Even if Congress manages to extend emergency unemployment benefits for more the millions of workers who could receive them, about four million others will see their benefits end over the next year, unless an entirely new program is created. This is according to a report recently issued by the President's Council of Economic Advisers. So, the crisis facing some now is going to be experienced by even more later, unless serious job-creating actions are taken.
You would think that the latest, terrible monthly jobs report would convince those in power that the Great Recession continues unabated, doing terrible damage to working families. Those unemployed for long periods face especially long odds of finding work in today's economy. And, even for those with good jobs, wages are continuing to be cut as even profitable employers take advantage of the ongoing crisis for workers.
Misguided worries about the budget deficit are allowing Republicans and the Deficit Commission to pursue Social-Security-cutting, Medicare-slashing, job-destroying agenda instead of a program that can end the Great Recession and put people back to work. A new course of action is needed, and responsible policy options are out there. For instance, check out the program set out by Our Fiscal Security, a collaborative effort of Demos, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), and The Century Foundation (TCF).