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1.5 Million Californian workers lose unemployment benefits

california jobless rate claims chart

“Some 200,000 jobless Californians have already lost their unemployment benefits, and that figure is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the end of the year without an extension from Congress. California’s unemployment rate stands at 12.4 percent, among the highest in the nation.

California’s unemployed will also feel the pinch. Cheryl Hunt, a tech support worker from Berkeley who lost her job last year, said she recently received a letter from the state unemployment office that her benefits are about to expire. — Mercury News

“I’m totally dependent on this extension,” said Hunt, who is trying to refinance her mortgage. “I’ve exhausted my savings.”

Some 200,000 jobless Californians have already lost their unemployment benefits, and that figure is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the end of the year without an extension from Congress. California’s unemployment rate stands at 12.4 percent, among the highest in the nation.

The bill also included provisions that directly affect Silicon Valley. A research and development tax credit long employed by high-tech firms expired Dec. 31 but would have been extended an additional year. It now could be lost for good, said Ralph Hellmann, a senior vice president at the Washington, D.C.-based Industry Technology Industry Council.

Tech firms “rely on these incentives to keep and expand research and development here in the U.S.,” Hellmann said.

On the other side of the ledger, the measure’s defeat gave the venture capital industry a reprieve from a proposed tax increase on so-called “carried interest.”

Both of California’s senators, Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, voted in favor of the jobs and tax bill.

Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who is running to unseat Boxer in November, said through a spokeswoman that she would have sided with Republicans in blocking the measure.

“While there are some worthwhile programs that are funded under this legislation,” the spokeswoman, Julie Soderlund, said in a statement, “it needs much more work to ensure that it does not further hinder job creation.”

Soderlund said Fiorina favors extending unemployment benefits and making permanent the research and development credit, but she believes both items should be offset with spending cuts.

California’s constitution requires a 2/3 majority in the legislature to pass any tax increase. Despite returning solid majorities of Democrats to the legislature election after election there is a very hard core cadre of die-hard Republicans who manage to say above 1/3 of the legislature and absolutely will not vote for any tax increase for any reason.

Further, California has a property tax freeze (since the 1970s) which freezes your taxes at the last sale price. If you live in your home for 20 years, you’re essentially not paying a realistic amount to cover your community’s goods and services. Overtime, this has bled the state’s income.

So 1/3 of the state gets to hold the other 2/3 hostage. It is profoundly undemocratic and has led, inexorably to this result. The Republicans want to return to an 1800s vision of the State, where it is everyone for themselves.

So the choice facing the democrats was to let the government shut down completely, or agree to the demands of a bunch of well off people with no consciences who represent wealthy parts of the state.

California is about to become a 3rd world country. This is entirely the fault of the two party facade who have engineered this “shock doctrine” tactic. Many people are delighted to see the elderly and disabled cut off from support and the poor denied health care.


  1. throttle down Discovery throttle down Discovery June 27, 2010

    The Jig’s Up!

  2. Frank Frank June 28, 2010

    These people thought they were going to live off the government forever……Most don’t want a job, who would when you are actually making more money than you did while working??

    No gas to work, eat at home, no daycare…….etc….

    Not to mention……playing ball with the kids, hanging with the wife, having a beer at 2:00 with your other buddies that are also living off the government ( US )!

  3. Travis Travis June 28, 2010

    I agree with Frank. I lost my job in 2003 due to economy and i became self employed during the first 6 months of unemployment benefits. I didnt expect to keep collecting like everybody has been conditioned to these days. i have a friend who lost his job making good money 1-1/2 years ago and is complaining that his 99 weeks of benefits is going to be the end. Oh and hes the first to complain about welfare etc. hypocrites everywhere. if you cant pay your mortgage…..DONT! you have lots of time to find a place to live. oh and dont waste time talking to the bank about refi….they will not help you. its time we started hitting them where it hurts…the wallet keep your money for survival and give up your overextended lifestyle and be free. I DID and its awesome!! i owe nobody nothing so im not a slave. stop being slaves to debt….go bankrupt and never get into debt again.

  4. Jason Jason Post author | June 28, 2010

    Good points Travis but you forget about national debt. You are still on the hook for something like 240,000 (that is each person including you) in the USA. They will take your money if they need to.

  5. could be anyone could be anyone June 29, 2010

    Not everyone cut off had 99 wks. Some of us had never had an ext. at all. They say we’re in a recovery, but try being over 50 & see how quickly you’re hired. Esp. if you’re a single mom with children at home. You’re not the cream of the crop for employers to want. Walk away? Where’s cheaper than no mortgage? Sell & move? Being in an older neighborhood that’s gone way down & lots of needed repairs doesn’t make that possible. Medical debt about to put lien on it anyway. Probably be one of my last posts, wouldn’t have paid this bill if they hadn’t been so sure that the checks would continue. I’m not a loser, I have a degree, have never drawn unemp. before in my life. I had a good job expecting to move on once I got my parents house cleared out & sold after their deaths (was in an apt., couldn’t leave the house empty), now I’m just lucky to still have it to live in, unless I can’t make the taxes.

    And, oh, have you even considered how much better this will make the unemployment percentage look since it’s based on people that actually get unemployment compensation?!? YES, WE’RE IN RECOVERY~THE NUMBERS SAY SO!!! So sleep on, don’t let the eyes you see with deceive what your government tells you!

  6. could be anyone could be anyone June 29, 2010

    And Travis, losing your job in 2003 compared to Dec. of 2009 (yes, just in time for Christmas) is the difference between day & night as far as what is left out there. Including starting a new business. Many more jobs have been out-sourced, out-taxed, out-regulated and flat-out disappeared. I was one of the last two laid-off as my employer shut his doors. Do you think I want to rely on the gov’t? Rely on the same gov’t that is ruled by the banks that is determined to break America to bring in a NWO? Don’t be so smug. As much as they spend on foreign aid and wars against an elusive, never-ending enemy (just when do you win against ‘terror’?) the fact that they are ready to let the American people (yes, this is beyond California) fall into homelessness just as Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. revealed the Bankers Manifesto of 1892 to the U.S. Congress somewhere between 1907 and 1917 means that they think it’s time to bring it to fruition. That also means they are ready to allow the total collapse of the economy to break the smug Americans, else they would not start that snowball rolling. Wake up & stay aware. Learn what you need to survive and prevail against this evil tyranny. It will take our unity. May God Bless us all.

  7. David Jeremiah David Jeremiah July 19, 2010

    By 2020 no nation will be able to afford unemployment benefits. This was a fake system placed to blind the eye of every citizen on earth. A 65 year system of “Fake it until we make it” System. We will have to eat the fruits thereof because as participants in the system, we are co-conspirators. We have to pay the price. 2020 -2050: The World will walk into an era of Stagflation because the younger generation will realise they have walked into a financial trap that their fathers were fooled into.

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