Creating change by raising awareness of causes that ensure a better future.

December 8, 2010

Dear President Obama,

As one of the millions you represent and as a concerned citizen, I urge you to use your Executive authority and encourage Congress to enact legislation allowing all unemployed Americans to receive an extension of Unemployment Insurance beyond the current 99 week maximum. Over five million of us have exhausted up to 99 weeks of unemployment insurance without being able to find a job. Millions of us have had no income since March. Many of us have fallen or are falling into homelessness, despair and even suicide as we can't find a job, have no more money left, and don't know how we're going to survive.

We need your help, Mr. President! We need unemployment insurance extended beyond 99 weeks because there simply are not enough jobs for all of us. Tax incentives and lowering interest rates alone have not stimulated job creation. We thereby request that you urge both the Senate and the House to do what is necessary to truly stimulate the economy and consumer spending:  place the dollars back into the hands of Americans who will in turn immediately spend those same dollars. This will not only save lives of 99ers now, but will also help stimulate our economy back to health, helping prevent more Americans from losing their jobs.

* According to the Economic Policy Institute and others there is only 1 job for every 5 unemployed persons, and 42% of all unemployed have been unemployed for over 6 months, with 21.9% unemployed for over 1 year.*** (IHS Global Insight predicts the total number of jobs in the U.S. won't return to pre-recession levels until 2013. And that doesn't account for the growth in the labor force.)

* Lawrence Summers, Director of the White House National Economic Council was quoted as saying, %u201CThe reality is that the most important economic impact of extending relief through unemployment insurance is to increase consumer spending, thereby contributing to employment, not to prolong joblessness.%u201D

* Every dollar spent on unemployment insurance raises gross domestic product (GDP) by $1.60*. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently reported that increasing aid to the unemployed is more cost%u2010effective in terms of boosting economic growth and employment than a variety of other policies under consideration.**

Christmas is approaching but this year millions of formerly hard-working Americans - instead of enjoying a festive Christmas celebation - will find themselves wondering why their government has chosen to abandon them and leave them in abject poverty during this Holiday Season.

Mr. President, while Congress has chosen to leave so many people victims of an economic disaster, we need you to do what is best for this country and push for legislation that will give the safety net of unemployment benefits to all those who need them, beyond 99 weeks. We 99ers are counting on you, sir, to help us. Please motivate Congress to use stimulus money or trade for tax cuts, to give extended benefits to 4-5 million 99ers who are suffering without income. This is an economic tsunami, Mr. President, and Americans need your help!

Please do the right thing and step in and help the 99ers while at the same time helping the American Economy.


Member, American 99ers Union
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