TIER V, No Questions To Asked!
By: Paul Dewitt Goree ©2010
There are a lot of rumors going around, concerning Tier V unemployment benefit extensions. These rumors, worthless as they are, are intriguing for they suggest that some people truly believe that the Federal Government has compensated the unemployed to the furthest extent. And that further compensation will only hamper any employment opportunities that may arise. Or will not be an incentive for the unemployed to actually seek employment. I can tell you from my own experience, that living off the $1,200 I receive per month is but a mere fraction of my regular income, and I would gladly go back to work, if work existed. I believe a lot of Americans are like me and these circulating rumors need to be put to an end. For they only add frustration to an already frustrated people. Hence there are no questions to ask, when it comes to Tier V!
It is especially damaging when these thoughts are expressed by statesmen. There are those such as Senator George Le Mieux of Florida, who earlier this week made a statement on the floor in a continuing attempt by Republicans to block any further unemployment extension. Le Mieux suggested, the current economical condition of the nation does not meet the emergency requirements, set forth by the Budget Act of 1974. (1) Le Mieux referenced Webster dictionary for a definition, “an unforeseen set of circumstances resolving in a state that call for immediate action.” Le Mieux believes that the current unemployment rate of 9.9%, does not constitute emergency, by which Congress is allotted to spend money upon, as required by The Budget Act.
Rather Le Mieux is correct on the definition of “Emergency” is up for questioning. What was found an emergency by both houses recently was efforts to pass two pieces of legislation, to assist unemployment claimants. Originally HR4831 temporarily extends unemployment benefits until May 30, 2010. Now the House passed HR 4213, which will extend Tier IV benefits to December 2010. This is great for person still receiving Tier III or Tier IV.(2) But what about the multitude of persons who have already exhausted their Tier IV benefits, and still are unemployed.
Luckily in the state of Nevada, Senator Harry Reid (Majority Leader), has made it clear, that he supports Tier V benefits and hopes to see some legislation enacted as soon as late May 2010, after both houses reconcile and vote again on the earlier legislation that would extend benefits to the end of the year.(3) Senator Reid is not along in his support of Tier V benefits. Also showing support are Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA).(3) I applaud these Senators for their concern and effort to help their constituents deal with the overwhelming effects of unemployment.
It is estimated that Tier V benefits would cost $100 million dollars. If approved, it would add possibly 13 additional weeks of extended benefits. (4) Money which some Congressmen say isn’t available. Sen. Tom Coburn, (R-OK) pointed out “we have 99 weeks of unemployment compensation out there right now — and we’re gonna move that to 103, and then we’re going to move it even further.” (3) It’s statesmen like Coburn, who believe the Federal Government has done all that they can do to alleviate the frails of the recession. But it is these same statesmen, who fail to realize the huge buy outs and stimulus packets that went to bail out corporate America, during the beginning of this ordeal.
Another issues also overlooked by these statesmen, is the fact that the work environment has drastically changed since 2008, the onset of the recession. Besides the severe cuts and lay-offs that have affected the construction industry, which national have reached 21% unemployment for 2010. (4) Many unemployed are finding their industry complete modernized during this recession. Employees who worked in administrative position, clerk positions and customer service area, are finding their jobs eliminated all together. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), estimate that since the recession started in 2008, about 1.2 million jobs have been eliminated in the United States. (5)
So what are we to do as we sit and wait for Congress to pass Tier V benefits? Well I suggest we utilize our most powerful resource; a pen and paper, writing to your state Senators and Congress Representatives, urging them to support Tier V benefits. If you live in the state of Nevada you can send your comments concerning Tier V benefits to.
Senator Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Building
District of Columbia 20510-2803
Phone: (202) 224-3542
Phone: (702) 388-5020
Senator John Ensign
119 Russell Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 2050
Phone: (202) 224-6244
Congresswoman Dina Titus
319 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3252 or (702) 387-4941
Congressman Dean Heller
125 Cannon House Office Building,
District of Columbia 20515-2802
Phone: (202) 225-6155
Fax: (202) 225-5679
Congresswoman Shirley Berkley
405 Cannon House Office Building,
District of Columbia 20515-2801
Phone: (202) 225-5965
Fax: (202) 225-3119
1.)William, Phillip “Unemployment Extension: Not An Emergency According To LeMieux” May 7, 2010 Finance News
2.)Smith, Jessie “ Tier V Unemployment Benefits Extension Coming ? Doubtful Indication Loom” April 27, 2010 Financial National
3.)Delaney, Arthur “Tier 5: Congress Sends Mixed Signals About Adding More Weeks Of Unemployment Benefits” April 20, 2010 HuffPost
4.)www.allyourtv.com “Dems Hint At Plans For Possible Tier V Extension of Unemployment Benefits” April 15, 2010
5.)Lydon, Cody “Unemployment in Construction Industry 21%” April 08, 2010 GlobeSt. Com
6.)Miller, Talea “US Economy Officially In Recession” December 05, 2009 NewsHour Extra
7.)US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “April 2010 Unemployment Rate Nationally” http://www.bls.gov