I really don’t understand how multiple Republican Senators saying that people are voluntarily unemployed because of unemployment benefits isn’t blaring from every cable pundit’s mouth and every Democrat’s press office as the worst thing anyone’s ever said (seeing as how it kind of, er, is).
Politico, of course, has the Republican response to Jim Bunning’s comments as a feature story, because what really matters is how Republicans position themselves on this issue rather than, say, the single Senator assuring that millions of people don’t have money to eat this week.
The Humble Libertarian asks why the rest of the Senate doesn’t just capitulate to Bunning’s demands, which is sort of like asking why the person whose bed is getting shit all over by the crazy man doesn’t run out and get some plastic sheets at the hardware store. Bunning claims that his unilateral stoppage of unemployment benefits (among a myriad of other programs) is designed to stop deficit spending, which would make sense except that dude is all about Bush’s deficit-expanding tax cuts.
And what’s funny is that conservatives still don’t get it. From Rick Moran:
By the reaction, you would think that Bunning was trying to throw poor people out into the street, force grandma and grandpa to eat Meow Mix, strip soldiers naked and send them into battle, while singlehandedly increasing his carbon footprint to the point that the ocean drowns Los Angeles in a wave of melting arctic ice due to global warming.
Well, actually, when you indefinitely suspend the only source of income for people who can’t find jobs, you’re doing exactly what one and two mockingly refer to. In general, when you have no more rent money, you do get thrown out on the street and have to eat the lowest-cost food you can (which might not be Meow Mix, but instead the dollar menu at Burger King…so, yeah, Meow Mix). When you can’t even accept the fact that unemployment benefits aren’t just something tossed on the luxurious existence that is not having to drive to the office every morning, you render yourself morally and intellectually incapable of discussing this.
Of course, pointing this out to the public at large requires a more robust PR effort than Congressional Democrats seem willing to mount. How hard is it to say, “Look at this, and look at the fact that Susan Collins is the only Republican willing to go on the record and support continuing unemployment benefits in a recession. If Republicans are too partisan to support keeping unemployed people off the streets in a recession, how are we ever supposed to work with them anything that requires the least bit of foresight, sympathy or rationality? We can’t. Ergo, these people are assholes. I yield my time.”