House Republicans voted to extend unemployment insurance under President George W. Bush five times. Also, for some reason all five times that President Bush extended unemployment benefits there were no “pay-fors” required to pass the legislation. It is also conveniently forgotten by tea party and other Republicans that the program Democrats are looking to extend was a Bush Era emergency unemployment benefits program.
Of course we expect hypocrisy when it comes to politics. It is hard to not believe on some level that Republicans currently believe that the more suffering they can inflict on Americans the better their chances are in elections.
For years Republicans have argued that unless a person is in danger of being homeless, hungry, sick , or worse that they will not be properly motivated to get work and be productive. Here is the way the thinking goes: The right believes the poor must have less to be adequately motivated but the rich must have more in order to ensure their maximum effort. It is this type of thinking that will not allow for Republicans to vote to extend unemployment benefits for over a million Americans. All the while fighting like crazy so that well to do people never have to pay more in taxes.
Here’s a pretty good illustration of the severity of the current recession, the job loss it has wrought, and why it’s too soon to end emergency benefits:
Right now there are 2.7789 unemployed people for every job available. This would seem to persuade people as well as Republicans that these unemployed people aren’t just sitting around because the benefits are so great. It might be that there just are not enough jobs available.
The number of current long term unemployed people, that is people which have been without a job for at least 27 weeks and depleted their state benefits is still much higher than what the cut-off point for emergency aid was in previous recessions. Nearly twice as high, in fact:
A key to living life as a Republican is that you are given opportunities to get educated and to find decent jobs. The Republican determination to race to the bottom when it comes to compensations and educations that their fellow Americans can get seems very greedy. We got ours, and the rest can do without should be the title of their next party platform.