National News

Two Million Americans Will Lose Jobless Benefits

A new report warns that more than two million Americans will lose their federal unemployment benefits, if Congress fails to extend the jobless-aid program. Another 1 million Americans, who exhaust their state benefits, will not be eligible for the federal program in the first quarter of 2014, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group.
The report estimates that 1.3 million jobless workers will lose their benefits immediately at the start of 2014. Another 850,000 workers will exhaust their regular unemployment insurance in March.
In 2008, Congress temporarily expanded the unemployment-benefit program in response to the financial crisis and recession. The federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is slated to expire on December 31.
There are 4.1 million workers in the US who have been out of a job for at least six months. About one-third of them rely on their unemployment benefits.  In addition, lawmakers showed little interest in preventing a $5 billion reduction to food stamp benefits last week. The cut affected nearly 48 million recipients, many of them jobless.

US lawmaker: Have Poor Students Sweep Floors to Pay for Lunch

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) wants kids to learn early in life that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. To make sure they absorb that lesson, he’s proposing that low-income children do some manual labor in exchange for their subsidized meals. Kingston came out against free lunches, saying that children should have to pay at least a nominal amount or do some work like sweeping cafeteria floors.
“But one of the things I’ve talked to the secretary of agriculture about: Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria — and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people — getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch,” he said.
Kingston’s plan could create significant embarrassment for low-income children, who would be sweeping cafeteria floors while their wealthier peers did normal kid activities. And while the low-income children would supposedly be learning the lesson of hard work, their wealthier peers would simply be getting a free lunch from their parents.

Obama Wins PolitiFact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ Prize

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Fact-checking website PolitiFact is out with the latest edition of its “Lie of the Year,” and the dubious prize went to US President Barack Obama for his widely derided claim that, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
Many people, of course, found that they could not keep their plans, as the higher standards set by Obamacare rendered them null and void.
The administration and Congress quickly moved in with proposed fixes to the mushrooming political problem.
PolitiFact is often criticized for its fact-checking methodology, and some noted that it had rated previous statements by Obama along similar lines as “half true.”
Ironically, all three runners-up slots in PolitiFact’s roundup went to Republicans for their own statements on Obamacare

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