Well, 2013 is coming to a close, and the 113th Congress has ended this year as the least productive Congress on record. After shutting down the Federal government with their antics, Congress has decided to deliver one last kick to the nation’s ribs by not extending Federal unemployment benefits before taking off on an ill-deserved Christmas vacation.
For the record, Federal benefits expire on the 28th, just three days after Christmas. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, indeed.
I hardly know what to say at this point. I mean, I’ve gone on record before discussing how this Congress would rather score political points than lift a finger to help the people who voted them into office, but this is a new low. These Congressmen and women, many of whom love to profess their Christian faith at every opportunity, are going on vacation and leaving millions of Americans, many of whom are still entitled to Federal unemployment benefits and are looking hard for work in this still-struggling economy, without a crucial source of income right as their most beloved, sacred holiday arrives.
This callousness and disregard for the spirit of the season marks an attitude that only pre-spirits Ebenezer Scrooge would take pride in. Not only that, it’s fiscally irresponsible, as experts estimate that continuing the benefits into next year would boost the economy further, resulting in the creation of 200,000 more jobs.
But this Congress, whose members have slashed food stamp benefits while approving bloated military contracts and pushing tax cuts for the wealthy, couldn’t care less, and this short-sightedness will damage our country once again.
So, if you don’t want to see this nation’s economy damaged any further, or more of its people plunged into poverty and homelessness in this, the season of giving, please take some time out of your day and contact your representatives. Let them know that you think this is unacceptable and demand that they do their duty to help put Americans back to work. Spread the word to your family and friends via social media.
Because this is a nation by, for, and of the people, and it’s not acceptable to treat our people as an afterthought.