This morning our 99ers letter was handed to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Since the President now has this in his possession, as promised, I will now disclose the contents of this document in a two part series.
This article will include the text of the cover outline and 99ers letter gets delivered to the White House Part 2 will disclose the text of the letter.
We have waited weeks now for our letter to finally get to President Obama. So without further delay, here is the Cover Outline Summary that accompanied our letter: (format changes were required to reprint this here. The outline which reached the President was formatted very professionally)
Cover Outline: Immediate Action for Creating a Tier 5 UI Benefits:
THE FIERCE URGENCY of NOW OBJECTIVE: Help – US Economy, the Democrats and save millions of Jobless Americans from Hunger/Homelessness.
HOW: Immediate Executive Action necessary for Creating a Tier 5 of UI Benefits for all 50 states through the end of 2010 as part of S. 3520: Unemployment Insurance Extension Act of 2010.
A. Immediate Economic Stimulus into US Economy
- For every $1 in UI benefits spent by Congress, $1.90 is put back into the economy. (Per CBO and NELP) Top economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Mark Zandi agree this is vital to avoid a double dip recession saying: “The most immediate and stimulative thing to do now is to extend UI benefits to all the longest term unemployed.”
- Who directly benefits from this influx of stimulus cash into the economy
1) Who are the 99ers: The group I represent is the longest term unemployed in America who have exhausted all available tiers of benefits. [maximum weeks vary per state] We are the Americans who have borne the brunt of this entire recession the longest. These jobless Americans have had no help from the Congress in any bill passed in 2010. If the introduction of the recently announced stand alone bill does not include these millions of Americans now, the result will be devastating. The DOL told me they have no idea how many jobless Americans have exhausted all tiers of UI benefits to date, but my own research puts estimates at well over **4 million and growing weekly. With the recession at 180 weeks and counting, how can 60 to 99 weeks possibly be enough help for it’s victims when you consider there are still NO JOBS for Americans to support their families?
2) With over 4 million “exhaustees” putting little if any money at all into the economy over the past 4 or 5 months: this causes more businesses to lay off and close as demand for basic good and services drops ever lower, resulting in more job loss, less tax revenues and the downward spiral continues.
3) With zero income: Families are getting evicted daily, power turned off, ***recession related suicides up 75% nationwide, our children are going hungry, we are scared and very angry at Washington for doing NOTHING to help us.
4) No lifeline of any sort 4 months and counting: most do not qualify for any other social safety net. Nearly half the long term unemployed are ages 50+ and age discrimination in hiring is out of control in America today. There really needs to be a Government incentive created to hire workers 50 and older who have been unemployed 2 years or nobody is going to hire us.
*Comprehensive list of experts quoted in attached letter
**Research available upon request
***Source: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
B. Democrats Retain Majorities avoid blame for spending
- Mr. Obama is not up for reelection for 2 years, but most incumbents face a tough reelection this year
1) Immediate Action for Creating a Tier 5 UI Benefits for all 50 states through the end of 2010 as part of S. 3520: Unemployment Insurance Extension Act of 2010 via the Bully Pulpit would not only win the hearts and minds of millions of hurting, jobless American voters, it would take the pressure off other Democrat incumbents who fear that Deficit Spending would cost them their seats in 2010. This too may help steal seats from many close Republican incumbent races this November.
Since the Congress has constantly demonstrated their inability or unwillingness to act in the best interests of millions of hurting American jobless thus far, our President may well lose the House and Senate Majorities in November! We cannot survive until jobs are created in some future bill not even introduced yet on Capitol Hill. Because they feel there is nothing in it for them, Congress refuses to act on the most immediate and stimulative thing they could do to HELP OUR ECONOMY: EXTEND UI Benefits. Why wouldn’t they want to do this?
What are millions of Americans who exhausted all Tiers of benefits 4 months ago supposed to do to survive until the jobs arrive?
Congress waited too long ignoring the obvious! Now this is a full blown EMERGENCY! Food banks are empty, homeless shelters have a 6 to 9 month wait if they have room at all, suicides have quadrupled in many states. We are dying out here and what is our President doing?
It looks bad Mr. President, for the Congressional and Senate leadership (Pelosi and Reid) to roll over and allow our President to lose his Capitol Hill Majority or allow him to be blamed for the failures of Congress. Unless you get these benefits into the hands of those who will spend the money into the economy now and thus improve things somewhat by election time, you enable the Republican argument that Democrats do not deserve to lead America out of her current troubles.
We treat prisoners better than our law abiding unemployed American population, with their guaranteed healthcare, meals and security we cannot afford. Only prisoners do not vote – WE DO and WE WILL!
It is really quite simple. If millions of Americans are taken care of and the economy has the influx of billions of dollars in UI benefits there will be need to vote out those now in office. The Democrats will have an automatic out in any argument by a Republican challenger about deficit spending. “I did not do it… The President demanded it” You might even pick up many seats now held by Republicans if you boldly act now.
For the most part, the longest term unemployed (including the so called 99ers) love our President and wish to help him succeed so we can all thrive again, but until we have jobs we need to survive which means UI Benefits NOW. We cannot wait any longer for Congress to help us. This is an emergency effecting far more human lives than the tragedy in Haiti. It would be great to see help for the hungry, hurting humans in this, our own country in less than 3 days like it took Congress to approve aid to Haiti earlier this year.
We are asking you President Obama, to step up and see to it that included in this stand alone bill S. 3520 is verbiage creating a Tier 5 of UI benefits for all 50 states to run through the end of 2010. We have been without any income at all for 4 to 5 months and we are sinking fast. It makes no sense to go all out for the extension of UI benefits and not do anything for those who have suffered the longest and have not had benefits for several months. It is just plain cruel and not at all the American way.
The Disaster in the Gulf was only 2 months old and you met with those people 4 times. The people in the Gulf States had jobs 2 months ago, we have been jobless 2 years plus! President Obama YOU got BP to pony up billions to pay for the damage caused to that local economy, but nobody ever has made Wall Street Pay those Americans hurt by their DAMAGE to us. Instead you reward them with $$ trillions WHY?
Millions of American Jobless without benefits need action now Mr. Obama to prevent the daily social holocaust of homelessness now happening on your watch.
Please Help President Obama!
My name is Donalee King, I am known in the blogosphere as Paladinette and I am acting as the spokesperson for the millions of Jobless Americans who have run out of all tiers of UI benefits available to us in our individual states.
The attached letter was created by a group of 99ers who have been lobbying Washington for help since last summer and have for years now been diligently searching for ANY JOB out there that will hire us. Our letter points out the common struggles we face daily, includes suggestions of what can be done to help us in the long term and hopefully expresses the fierce urgency of our need for HELP NOW!
The Unemployment rates are virtually the same today as they were when all states were given Tier 3 (13 weeks of benefits) and a few states received an additional 6 weeks (Tier 4) last November. Today 40 weeks later those benefits have run out but the jobs have not yet arrived. We are not only broke from struggling to survive for so long on so very little, but now we have nothing left and are facing devastation daily – many commit suicide rather than face life on the streets – HOMELESS!
We believe your immediate action to include a Tier 5 in S. 3520: Unemployment Insurance Extension Act of 2010 to help millions and the US economy is vital to our survival, keeping the Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate and is a win/win for all concerned. We hope and pray you will act on this before it is too late for hundreds of thousands of us losing everything we have each week. God Bless.
[Look for 99ers letter gets delivered to the White House Part 2: The Letter]