·  The Leslie Marshall Show

Working People Need Help - Not Program Cuts In Our Struggling Economy

Progressive talk show host Leslie Marshall discussed the weak economy, the unemployment rate and the under-employed with United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard. They talked about how Republican obstructionism prevented the economy from growing over the last five years.

The economy remains weak and the official unemployment rate stands at 7 percent. Some 11 million Americans are looking for work, including four million who have been looking for more than six months. Not counted are the many millions more who have dropped out of the labor force altogether or are working part-time when they want full-time jobs.

A recent study showed 43% of the people who rely on food stamps and nutrition assistance are employed. Of that, 21% were elderly and 9% were already homeless.

“Who are these Republicans hurting,” said Gerard, “and what is it that the unemployed have done to have these Republicans hate them so badly.”

At one time, when the 26 weeks of state benefits ran out, many of those people were eligible for additional weeks of assistance through the Emergency Federal Unemployment Insurance program but the Republicans in Congress are reluctant to extend the program.

One of the things we have to start doing and talk about is who is really getting this corporate welfare?

“The average Wal-Mart store gets 1.6 million dollars of government aid and that’s because the people that work at Wal-Mart don’t make enough money, they got to have food stamps." said Gerard. "They’ve got to have Medicaid. They’ve got to have housing assistance and fuel assistance.”

Click the audio to hear the discussion.

Background articles:

Jobless Fear Looming Cutoff of Benefits

House Republicans Pass Deep Cuts in Food Stamps

What hunger and homelessness look like in America’s cities

President Obama’s December 4 remarks on the economy

A New Deal for Christmas

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