I’ve been accused of blindly blaming the Republican Party for too many things. But this is one even my most conservative friends agree on. Both parties have always agreed to extend unemployment benefits during recessions. It makes economic sense, and it’s the most humane thing government can do when its citizens are economically stressed. First of all, the money goes immediately into circulation–it gets spent, both alleviating the pain of the unemployed, and acting as an economic stimulus to the broader economy. This Republican Party, though, either can’t understand the benefits, or more likely, is quite willing to inflict untold pain on the people of this country if it sees an electoral benefit. The economy will get worse, Obama will be blamed, and the Republicans will reap the gains in November. Never mind the suffering. The cynicism is staggering, and shameful.
Some of the rhetoric is beyond belief. The new talking point is that extending unemployment benefits will only discourage people rom looking for jobs. Oh, we lazy Americans. Fifteen million of us thrown out of work since the recession began, and we just don’t want to go back on the job because of those cushy benefits. Unemployment is our fault. And there are all those high-paying jobs out there just going begging because Obama is too generous with our tax money. Give me a break!