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 Workers
– Pawns in the Politicians’ Game

Nov 22, 2010

Congress refused to renew unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. Some two million people across the country will now be cut off.

Even if the bill had passed, it would have ignored all those who have been out of work for more than 99 weeks. In Michigan alone, 143,000 people have used up their unemployment benefits.

Yet Congress would not pass even something this minimal.

The Republicans had the nerve to pretend they cannot “find” the money to pay for the bill. They had no trouble, though, finding trillions of dollars for the banks.

The Democrats were almost worse. Pretending to want to pass the bill they introduced it in a way that guaranteed defeat. They could have brought the bill up before the elections to force some Senate Republicans to vote for it. They didn’t.

Instead, they put the bill forward under a complicated procedure requiring a 67% majority in the House, rather than the normal 51% House majority. The final vote was “only” 63% in favor – not enough to pass it, yet allowing the Democrats to claim to be standing up for unemployed workers.

Both parties are playing politics with people’s very lives. Scum!