Sunday, December 18, 2011


(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (3), there shall be paid to a State an amount equal to 100 percent of the amount of short-time compensation paid under a short-time compensation program (as defined in section 3306(v) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as added by section 341(a)) under the provisions of the State law

This is an example of how burdensome this recession has been.  The states will provide the payments to their recipients and then receive reimbursements as the State Secretary calculates the increase.  This is a fiscal nightmare for the states and the federal government if they are going to be accountable.  There is no action by government that should not be accountable, these are the people's monies.  

So, for the federal government to account for their disbursements, they will receive statements/invoices from the states and reimburse their costs.  That means the states has to have the cash flow to start the program in the first place and not all states have the same credit rating of the federal government.  So, if a state has to borrow money in order to carry out the program it may be at a higher rate than the federal government would pay.  That reeks havoc with budgets and politics, but, the people will be better off in the long run, so it has to go forward.  But, none of these people elected into office asked to be 'electorate sandpaper.'  These provisions are necessary, but, can be costly.  When Wall Street was supplied with a $700 billion fund for their lousy business model, they didn't even skim the surface of the damage they did to this country when they touted how they paid it back.  The problems these governments now have in protecting people from this collapse is on going.  The costs are enormous and the people innocent.  Buoy.

e. Such estimates may be made on the basis of such statistical, sampling, or other method as may be agreed upon by the Secretary and the State agency of the State involved.

That is not as terrible as I thought.  The estimates should never be wrong though.  A state could get in trouble if they are over estimating.  They might borrow far more than they will get in reimbursement and that would lead to abuse and potential an audit with repercussions.  So, the state officials have to know what they are doing to get the most accurate estimate.  I would decrease the amount by 10 to 15 percent and then return for more reimbursement once the figures were actual instead of estimated.

(A) GENERAL PAYMENT LIMITATIONS.—No payments shall be 
made to a State under this section for short-time compensation paid to an individual by the State during a benefit year in excess of 26 times the amount of regular compensation (including dependents’ allowances) under the State law payable to such individual for a week of total unemployment

These provisions do not apply to employees from seasonal, temporary or intermittent jobs. It would be abuse.  There is too much fluctuation in the nature of those jobs to be able to predict the outcome for payments and then recipients would get in trouble if they knew they were getting monies they really should not have.

(1) IN GENERAL.—Payments to a State under subsection (a) shall be available for weeks of unemployment—
(A) beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act; and
(B) ending on or before the date that is 3 years and 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(e) DEFINITIONS.—In this section

Nothing strange or unusual.

(1) IN GENERAL.—Any State which desires to do so may enter into, and 
participate in, an agreement under this section with the Secretary provided that such 
State's law does not provide for the payment of short-time compensation under a shorttime compensation program (as defined in section 3306(v) of the Internal Revenue Code 
of 1986, as added by section 341(a))

Participation by states is not mandatory nor does it have to be perpetual.  As a state recovers they can terminate this provision.
Kim Jong Il is dead.  I guess Governor Richardson will be traveling.  Dog gone it, its Christmas.  

He was only 69 years old.  His son needs to come to terms with the fact longevity in North Korea is poor compared to other nations in the world.  He is younger and should appreciate longevity for himself and his people and work on the quality of life in North Korea and not military capacity.  Military capacity has its own way to shorten lives if wrongfully applied.  I am sorry he is dead.  I don't believe, by demonstration of power within the last few years, his son will be better for the North Korean people.

There is also a disincentive for employers to invoke their furlough option.  It costs the employer monies to have employees receive unemployment.

(3) EMPLOYER PAYMENT OF COSTS.—Any short-time compensation plan 
entered into by an employer must provide that the employer will pay the State an amount 
equal to one-half of the amount of short-time compensation paid under such plan. Such 
amount shall be deposited in the State’s unemployment fund and shall not be used for 
purposes of calculating an employer’s contribution rate under section 3303(a)(1) of the 
Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The state also gets reimbursed their entire 50% for benefits by the federal government.  Good.  The states are having enough problems.

(2) TWO-YEAR FUNDING LIMITATION.—States may receive payments under this section with respect to a total of not more than 104 weeks.

There is a disqualifier for states that legislate their own program that has a different definition of short-time compensation under section 3306(v) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as added by section 341(a),...  The state has to adhere to the intentions of this law to qualify for reimbursement.

(f) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:


In regard to North Korea and other nations that are not the five nuclear nations, there is a reason why they play brinkmanship.  There is a reason they have opposed any disarmament.  It is due to the over aggressive nature of the Right Wing leaders in USA.  The invasion into Iraq set the 'trustworthiness' of the USA back decades.  Back to the Cold War when it comes to nations such as North Korea.  

Kim watched how Saddam's Iraq was disarmed and then saw the death of the dictator.  The same happened with Libya.  First it was disarmed and then the rebels were provided assistance with their revolution.  The leaders of these nations now see themselves and their country falling into the same fate as Iraq.  There are a lot people dead in Iraq and Saddam had nothing to do with their deaths.  

It is too dangerous to let these countries continue their nuclear programs, it hurts the quality of life of their people, but, when these leaders reflect on the deaths in Iraq and the continued struggle now, they don't see disarmament as a method to peace, so much as a method to suffering.  That reality resulted from actions by the USA.  Iraq should not have happened.  The UN Inspectors were doing a superb job.  There was no WMD.  It has taken more than eight years to be able to leave Iraq after that huge blunder.  

What form of diplomacy is going to be effective if the American people continue to have leaders that act in aggression outside an understanding of 'legal war.'  The actions of Bush and Cheney nearly makes the State Department a place mute rather than empowered by national security policy.  To be honest, I sincerely don't expect Kim's son to be less of a military dictator so much as more of one.

I'll read more of this act tomorrow.  I'll start with SEC. 344. GRANTS FOR SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION PROGRAMS on page 110.


Okay. There was an email from Joe Walsh. He is a sorry legislator, between all his town halls ...

...and now he is co-hosting some kind talks show.  What was the name of it?  Oh, yeah, "Big ? Tod ?"  No.  It was "Big John and Amy Show."  Walsh is never doing his job.  The man plays all the time with the power afforded him.  Isn't he from Illinois?  He can't hold a candle to President Obama.  Oh, well...about the American Jobs Act.  Page......341.  No section 341 on page 106.

This is a new section all together.  This is IRS Code again.  I'll read through it quickly to see if I can simply write a brief synopsis.

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 3306 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3306) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: “(v) SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION PROGRAM.—For purposes of this chapter

This is about furloughs.  This is when employees are basically sharing their jobs with each other so no one is laid off, but, they don't maintain the same number of work hours.  Those employees that maintain work hours from 41% of their full time job and 90% can receive unemployment.

“(3) such employees whose workweeks have been reduced by at least 10 percent, and by not more than the percentage, if any, that is determined by the State to be appropriate (but in no case more than 60 percent), are eligible for unemployment compensation

This is a difficult position to be in, not that unemployment will help, but, a recipient will have to maintain all the standards someone completely unemployed has to meet.  I don't think it realistic.  I want to explain that further, because, the reality today is that people sharing work hours to keep from being laid off can find themselves receiving less and less time at work as a company marginalizes their labor force.  So this is difficult, but, such employees never know where they stand.

All the rules for reporting job searches to the unemployment office applies here.  Yet, they are still working.  What happens if a person is offered yet another job that would require leaving their first employer?  The people sharing work hours are hoping they will be hired back full time, keeping all their benefits and the like.  But, how does a person discern whether that is realistic to expect?  At one point will someone performing a job search to receive benefits know they can leave their employer because they would have lost their original job anyway?

I think these people are in a difficult situation, because, if an unemployment recipient is offered a different job from their job search they can't really refuse it otherwise they loose their unemployment benefits.  There has to be some kind of relief from that dynamic.  I don't believe it is fair, no matter how prudent it might be.

“(6) eligible employees may participate, as appropriate, in training (including employer-sponsored training or worker training funded under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998) to enhance job skills if such program has been approved by the State agency

Here again, how are unemployment recipients still working going to be able to discern if they need job training?  Then there is the conflict of interest with their work hours.  If a person wants added training but it conflicts with work hours will their benefits be effected?  If not, then what transpires when they do receive work training and they are still working and hoping to return full time?  It is a very odd position to be in and it is almost mental cruelty.  There has to be some anguish with these folks due to the fluid circumstances they find themselves.  Yet, it is better to have at least a portion of work hours than none at all.

The way these people are paid unemployment is by the portion of LOSS of their normal work hours.  If a person has lost 25% of their work hours, then unemployment payments are based on that percentage.

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (click here) is at the Department of Labor Website.  This provision does not quote an exact statement in the act, so I am not going to try to find the particular place to read.  But, the link is noted above.

And for those that might read this as if the government is doing everyone a favor to paying  unemployment benefits, my reply is "Excuse me?"  Employees pay into their benefits for all the years they work.  Employees have a right to them.  Got it?  I hope so.

“(7) the State agency shall require employers to certify that if the employer provides health benefits and retirement benefits under a defined benefit plan (as defined in section 414(j)) or contributions under a defined contribution plan (as defined in section 414(i)) to any employee whose workweek is reduced under the program that such benefits will continue to be provided to employees participating in the short-time compensation program under the same terms and conditions as though the workweek of such employee had not been reduced or to the same extent as other employees not participating in the short-time compensation program, subject to other requirements in this section;

This is what makes it difficult to be this person.  The benefits invested over years can become a real problem when or if all that stops, especially to take another job.  I suppose if recipients find a job that might be more SECURE, they could receive a severance package, but, that probably doesn't happen.  I betcha those employees that move on due to their job searches are considered resigned and not terminated even though their circumstances have exposed them to that dynamic.  There is a degree of unfairness here.  Any employee that is working reduced hours, but, find other work due to the job searches they are required to make, should be considered a special case and given a severance package as if terminated or laid off.

I am sure this provision works out well for many people and may be a relief to finding new work, but, in all honesty these folks are kind of in a meat grinder.  They didn't ask for reduced work hours, but, yet due to receiving unemployment compensation they are required to have a second job looking for work.  There is inequity here.  I appreciate the generosity of proving monies to close the gap of income, but, at the same time these people are in a catch 22 of sorts.  Looking for a new job might be emotionally draining while they are still working their other job.  I just can't imagine feeling good about looking for work from a job I still have, have enjoyed and did well with along with peers and friends.  It is a difficult circumstance for these people and I believe the unemployment agency could be asking too much of them, unless they know they will be laid off eventually.

That is not something that is discussed either.  The 'work culture' an employee is leaving behind when they are partially or fully laid off.  They are leaving friends, social contacts, peers.  There isn't any support group for that either.  Being unemployed is difficult enough from a financial perspective, but, that emotional separation from others has to be significant.

“(9) in the case of employees represented by a union as the sole and exclusive representative, the appropriate official of the union has agreed to the terms of the employer’s written plan and implementation is consistent with employer obligations under the applicable Federal laws; and

(9) is a good thing.  It is better to have a union to be sure there is equity and people are treated fairly.  I like that.  Employers have to work with unions in these decisions.

I was just looking for a picture online of my slippers.  They really aren't slippers, they are camp boots that I used on the Juneau ice fields.  They are made by "SOREL."  If ever anyone wanted a pair of slippers that are actually shoes to wear outside, these are it.  They are so comfortable and their sole is about an inch and a half thick to elevate the foot off the ice and snow.  They have treads on the bottom.  I can't find the exact pair. 

 This is close but isn't exactly the ones I have.  Mine are paler in color and there is no orchid, but they are lined with fleece.  The treads are right.  I can walk easily across ice in these.  There is no bear on them.  Mine have the name SOREL with a Canadian leaf inside the letter O.  The seam on the toe goes all the way around with a single piece of fabric.  There is no angle.  These are by far the most comfortable, warmest and most durable shoes I have ever worn.  No lie.  If I can't find another pair should these wear out, I am really going to be bummed about it.


President Obama wrote a time frame for states already providing this form of compensation.  This Act is suppose to enhance their capacity, so they are allowed to live within the law while the necessary changes are made.

...such amendment shall take effect on the earlier of—
(A) the date the State changes its State law in order to be consistent with such amendment; or
(B) the date that is 2 years and 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act

In some states it might take this long, too.  It is no different than the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and how it took years to get the monies into the economy.  Take for instance Texas where they only meet a portion of the year, every other year.  If this Act were to be passed, it could take potentially two to three years to see this implemented.  First the law has to be changed and in an off year that would not happen for a long time, then the Comptroller has to modify the states procedures to provide for the law.  It could take a long time for these monies to actually received the unemployed and by then the people could be destitute or working a new job, hopefully.

I bought those shoes on sale at a outdoor supplier called "Moosejaw (click here)."  Now that I think about it, it might have been a style that was being discontinued.  But, they are great shoes.  No lie.  I also receive rewards from Moosejaw for what I purchase.  Those rewards can accumulate for two years.  I just cashed mine in before I lost them on December 31st.  A Christmas present from Moosejaw to me.  Nice.

(A) Subparagraph (E) of section 3304(a)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code 
of 1986 is amended to read as follows: ...

I betcha it gets rather strange for these folks.  On one hand they are still paying into unemployment while collecting.  Weird.  There are probably some interesting conversations these people have as they work reduced hours and receive benefits at the same time.  Hm.



That is a worry, too.  A person is paying SSI, I guess the official name is FICA.  Is that right? So, they are working reduced hours, paying into SSI, but that is going into their SSI account with less accumulation than if they were working full time.  That is difficult to accept.  You know, that would really make me upset and angry.  This Great Recession really is nasty to people.  Wall Street isn't hurting though.  This is lousy with a capital L.

This lousy collapse has created enormous problems for this country's government.  This is not fair from any angle.

Continued in next entry.

I will cover the American Jobs Act starting where I left off on October 19th. (click title to entry - thank you)

On October 19, 2011 the next section to be read was Section 341 on page 106.  I'll start there and finish tonight at the top of page 116, Section 346(b) Funding.  I have some emails to address, so I'll begin after that and I get my warm slippers out.

I think this will be a better activity for the holidays as well as any commentary.  Some of the more interesting aspects of the President's jobs bill is in the second half.  

I'll be back.