It is typical that when economically devastating events occur that affect big business and corporations it is front page news and dominates the 24/7 news cycle for days. However, if something happens that wreaks havoc on the population there is little notice in corporate-owned media because Republicans likely deliberately caused the damage. Over the weekend, another Republican assault on the people passed with hardly a mention despite well over a million Americans are slated to join 50 million Americans in the ranks of poverty. Of course, throughout all of 2013 Republican austerity decimated the people, so the lack of reporting on one more assault on the poor is likely business as usual and nothing to remark about. However, for the 1.3 million long-term unemployed who lost their benefits, and others approaching the end of their allotted time for regular benefits, the expiration date is an auspicious moment certain to cause more distress and despair that informs the causal effects of Republican economic policy.
On Saturday, 1.3 million Americans lost their unemployment benefits because Congress failed to extend the benefits before adjourning for the year. According to Democrats they tried in vain to include an extension in the bicameral budget deal going into effect next week, but Paul Ryan would not have it; not when he could lay waste to 1.3 million “takers.” Senate Democrats intend on broaching the subject of reinstating the extensions in two weeks, but Senate Republicans are still able to filibuster legislation, and House Republicans have said for a month that extending the benefits is wasteful and counterintuitive while job numbers improved and GDP rose in the third quarter. It is unlikely the unemployed will see any relief, particularly because John Boehner said he will not even consider extending the benefits, and if he did he demands equal cuts to other domestic programs. One thing Republicans can be counted on doing is causing economic damage for some segment of the population for the sake of austerity, sheer pleasure, and to avoid affecting the rich and corporations.