The GOP’s Unemployment Assistance Failure. A Personal Perspective


There but for the grace of God go I

Normally, when the GOP fucks with people, they’re more careful about it. Normally, they tend to fuck with people that are not normally Republican voters. And they tend to smother their malice with high falutin’ moral statements about personal responsibility, and all that claptrap from people with deep pocket donors, who will never go hungry, or worry about a mortgage payment.

But this time, the GOP has jumped the shark, and they showed their unfeeling arrogance in doing so. In failing to come to a timely agreement to prolong the unemployment assistance with federal aid, they didn’t just screw Democrats. Not only did they callously choose to deny a continuation of coverage to people who had come to rely on it since the shutdown started, but they also deprived their own voters of the privileges to people in places like Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Florida, who are filing for the first time since their businesses shutter for the last time after following the Pied Piper’s tune to reopen the economies in those states.

On this subject, if no other, I must be humble. I worked hard all my life, and was paid well, but it didn’t matter. Having had, let’s just say a rather profligate first wife, overtime became a way of life. But it also meant higher yearly earnings, which turned out to be my salvation.

I retired 5 years ago. The original plan was for me to take a couple of months off to relax and decompress, visit my daughters and their husbands, and go back to work part time to fill the difference. And then my health went south, especially my vision, and that plan just wasn’t viable anymore. When you’re used to living paycheck to paycheck, and there’s a monthly check due for an apartment sized that you don’t need anymore, as well as a car payment, your 401k don’t last like you thought it would.

A little more than three years ago, we couldn’t pay the rent any more, and we had already had the car repossessed. In 72 hours, we had to rent a truck, take our most precious items to an 8×11 storage unit, leave the rest behind, and move into a weekly/monthly apartment complex. For the next 3 years, we lived solely on Teri’s retail paycheck, along with my piddly ass government backed pension check on United Airlines defaulted pension program, and the royalties from my two books on Amazon.

It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t fun. It meant weeks when after the week rent was paid, and Teri’s bus fare put aside, we had about $45 for food for the week. My pension check on the last of the month, and the money from writing for Politizoom on the 16th of the month paid for the meat. Please believe me when I say that Teri and I know exactly what it feels like to live on the razors edge.

In February of 1218 my eyes had deteriorated to the point where I was considered legally blind, and qualified for federal disability. That moment was life changing. First of all, it meant that I could get medical assistance to get the medications to arrest the progress of my glaucoma. But more importantly, in September of 2019, I got my first disability paycheck, and the world changed.  Overnight, I went from being a useless drag on my wife to being able to pay my fair share again. Our first act of rebellious independence was to order out a pizza, something we had not done for 5 years. We finally ended up in an apartment of our own, and furnished it.

This is why I am so damn passionate about this subject. In the past few months, Teri and I have spent hours discussing this subject, and thanking our lucky stars. We’ve lived on that razors edge. Fortunately, even with Teri being furloughed on the day after St Patrick’s Day, it was never a threat to our personal security.

But we’ve been there, And the thing that scares both of us shitless is the fact that if the coronavirus had hit one year earlier, it would have been us! Teri’s unemployment by itself would have been nowhere near enough. If the virus had struck a year earlier, Teri and I would be on the street. We would be living out out of a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country, and trying to keep two cats occupied. And all while Teri tried to stay clean enough to go to work every day after she was recalled.

So you’ll have to excuse me if I go off the rails about this. But for me, this is one scary motherfucker! As I put it at the top, there but for the grace of God go I, and you would be reading my articles after they were typed on a library computer. And now McConnell and his merry band of miscreants are plighting their troth to Trump, and in the process, subjecting hundreds of thousands of their own constituents to tortures of the damned that Teri and I were fortunate to duck. Fuck you Mitch. Sideways. With a sandpaper trojan.

To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen

Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35

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13 Comments on "The GOP’s Unemployment Assistance Failure. A Personal Perspective"

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p j evans

My upstairs neighbor was laid off in March. She’s been looking for work, and reapplied when that company started trying to go again, even though it’s now half the size it was. (It’s pretty hard going, when you worked in travel, setting up tours to places like Europe.)

Ursula Faw
I remember all of this, Murf. And you know my story. Put on disability because I was malpracticed by a quack. I honestly thought I would be dead by now. And you know the hell hole I’ve been living in. I only started walking again last year and got rid of the anemia this year. I’ll tell you one thing, and I know you’ll agree: When you go through a period of hell on earth, like both you and I have, and you come out the other end, life is so good. The appreciation for being able to buy groceries… Read more »

Well said, Ursula. I still remember when my food stamps (or EBT, as it’s more properly called) got canceled out from under me while my wages were still catch-as-catch-can. At first, it was demoralizing. But then I bought groceries with my own money for the first time in years. The rush I got from that has made me never want to even try for EBT again.

Scott Jackson

People born to privileged folks with enough resources to insulate them from their decisions, enables them to pretend they are good people. They are not. Think of all the children living through this. Evil. Pure & simple. If I can see it, then any ‘God’ surely can’t be blind to this.

In past eras, the concept of nobilese oblige came into play for the upper classes. To wit, the thought was that extra resources were not just a privilege but a responsibility. None of that is to say that they actually meant it, recalling Sherlock Holmes saying in A Study In Scarlet how “the most loathsome man of my acquaintance spends a quarter of a million daily on London’s poor.” But the operating principle is time-tested and sound. When the insulation noted above happens, the rot begins to set in. It may take time but the status can only remain quo… Read more »
Meg Corrigan

God is not blind. The GOP however is another bearcat altogether.

chris whitley
Yes went through it twice. Got hurt. Got screwed by the company. Went through hell and finally got a check. Got to working for my parents. Got the bright idea to go back to work. Found out real quick what a dumb idea that was. Fuck Bush and his ticket to work is big ripoff. Then got hurt again. Dr. told me me and work weren’t in same sentence. Said I would be lucky not to get ambulance to the hospital. Ended up with small payout, house in another state down the street from girlfriends daughter. I have learned my… Read more »
I lost my home of 18 years in 2012. Lost my job in January of 2010. Everything was covered in ice and snow that day. Hung on for a little over two years. We got the eviction papers the day before my wife’s birthday and the eviction date was the day before my birthday. We moved 200 miles away to the town my parents live and where I was born. We were immediately happier. Even our two little dogs and old cat were happier. We were able to draw our ss after a few years and of course medicare. We… Read more »

You’ve all heard my Great Recession stories a few times, Murf. The most vivid memory I have of the GOP during that period was them labeling people like me–who’d worked straight jobs for 20 years at occasionally livable wages–“takers” for daring to be destitute and unable to crawl out of the hole on my own. That they’re now applying this outlook out in the open is a testament to how much their IQ has fallen under Trump. We REALLY need to make them pay for that.

Cherl Harrell

I am truly sorry for all that you and Ursula have gone through and glad you all came through on the other side of this. I have been wondering what was on McConnell’s mind, when he made NO EFFORT to put together a bill ahead of time, like the dems. Then, he really didn’t seem to put much effort in negotiating (at the last minute). Saying that he really doesn’t care makes sense.


Best guess? He thought it’d go away on its own. Now that it hasn’t, it’s too late to turn the ship around.

Carroll Ann Robinson
The true stories all of you are relating are right now being multiplied using logarithms and the Republicans aren’t merely fiddling while Rome burns, they are burning down the damned country. We’re good here so far but bracing for a big pay cut if the state of MD goes any deeper into the coronavirus hole that has been dug for us; and this after I lost most of my publishing business when work was sent overseas. But son is not okay–he has had a good-sized presence on Amazon, has endured their horrible business practices before, but this time around they… Read more »
Meg Corrigan

Thank for the courage to share your story, Murph. We have never been that close to the edge but we are both retired from good jobs (I even have three pensions) and we lost a bunch of our investments in the last recession in 2008/9. We live on a pretty slim budget too and one catastrophe could totally do us in. Most Congress critters of either party don’t know what that feels like (or they don’t remember). It’s like Monopoly money to them. It has no significance and doesn’t relate to their real-world experience (which is mostly next to none).