Civil Rights News: State of the Union, Social Security, Transportation, Unemployed 99ers

Obama Won’t Endorse Raising Retirement Age or Reducing Social Security Benefits
Washington Post

This article on the upcoming State of the Union address focuses on President Obama’s take on the lingering budget crisis. Rather than laying out a detailed plan for the nation’s economic future, Obama is expected to call for bipartisan efforts in Congress, where specific budgetary battles will ultimately be fought. Some are worried that without a clearly defined vision, Obama will lose the political momentum necessary to protect targeted federal programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Pitch for Rebuilding Infrastructure Carries Political Challenges
New York Times

In his upcoming State of the Union address, Obama hopes to rally the nation around expanding public-work projects as the key to national economic security. In this article, Michael Cooper discusses the positive impact that expanded transportation infrastructure could bring to America’s overcrowded urban centers, as well as the political challenges the program could face from oppositional rural districts.

1.4 Million Have Been Out Of Work For 99 Weeks Or Longer: Congressional Research Service
Huffington Post

As the recession wears on, long-term unemployment presents an increasingly grave concern. The number of people who have been unemployed for longer than 99 weeks is steadily rising; the numbers are hard to track, but present estimates of the total number of long-term unemployed range from 1.4 million to 7 million. This looming crisis is hitting hardest among older workers, who are subject to longer periods of unemployment due to age discrimination.

Compiled by Hayley Lennon