Originally posted 2011
Congress’ inability to agree over various fiscal matters has existed long before this so-called “Fiscal Cliff Crisis.” The horrendous situation we are in today has been decades in the making. A crisis this long in the making is not going to be resolved in a “one day return from holiday sacrifice” by our elected officials. The most we can hope for are some hard-hitting, brave incremental steps that can start to get our nation back on the right fiscal track. Top of the list should be restoring the ability for American’s to be gainfully employed. This should be done through tax incentives for employers and employees, not by increasing taxes for those earning $250,000.00 or more annually.
The Hamilton Project notes that there are still more than 3 unemployed workers for every job opening. This is twice the pre-recession level. It’s therefore unlikely that these Americans will be able to find jobs next year. Based on unemployment and available jobs alone, fewer Americans than ever will even come close to earning $250,000.00 next year. Where’s the benefit for anyone, including government’s self-induced need for additional revenue, in this idea?
For decades, American workers and employers have been faithful to pay into programs that are intended to help Americans in their time of need. Congress’ out of control spending and using funds collected for social welfare benefits on other pork projects, has completely sold out the American people.
According to The National Employment Law Project, if Congress fails to reinstate jobless benefits, which are scheduled to cease for 2 million at the close of 2012, and another 1 million by April 2013, only one in four unemployed will receive this assistance. And if I read their chart correctly, we actually have a total of around 12 million under/unemployed at this time. The income earning potential for Americans in 2013 and beyond, has been gravely impacted by Congress for decades. Congress needs to stop the focus on “high income earners” (Note: $250,000.00 in California or New York is not the same as other states), and get the plight of the under and unemployed in your sites.
The focus today must be on reduction of government regulations upon American businesses, cessation of pork project spending, and extension of unemployment benefits. With the right incentives rather than tax hikes Americans will find ways to generate gainful employment, which in tern will help our nation’s total income.
Washington Post has done a good job of explaining. Be sure to read the comments too…