Dec. 9. The latest reports are that the Republicans and Democrats are likely to make their first budget deal as early as this weekend. The “Grand Bargain” that has been talked about for years is out and the sequester (automatic budget cuts) will go too. The “Grand Bargain” was to be some tax increases on corporations and the rich in exchange for major cuts to Social Security and other social spending. That’s off the table.
The Republicans realize their idea of shutting down the government to get their way got them only public anger and record low polling numbers. More important they’re worried about another cut in their favorite welfare program, military spending, that would happen with round two of the sequester. So the parties are putting together a budget with only very small cuts in a few programs.
However, the one thing that appears to be on the chopping block is extended unemployment benefits. 1,300,000 people will lose their benefits just after Christmas, immediately cut off. The AFL-CIO figures the number will swell to 3 million by June. The White House wants the benefits to continue, but it won’t make it a “must have” issue.
As we noted a few days ago with the somewhat good news on jobs in last Friday’s job report the clearly bad news was that the fix of people without jobs for a long time has not improved one bit.
Where are the unions and the civil rights groups? Why aren’t there marches in the streets?