UnNews:Welfare time bomb ticking
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1 December 2010
The drama is the latest in a classic Washington game: Passing a temporary law that expires at the worst possible moment--when you hope your guy is back in power.
So Congress responded to skyrocketing unemployment by voting 99 weeks of pay for not working. This had two advantages: It was less than 100, letting your Congressman claim to be a penny-pincher; and it runs out, right, now.
America's wire services have entered the fray to prove two things: that tugging heartstrings sells papers, and that it's okay to say Christmas rather than "holiday season," when it helps you tug heartstrings. So here goes.
Wayne Pittman, 46, and his wife and 9-year-old son, will have no Christmas this year. The carpenter saw his work drop to 15 hours before it dried up completely. Even with his government check, there is no money for a Christmas tree--at least not after the 30-packs, scratch tickets, and buying everyone at the bar drinks on the third of the month. Everything is unaffordable, which means that all our prices are wrong. His final $297 check will go to necessities, not presents.
"I have a little boy, and that's hard to explain to him," Pittman said. Why don't you just tell him that Obama, Representative Smith, and Santa all hate him and want him to go to bed hungry from now on???
The nation has a gaily-wrapped present under the tree: A new Congress with a different political party, and a hundred new young tigers, aligned with the Tea Party and eager to scale back government. We just have to sit through one more month of the old bastards, with no federal budget and no idea what taxes will be next month, as even that reform had a sizzling fuse. Then everything will be better.
No it won't. Because an immovable object--reform-minded rubes trying to find Washington on the map--is about to meet an irresistible force--incessant pity plays from this respected news medium, each written after a three-Martini lunch with our Congressional source. So which of you wants to cast the deciding vote to deny little Timmy his Christmas present? The people voted for change (again). But they'll wait, at least until this damned economy recovers.
- Tom Breen "2 million lose jobless benefits as holidays arrive". Associated Press, December 1, 2010