Daily Archives: February 22, 2012
How Obama and Democrats Continue to Decimate the American Middle Class
By: Jeffrey Klein
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was a “fig leaf” law manufactured by desperate Democrats for two very important reasons [to them].
To protect the political legacies of two high-profile Democrat career politicians, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who, as chairmen of their respective banking committees, were the “henchmen” who blocked numerous attempts by the Bush Administration to step in and audit the now collapsed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
More importantly, it was to hide the fact that the “Sub-Prime Mortgage” crisis that caused the meltdown of the U.S. economy was actually propagated by a 1995 Clinton-era wealth re-distribution plan, which “forced” banks to abandon mortgage qualification standards so they could provide mortgages to high-risk, low income homebuyers with little or no down payments.
And, according to the Law of Unintended Consequences, it was the middle class that was most greatly devastated by financial loss and high, protracted unemployment–even though, ironically, they are the very people President Barack Obama and Democrats claim to be protecting now, against the “evil” capitalist Republicans.
According to Susan Adams’ Forbes article yesterday, citing a recent episode of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” one of the most troubling aspects of the unemployment picture in the U.S. today is the fact that more than 4 million Americans have been out of work for more than a year, and more than 2 million have been jobless for more than 99 weeks, so their jobless benefits have run out.
Long-term unemployment has reached levels not seen in the U.S. for the last 60 years.
Those who have been out of work for two or three years wind up taking drastic measures. They sell their homes and their cars, and they pull kids out of college. They lose contact with their professional networks and struggle with rock-bottom self esteem.
“I was so ashamed to reach out for help, because I felt discouraged. I felt ashamed that I had failed,” Vernon Downes tells 60 Minutes. A former information technology project manager for a company that makes medical devices, he had been looking for a job for two-and-a-half years. Downes had gone on food stamps and taken a part-time job blowing leaves for a landscaper.
A recent Business Insider article, which profiled 11 middle class men and women who have been unemployed for at least two years, includes Veronica Orozco. She is a 30 year old Civil Engineer, wife of a grad student and mother of two, who had been with a firm in Chicago.
Veronica has been unemployed since June 2007.
The article stated that most people don’t understand how someone could fail to find a job for over a year unless he was lazy or somehow defective. And, it was found that this stigma makes finding a job harder, every day that a person has been unemployed.
Now, excessively long term unemployment is driving people mad–costing taxpayers billions of dollars in mental illness and other disability claims.
The New York Post reported Sunday that as unemployment checks run out, many jobless people are trying to gain government benefits by declaring themselves unhealthy.
In January, more than 10.5 million people, or about 5.3 percent of the population aged 25 and 64, received disability checks from the federal government, which is an 18 percent jump from pre-recession rates.
Among those claiming disability, 43 percent are asking for benefits because of mental illness–a growing number of whom are older, former white-collar workers.
These claims put increased pressure on the fiscal viability of the Social Security Trust Fund, which is already set to go broke in 2018–even though last week Congress voted to extend the “Payroll Tax Holiday” through the end of the year, eliminating over $100 billion from the funds income.
The Post noted that the more people file for disability claims, the better for the unemployment picture since those people are removed from the jobless rolls.
This is most likely the primary, yet perverted, factor that has caused the systematic and “false” reduction in the unemployment rate over the past four months–not an upturn in the economy as President Obama would have us all believe.
And, Obama’s refusing to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project again last month, cost the country 20,000 desperately needed high paying jobs within months–without any taxpayer loans.
This is just more proof of how President Obama and Democrats have decimated the middle class in America–instead of protecting them, as they claim.