A Republican congressman from Texas on Monday suggested that many people were too lazy to get a job because unemployment benefits had “incentivized” them not to work.
“We’ve got to the point in this country where we incentivized people not to work, instead of incentivized them to work,” Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) told KFYO’s Tom Collins and Laura Mac. “And with unemployment benefits going for as long as 99 weeks, we’ve seen food stamps in this country increase 44 percent in the last four years. And so basically, unfortunately, there’s not a lot of incentive for some people to work. And that’s a reason we’ve got to reform some of these programs.
“We shouldn’t be allowing people to game the system by maybe only working part time so that they can get these other benefits,” he added. “In some cases, there may be full-time employment offered to them, but they’ve figured out a way to work part time and still get these additional benefits.”
But at the same time, Neugebauer questioned government figures that said jobs were being created and unemployment was going down.
“We’ve seen a large number, millions of people are dropping out of the workforce,” he explained. “And so these unemployment numbers are misleading. I think overall when you look at the economy for job growth in this country, we’re still very weak. We’re not creating enough jobs to keep up with just the normal population growth that’s in our country.”
In 2011, Neugebauer voted against a bill to extend the temporary payroll tax holiday and emergency unemployment benefits.
Listen to this audio from KFYO, broadcast Nov. 12, 2012.