22 April 2010

Unemployed In Texas: Guess What, You're Screwed!

Most states, along with the federal government, have stepped up efforts to ease the financial burden on working families wrought by the Bush Recession (Massive tax-cuts for the very rich, two wars fought on a credit card, and wholesale deregulation of Wall Street which triggered greedy and catastrophic financial adventurism, malfeasance, and risk taking = Bush Recession).

In Washington, both the House and Senate have passed separate bills that include an unemployment insurance extension.  We need to encourage our individual representative and  both Senators to quickly get a final version to President Obama for signing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, in Texas, Heartless Texas Republicans led by our dunce cap wearing governor, last year, refused to accept more than a half-billion dollars from the feds as part of the Recovery Act's stimulus package that were earmarked for extended unemployment insurance benefits. And, their wrong-headed recalcitrance did not end there.  Texas joins with only three other states (Florida, Alabama, & Virginia) in failing to establish meaningful reforms in face of the devastating impact on working families of the Bush Recession. 

With Washington's support, other states across the nation are finding unprecedented ways to bring ease to the unemployed by modernizing their unemployment insurance systems using Recovery Act funds (which Texas rejected) to plug the holes and seal the cracks through which low-wage workers, women and part-time workers usually fall though.

Last year, 28 states (Not Texas) initiated reforms to qualify for incentive funds, with 14 new states adopting the so-called alternative base period and sevens states choosing to provide benefits to workers in training programs.  In Texas, entering into training or retraining could prevent your being "available" to work, so many who would benefit from training programs, choose not to, thus insuring that they and their families continue receiving their unemployment benefits.  It is an ignorantly-punitive, self-perpetuating system which prevents the unemployed from getting new, or refreshing old, skills to aid them in finding meaningful work in the rapidly changing jobs market.

Additionally; Maryland, Alaska, South Dakota Utah and Nebraska qualified for incentive funds through the enactment of various state level Unemployment Insurance modernization legislation already this year. 

Remember those four states named earlier who have not initiated or implemented any reforms?  Well, consider this.  Of those four, two; Alabama, Florida have now reconsidered and have pending Unemployment Insurance modernization bills.

But not "Old Virginny" which finds venerating its Confederate past more rewarding than tending to the present day needs of its working families and, of course not Texas, which is governed by Heartless Republicans and a dunce cap wearing governor, Rick Perry.

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