Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hey Congress, President: Look At The Battle Ground States, Stupid.

Potentially one of the best weapons in the arsenal for the long term unemployed, battleground states.  Second to the unemployed's newly found organization now through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and Unemployed-Friends.  Also, congratulations AFLTU for having more than 500 members in less than a week.  That is impressive.  The most impressive part is that AFLTU members are in all 50 states.  I think I can sense some marches on the streets coming soon if action is not taken.  These members didn't just agree to join a club they agreed to take action. 

Back to our advantage with battleground states on our side, no political party can win the Presidency without addressing the needs of  Battle Ground States (aka swing states).  At least that seemed to be true in 2000, 2004, and 2008. There has to be some overpaid political analyst who knows this and reports this to the President.  Perhaps we should be putting more emphasis on the Battle Ground states.  Those two words seem to get the ear of any political news outlet and it just might get the ear of Congress.

Consider the numbers:  Pennyslvania has 9.0% unemployment rate, Indiana has 9.9% unemployment rate, Ohio has 11% unemployment rate, North Carolina is at 11.1% unemployment rate, and Florida has 12.3% unemployment rate.  Are you kidding?  Both parties in Congress should be figuring out a way to help these states the fastest if they want gain in 2012.  There is too much tunnel vision on this year's election.  (Source for UE numbers:  United States Department of Labor).

And consider Georgia is at 10.6% unemployment and Missouri is at 9.5% unemployment. McCain only carried these two states by less than 6% of the vote in '08 - the margin of victory in those two states was less than 6%.  Just the slightest push could have made those states turn blue on election night.  I believe David Plouffe knows this and I believe David Axelrod knows this.  So why is the President and Congress ignoring the needs of the long term unemployed in these states? 

I am not saying that the other states are not important.  Of course they are important.  But which states determine the President lately?  Which states can best help push the Tier 5 cause over the edge if they just cough the words ::battleground state::.  Are we all going to have to make up names and addresses and pretend we are from these states to get Congress to do something? 

Let's say they do nothing for a Tier 5.  If you are in one of these swing states (even if unemployment rates go back to decent levels) are you going to forget this inaction in two years from now?  I think not.  

This was considered but not posted yesterday when looking at those March unemployment numbers.  April numbers should come out in the middle of this month - that might be what they are all waiting on seeing.  We all know they need to do a Tier 5 Unemployment Extension not just for battleground states but for the good of the country.  Tier 5 Advocacy also needs to be very specific in telling Congress the number of weeks and the states that need assistance (it should be all 50 but try selling that one to Montana).  No wonder Baucus believes 99 weeks is enough.  Montana only has just barely over 7% unemployment.  We need Baucus to be a United States Senator and not just a Montana Senator who is in Washington.  Same for Coburn.  Texas is flirting with the 8.5% at 8.2% in March.  That's a very high number that Coburn is banking on not affecting his future political endeavors. 

Right now, this issue is political.  While it's political, there's no choice but to talk politics.  I read some criticism from my post yesterday but I'm used to it.  The goal is Tier 5 Unemployment Extensions.  But we may not reach that goal if we aren't pulling the right strings to make it happen.  Let's pull any string we can grasp.

Cough, cough... Battleground states.  And of course, it's still the Economy, stupid.  (You either get that or you don't - I am not calling any reader stupid, just for clarification).
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