Today, unemployment insurance goes away. Essentially, due to the failure of the Senate to get another extension passed, several programs designed to help the unemployed expired yesterday. And since the Senate won't be able to vote again until tomorrow on the issue (which will pass, of course), that means a day or two of uncertainty and another paperwork nightmare as people have to file not only the normal paperwork, but also make sure they check some other box to get retroactive benefits when they pass.
Such is the nature of life when you depend on the Imperial Federal Government to keep you afloat in hard times.
It didn't used to be this way. It used to be that if tragedy struck, the fellow members of the community would gather together to help. And the industrious man (or even woman) could always find something to do for money. And while there is still some of that sense of community support, it's far less, and family has become much less about supporting each other. And as for the industrious being able to find employ, the reams of red tape, the minimum wage, and all the requirements that go with a job make that a whole lot harder. And for those that don't have a broad swath of technical skills (and I talk to the worst of them), those options are severely limited.
Even the old government solutions of the New Deal won't work now, because we don't employ ditch diggers anymore, at least not unless they're running machinery, getting a prevailing wage (because protecting the unions is more important than giving people make work).So, except for federal jobs, with the increasing pressures caused by wages, taxes, regulations, the need for employer-supplied health care, and the fact that we, as a culture, have degenerated into an entitlement mentality, where the completely fucking stupid term "fair share" permeates far too many conversations, getting and keeping a job is a job in itself.
Which means that too many people look to Washington to save them, rather than their local resources, or even themselves. And the mess in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example of what happens when people become dependent on a more removed government for everything rather than buying a raft for your home that sits below sea level.
But back to the Senate, which is, by design, a deliberative body that crawls to the rescue and empowers individuals to stop shit in its tracks:
I look forward to the retirement of many politicians who have been unwilling to pry their arthritic hands from their seats in congress. In fact, one of my senators, the idiot George Voinovitch, is retiring, saving me the trouble of having to vote for a Democrat just to get rid of the bastard. Most of the calcified cretins have been sitting in Washington so long that they may have had principles once, but I was still pissing my pants then (and I'm in my 30's now). This means that they have no problem throwing people to the wolves any time a political point can be made.
Enter the "esteemed" Mr Bunnings, the senile senator from Kentucky, who is the reason unemployment ran out yesterday. Through the arcane parliamentary procedures of the Senate, he held up the vote on this sure-to-pass bill because, "If we can't find $10 billion somewhere for a bill that everybody in this body supports, we will never pay for anything,"
Now while I can appreciate the concept that we should be making sure we pay for stuff before we spend the money, and the balls to mutter toward a Democrat bitching about it the phrase "tough shit" (although this was heard by Democrat aides, so do with that what you will), this ain't the bill on which to do it.
Now if there was a couple of weeks before it expired, hell yeah Senator. But putting a people who, unfortunately, are dependent on the government tit in a time of financial mess (due to said government) on the back burner over a temporary squabble is not okay.
The sad thing is that both parties do this shit when they want to make a point. It just happens that it is immediately impacting individuals at this time. And it never should have gotten to this point. But it has, and has made the hastening of the retirement of Jim Bunnings due to rank ashattery something any sane person could welcome.