The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Unemployed Lose Their Benefits

Jul 19, 2010

More than two million people have lost their long-term unemployment benefits since the beginning of June, while Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been arguing–each trying to gain political advantage.

Republicans say extending unemployment benefits will increase the federal budget deficit. In reality, Democrats don’t challenge this lie, but simply pretend to find ways to “offset” it by reducing the amount of weekly benefits or cutting other social programs.

The current 6-month extension of benefits the Democrats are proposing would cost 34 billion dollars–only about 2% of the more than 1½ trillion dollars that the budget is going to be in deficit this year! At the same time, about 137 billion dollars will be spent this year on the direct costs of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And about 300 billion dollars in federal taxes will not be collected during the year from just the richest 1/10th of one% of taxpayers because of all the tax breaks they have been given by both parties–in the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s, not to mention the trillions given to the banks since the fall of 2008.

Cut back the huge flow of our taxes going to wars, the banks and the wealthy and there would be no budget deficit–only a drop in profits and a little less luxury for the super rich. But if you’re waiting on the Republicans and Democrats to do THAT, don’t hold your breath!