End of the unemployment road; jobless man looking for work freezes to death in car

“Reach Out Job Search” OP/ED  

Photo Credit-Rhonda Taylor/Kelly Wiedemer
Is this the state were ‘99ers‘ will face before President Obama and his administration in the White House will get to before doing anything for America’s Longest-Term Job Seekers?

We will only provide a quick summary of this article. Please read the entire story by the Daily Inter Lake.com out of Montana.

“A Columbia Falls man living in his car was found frozen to death early Monday morning.

Jeffery Tolson, 56, was found severely hypothermic without a pulse in his car about 6 a.m. Monday morning by Columbia Falls Police Officer Craig McConnell in the parking lot of Cardinal True Value Hardware.

“Tolson was a logger and apparently had fallen on hard times and was living out of his vehicle until he could get work”, Chris Peterson of Daily Inter Lake.com reported.


This is sad, ashamed and a travesty. We at the “Reach Out Job Search” blog doubt that this gentlemen was not a ‘99er‘ and/or probably had lost his unemployment benefits for quite some time. In fact, as we have wrote here on numerous occasions, the 99ers have been without any supplemental unemployment compensation since April 2010.

President Barack Obama, with his White House negotiation team, made the direct decision to NOT INCLUDE any ’99ers’ in the unemployment legislation in the ‘compromise deal’ with the GOP.

The S. 3706-“The Americans Want To Work Act” bill, sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was not even discussed in the room, when the ‘compromise deal’ with the Republicans was crafted. The White House took this action, even-though the bill provided up to a $2000 tax credit for employers to hire the longest-term unemployed and 20 additional weeks of much-need supplemental income compensation.

The ’99ers’ being cut out of the deal was confirmed during a CNN interview December 7th interview anchor Ali Velshi conducted with Vice President Joe Biden‘s -Chief Economic Adviser Jared Bernstein.

“Well look, I think someone that experienced that extensive length of  long-term unemployment they absolutely need help. I think they help they need most, is some type of structural training or something to help them get back into the workforce”, Bernstein stated to CNN’s  Ali Velshi about the ‘99ers’ on a December 7th news program.

“Because I think the case is that they need some type of skill enhancement. That is obviously a huge part of our agenda, not part of this agreement. We really did try and go the distance to help the jobless that though no fault of their own, are having a tough time right now”, Bernstein stated.

Employment retraining programs is an excellent idea and one would think that if the White House could not negotiate anything else for the ‘99ers’, they could have won this option. But, if the longest-term unemployed did not have a ‘seat at the table’ during the discussions, what Mr. Bernstein told CNN’s anchor Velshi is nothing but plain spin.

Meanwhile, many ‘99ers’, including probably this gentleman who died in his vehicle in the harshest of winter, continue to wait for any relief. In Mr. Tolson’s case, the relief timetable could have come too late.

What are your thoughts on this article? Should President Obama included the ’99ers’ in any ‘compromise deal’ with the GOP? Are you a ’99ers’ facing homelessness this winter? Please tell us your story. Also, feel free to comment on this story, below!

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