As the holidays loom closer it seems less likely that unemployment benefits will be extended to the 2 million families that are desperately dependent up on them. The main stumbling block is that GOP leaders John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell are demanding that tax cuts be extended to millionaires. Until then any attempt to give to the unemployed will be blocked. Today Congress will debate extending the tax cuts for millionaires with President Obama stating he hopes a compromise will be reached. Will that compromise extend job benefits?
Yes we all heard ‘noble’ sounding stories from these so-called leaders about how we all need to sacrifice and reign in the deficit. We all heard them express grave concern about how we all need to tighten our belts and lay down the ground work for our children to have brighter futures. Others like conservative media personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ben Stein have been pretty crass by stating those on unemployment are ‘too lazy to find work‘
This is all coming at a time where in many places where the unemployment rate is 20%. This is coming at a time when there are a reported 5-6 applications for every measly job available. It was just yesterday that the local NBC affiliate here in the Bay Area ran a story called ‘economic migration‘ where they reported how thousands of people who’ve had homes foreclosed are living in cars, campers and RVs and have driven from state to state looking for work. The story showed a long line of people waiting to get minimum wage jobs at a Christmas Tree lot
A couple of months back McDonalds held a job fair here in the Bay and thousand showed up, all hoping for a chance to land a spot as a cashiers and french fry cookers. There’s no doubt times are definitely hard, but as long as millionaires don’t get a tax cut millions will suffer.
In listening to Boehner and Cantor speak on behalf of millionaires, one has to wonder are they really representing their interests? Where are the millionaires, especially those who come from humble beginnings and poor backgrounds to speak on behalf of the poor, many of whom have spent their last dimes helping their millionaire brethren to fame, fortune and stardom?
It was just a few months ago the world was made to stand still as basketball star Lebron James, after weeks of intense speculation held a press conference to announce his ‘decision’. He unveiled to the world his new multi-million dollar deal and the team he would be playing for… the Miami Heat. Left behind and understandably angry were legions of fans in his home state of Ohio which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
Tonight King James is headed back to Cleveland to face off against his old team for the first time since he left. There’s no doubt there are throngs of basketball fans who can no longer afford to go to Cavalier games. Many more probably can’t afford a cable system to watch them on TV. Again its the times we’re in. But imagine if upon his return, Lebron James used his massive star power and took advantage of all the media covering him to stand up and say; ‘As a multi-millionaire he would like to see unemployment benefits extended. Do not hold up their checks on my behalf-I can wait for a tax cut’.. Could you imagine if James did that?
Wouldn’t it be great if an Oprah, Diddy, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Lady Gaga and other multi-millionaires, many who are entertainers who we’re frequently exposed to held a press conference to announce, that the people in Washington do not speak for them and to please extend unemployment benefits? Is that too far-fetched? Unrealistic? Is it out of line to put that sort of weight on them?
After all, many of the aforementioned millionaires have come from poor backgrounds and had humble beginnings. Many obtained their financial status because poor people have admired them, spent their last dime on records, t-shirts, sneakers, concert tickets and any other thing being offered. And this spending is not limited to athletes and entertainers. Many who are poor have paid cable bills, cell phone bills and other now seemingly necessary items resulting in quite a folks becoming uber rich.
I recall when then President George Bush first proposed those tax cuts several years ago I did an interview with music mogul Russell Simmons and he straight up said, while a tax cut would be great for him he honestly doesn’t need one. He said he makes more than enough money to pay his taxes and that the people who need the breaks the most are poor people. If Russell is reading this, perhaps he can gather up some of his millionaire friends and hold such a press conference. Perhaps he can get them to speak on behalf of those who are dire straits.
Recently investor Warren Buffet one of the richest men in the world bluntly stated that taxes needed to be raised on the wealthy. Why aren’t we hearing more people who have means listening to Buffet? Why the silence from our millionaire friends? More people of sound mind, good hearts and political conscious are needed this holiday season to counter the claims that the world will fall apart if millionaires don’t get tax cuts.
Will millionaires especially those from humble beginnings stand up for the poor? As I posted this, my homie Mookie hit me up and said the irony to all this in today’ twisted society the poor will stand up for millionaires.
Something to ponder
PS Here’s a link to a story in which 80 millionaires have stepped up and demanded that the tax cuts not happen http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/patrioticmillionaires