You’re stuck in a marriage with a person who seemed alright when you married them. Not great, but they said they cared about you and that things would be alright. You would both learn to compromise, since you both brought children to the marriage and, hey, kids need a stable home and family life and your respective exes ruined your lives. You buy a house together. You have a job to do raising your children, taking care of a house, making sure everyone has clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet and food to eat and can afford to go to college.
And then you find that your partner doesn’t care about you at all. They undermine you at every turn. They want to take your children away from you, and take all your money. They want the big screen TV, the Ferrari, and the vacation house on the beach, and when you explain that to keep a balanced budget, your family can’t afford all that and to take care of the kids, they stop contributing to the marriage at all. They stonewall you. They lie to the kids about all these bad things you’ve done. They let you take all the flack. They want a divorce, but only after they’ve taken you and the kids for everything you have. (You forgot a pre-nup.)
And this whole time you’re doing your best to keep the children fed and clothed, because you promised them, shortsightedly, that everything would be alright. But Johnny and Sue don’t believe you anymore. Even your best friends are tired of you trying to compromise with someone that’s turned out to be the most royal *blank* on the planet, and are ready to quit talking to you. But you giving your partner permission to lease the Ferrari allows your children to have food, clothing and shelter, even if it’s against what you believe.
So, what do you do?
If you’re Obama, you let the Bush tax cuts go through for 2 more years in exchange for 13 more months of unemployment benefits. You take the flack from your friends the Democrats. You let the country talk about how you don’t know how to run the household. You explain again that you know this whole situation sucks, but your child can’t find a job and you need to help him eat till he can. (You also mention again that your child can’t find a job because your partner helped close half the businesses in town, but no one is listening anymore.)
And no one, especially you, is happy.
This may be a bad example, and certainly isn’t a thorough one. But I am so ridiculously tired of everyone attacking Obama. “He’s capitulating!” “The Republicans are winning!” “Things aren’t happening fast enough.” “You hurt my principles.” Excuse me, but would you PLEASE STFU???
Am I happy with this situation? Absolutely not. Has the man delivered everything he said he would? No. Is he one human being up against a party that thinks they have a mandate to be jerks for the next two years? Absolutely yes.
The time to stand up and tell the Republicans to sit down and deal with it was 2 years ago. Not now. Now is the time to make sure that everyone that hasn’t been able to find a job in the last two years (and believe it or not, for most people it’s not for lack of trying) still has money for the basic necessities.
Is this radical? No. Is it going to make Democrats happy? No. Is it going to make the Republicans happier? Unfortunately, yes. Is it going to add to the deficit? Yes. Are some people going to be able to eat that wouldn’t be able to if the unemployment benefits expired? Yes.
And maybe it’s because I’m 22 and I don’t understand the economy well yet. Maybe it’s because I’ve paid my own way through college and know firsthand how tough it is to find a job, unlike all these opinion editors and senior officials. Hell, I’d stay in school longer if I could just to avoid trying. It’s that scary. Maybe it’s because I make less than $10,000 a year, loans and 3 jobs included, and I feel unemployment benefits and tax cuts for the little guy are important. Maybe it’s because I’ve already learned that being an idealist in politics isn’t going to help anyone. Maybe it’s because I honestly feel sorry for Obama.
I want to throw the question out there, with our current situation, would you let people run out of unemployment benefits and raise taxes, just to prove a point?