Today was yet another missed opportunity by Obama to address the 99er fiasco. The President held a town hall meeting this afternoon on CNBC. Today’s meeting began as the first questioner from the audience, a woman who said she voted for him and is “deeply disappointed with where I am now.”
“My husband and I thought we were beyond the hot dog and beans of our lives. … Is this my new reality?” she asked.
“I understand your frustration,” Obama said. He defended his administration’s efforts to help the middle class, listing achievements such as better protection for mortgage loans and health insurance for those with preexisting conditions.
Then a 30-year-old law school graduate said he’s no longer able to make the interest payments on his educational loans, much less able to have a mortgage or a family. He said he had been inspired by Obama’s campaign. But now, “that inspiration is dying away,” he said. “I really want to know: Is the American dream dead?
“Absolutely not. … There is not a country in the world that would want to change places with us,” Obama responded. “We are still the country that billions of people in the world look to and aspire to.”
The one question that seemed to throw him off was about the “tea party.” A Georgetown University MBA student asked him to comment about the conservative movement’s calls for the administration to get the budget under control.??After saying that the United States has a “noble tradition” of being “helpfully skeptical of government,” Obama went on the attack. He said members of the tea party are “misidentifying sort of who the culprits are here.” He said the government has been dealing with two tax cuts that weren’t paid for and two wars that weren’t paid for — alluding to actions by the Bush administration.
Obama challenged the tea party to come up with specific tax cuts to control spending, rather than just talking about the need to reduce the $4 trillion deficit and hoping that: “magically somehow things are going to work. “We’re not going to be able to solve the problem just by yelling at each other,” he said.
Conspicuously missing from the town hall questions was any mention of the long term unemployed Americans, called the 99ers. The President avoided the long term unemployed – without benefits for 8 months now like the plague.
It was a great forum, don’t get me wrong and he made many very important points, but to ignore millions of Americans without jobs or benefits or how that a Tier 5 for all states could immediately inject at least 1.5 billion dollars directly into the economy every week. Based upon the law of ‘Supply & Demand’, through the purchase of goods and services, S3706 would provide the demand required to keep the recovery going in the right direction, prevent further layoffs and stimulate the creation of jobs within the individual communities throughout America. [Based on 5 million Americans who have exhausted UI benefits X $300.00 average weekly benefit]
To ignore this vital fact is irresponsible at best and does not serve America well. 99ers who are out of money and options, are getting so desperate that many are opting to take their own lives rather than face life on the streets. Not even including the 99ers in the national discussion, takes away any and all hope given when 2 bills for a Tier 5 UI benefits extension were introduced in Congress last month. Currently, both bills are languishing in Committee Limbo” with no plans to bring them to the floor for a vote prior to the next scheduled recess on October 8, 2010.
This is NOT the Hope/Change I voted for in 2008.