Nearly half of all Americans are screwed. According to a new study by the organization Wider Opportunities for Women – 45% of ALL Americans live without economic security – meaning they can’t afford all the basics of life – like food, clothing, transportation, and medical care. Again – that’s nearly half of the population in economic insecurity. And MORE than half – 55% of all children - live in economic insecurity.
But two specific proposals to help address this problem – the payroll tax and extended unemployment benefits – are set to expire at the end of the year. And despite the disastrous economic effects of not extending these programs – Republicans are dragging their feet – and will likely turn this into another hostage scenario. Based on analysis by the group Macroeconomic Advisers – allowing the payroll tax cut to expire will cost our economy 400,000 jobs and shrink GDP by a half-percent. And expiring extended unemployment benefits will kill another 200,000 jobs.
So what will Republicans do? I’m guessing they’ll threaten to crash the economy, unless Democrats agree to more tax cuts for the top 1% - or the privatization of Medicare and Social Security.