, emergency aid for the long-term unemployed isn't part of the "fiscal cliff" deal, and after last week it looks as though there won't be a deal anyway. There are a few days left, but I'm not holding my breath.
Orange Julius isn't going to miss any meals because of this, nor will any members of his caucus. None of them will face bankruptcy, perhaps even homelessness, because of failure to reach an agreement.
But many Americans will. If I hadn't had the "cavalry" arrive in the nick of time, I could very well have been among them. I'm now in my sixth month of unemployment, and I don't have my first day at work at my new job for a few more weeks.
Polls indicate that more Americans blame the Republicans for the "fiscal cliff" crisis than blame Obama. But it's ridiculous that anyone at all blames the latter. I suppose it's a testament to how much Fox News, Rush Lardbaugh, etc., have persuaded millions of Americans that shit tastes like Beluga caviar.
Here are a couple of links to websites that explain what is happening to benefits for the long-term unemployed. I don't suppose this will provoke rioting in U.S. streets, but if it doesn't, I can't imagine what it would take.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.