On Thursday June 24, the elected Republicans in the Senate gave more evidence that they hate the unemployed. The Senate rejected an extension of unemployment benefits for 1.2 million people. People who have never lost a job can decide that others who have no job don’t “deserve” help. Normal people should be outraged about that. But there is other insults the GOP heaped on the unemployed.
Rachel Maddow summed it up best:
MADDOW: We’ve got the worst long-term unemployment since the Great Depression. This is going to have repercussions in our country and in our culture for generations. The political leadership we’re seeing on the right in response to that called the unemployed animals, drug test them, call them bums, say they’re only out of jobs because they’re lazy and want to be. Insult, insult, insult. To add real injury to all of that insult today every Republican in the Senate plus our friend Ben Nelson, blocked a vote on a bill to provide badly needed help to the long-term unemployed in this country.
And as a result, starting tomorrow, more than a million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. This might sound like something you’ve heard before. This is the sort of thing that’s been knocking around in and out of the headlines for months now. And it’s true. It’s because Republicans have blocked extensions of unemployment benefits before. It’s kind of been a Republican hobbyhorse lately.
But in the past, the measure has always been saved at the last minute. That didn’t happen this time. Senate Republicans and Ben Nelson really are cutting off the benefits for 1.2 million unemployed people and probably tossing at least some of them out on the street. And as an added bonus, they’re giving up the opportunity to stimulate the economy in the most efficient way we know how. Ta da.
This pisses me off. As someone who has been on public assistance in the past and know many who are on assistance or unemployment, I can tell you NO ONE WANTS TO BE UNEMPLOYED. Republicans just rehash the old “welfare queen” red herring whenever real people need help. They didn’t bat an eye bailing out the banks and automakers but when real people need help they complain about the deficit.
The Democrats in the Senate don’t get off the hook totally. Why in the hell do you keep letting the GOP screw the pooch? Need 60 votes for unemployment extension? Really? Knock the shit off and act like a majority party. Letting a minority of 41 control things make you all look stupid.
Of course passing out checks without doing anything substantial to solve the economic problem won’t solve the jobs problem in the long run but not putting oil in a car low on oil just because it hasn’t reached 3,000 miles isn’t going to be good for a car either.
As blogger digby noted:
I have thought from the beginning of the crisis that this was a problem. I could tell from some conversations I was having that people were under the misapprehension that the deficit caused the recession and that ending the deficit is the only way to fix the economy. Many wingnuts are making that explicit claim.
This is one of the reasons why I have been so frantic that the administration was feeding into the deficit hysteria. They don’t seem to get that people don’t actually care about “the deficit,” they care about “the economy” and they fail to make a distinction between the two, especially since we have right wing wrecking crew that makes a point of conflating the two.
I just don’t have time for people who are soooooo full of themselves, who lack any minimal amount of compassion, and who refuse to see the world outside their self involved bubble.
Here is an example:
Missouri farmer David Jungerman has raised the hackles of local residents with a politically-charged sign he’s placed on his “45-foot-long, semi-truck box trailer” on his farm. The trailer reads: “Are you a Producer or Parasite Democrats – Party of the Parasites.” Now, the Kansas City Star reveals that Jungerman has been the recipient of over a million dollars of federal farm subsidies since 1995
Trying to defend himself, Jungerman told the press, “That’s just my money coming back to me. I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite.”
What this Einstein doesn’t know or refuses to know is even people on welfare pay taxes. They may not pay income taxes but they do pay sales tax plus they paid taxes when they did have a job. Don’t they deserve to get back the taxes they paid?
Jungerman reminded me of those morons during the health care reform town halls when they shouted they didn’t want government run health care while admitting they were on Medicare.
What should really make a normal human mad is that the extension only would have added 0.00043 percent to the national debt.