>By United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard, posted on The Hill’s Congressional Blog.
The sky is falling.
For the average Working Joe or Jane in America, it is anyway. Unemployment is at 7.6 percent and rising. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that there are 4.1 job seekers now for every opening. The mortgage delinquency rate set another record last quarter, and foreclosures are predicted to top 1 million this year. Because of reckless speculation by Wall Street financiers, the stock market is plummeting, taking with it a third of the value of the retirement accounts of hard-working Americans.
If the average Jane and Joe have not lost their jobs, they’ve seen a big chunk of their retirement savings slip away. Or their kid can’t find work. Or a neighbor’s been foreclosed on.
Still, Republicans in Congress couldn’t find it in their hearts to vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly called the stimulus bill. They just can’t vote to support the American people — they’re “Republicants.”
An official description of the act the Republicants rejected says it: “Makes supplemental appropriations for FY2009: (1) for job preservation and creation; (2) to promote economic recovery; (3) to assist those most impacted by the recession; (4) to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health; (5) to invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits; and (6) to stabilize state and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.”
In the House, not a single Republicant voted for this bill to create jobs and restore economic growth. In the Senate, three brave members of the GOP stood up to the Republicants gang to pass the Recovery Act and aid suffering Americans — Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
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