It is outrageous that 10,000 unemployed Wisconsinites have lost their unemployment compensation benefits because Governor Scott Walker and Joint Finance Committee co-chair Alberta Darling have done nothing to collect $89 million in federally funded jobless benefits.
All that is required to secure these federal dollars and provide extended benefits to the unemployed is a small change in state law. The change would have absolutely no impact on the state's struggling unemployment insurance trust fund or the state's deficit. But it would provide 13 more weeks of benefits to workers who have been without employment for roughly a year and a half and promote economic growth and job creation in the state.
While refusing the $89 million in federal extended unemployment benefits, Walker and Darling have led the legislature in passing legislation forcing the unemployed to wait a week before becoming eligible for unemployment which will take $50 million out of their pockets and the
Why haven’t Walker and Darling who campaigned on a platform of jobs, jobs, and more jobs and orchestrated almost $600 million in corporate and investor tax breaks in this budget acted?
The New York Times suggested they were refusing the money because of ideological reasons. And that certainly is one factor. But another is that both of these career politicians are the agents of the Wisconsin corporate community that wants to use the jobless recover to drive down wages of
’s working people by forcing the unemployed to accept any job at any wage in an unforgiving labor market. Wisconsin
Despite skilled labor shortages in certain sectors,
, like the nation, has a jobs deficit, not a labor shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wisconsin has 126,000 fewer jobs than it did before the recession began. Nationally there are 4.6 workers for every job. Wisconsin ’s numbers mirror the nation. Wisconsin
Yet some Wisconsin business leaders think that
’s unemployed workers would rather sit at home and collect unemployment checks than work. Wisconsin
They are dead wrong.
Over the past year, the
Wisconsin unemployment rate has inched downwards by 1.4 percentage points. But this decline can be explained in part by some workers dropping out of the labor force as they have become discouraged by prolonged unemployment. As a result they are no longer considered unemployed. Just last month professional services, financial firms, restaurants, hotels, and city and county governments cut jobs. More job cuts are on the way as a result of the cuts in state aid for public schools and local government.
Extending unemployment benefits is good economic policy. It is also the decent thing to do.
Literally thousands of hard-working, tax- paying
Wisconsin workers and their families have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. They want to work and cannot find work. Many have lost their homes or are in danger of losing their homes. It is not only bad for the economy to deny the unemployed these benefits it is also a cruel betrayal of ’s values and the state’s hard-working people.It is in a word immoral! Wisconsin