Richard Eskow, Senior Fellow, Campaign for America’s Future
The unemployment insurance program provides laid-off workers with a fraction of their old salary for a fixed period of time while the search for a new job. Roughly 1.3 million out-of-work Americans lost their unemployment insurance Dec. 28, because Congress declined to renew an emergency aid program for the jobless that expired. While Congressional Democrats are now attempting to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program , if that effort fails, the nation's safety net for the unemployed will shrink drastically. Congress is also slated to debate how much more to cut the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (food stamps). But what's not on the agenda for Congress is devising a way out of the recession for the 99% , which has been prolonged by continued federal deficit reduction and income inequality. Richard Eskow discusses these challenges and looks at what is to be done about job creation, wage stagnation, and income and wealth inequality.