January 7, 2014 by David K. Sutton
Inexplicable Republican Opposition To Extending Unemployment Benefits
Okay, I did say it’s inexplicable, but let me take a stab at it anyway. Republicans are opposed to extending unemployment insurance because it does not solve the problem of joblessness. Fair enough, I can agree unemployment benefits do not lead directly to job creation, but that itself is not a reason to deny people those benefits. It’s not like jobs aren’t being created because unemployment insurance is a thing.
But in complete contrast to their first reason for opposing jobless benefits, Republicans are also opposed to extending unemployment insurance because, well, it creates a legion of lazy people who choose to live off their unemployment benefits instead of looking for work. We’ll set aside how incredibly offensive this is to people looking for work, at least for now.
Well, which is it Republicans? It can’t be both. If you are admitting there are not enough jobs (and you are admitting this by saying these benefits do not solve the problem of joblessness) then how is it that people receiving these benefits are to blame when they are unable to find a job?
Republicans want a solution that actually creates jobs and therefore reduces reliance on government benefits. I think everyone wants that, but what is the answer? How about a works program (direct government employment)? You know that’s a nonstarter for Republicans. So what is it then? I’ll tell you what it is. Republicans do not have a plan. They have no path forward. They have no jobs agenda. They have nothing, other than their opposition to jobless benefits. Seems to me you need to have a plan to lower the unemployment rate first, then you can oppose unemployment insurance extensions. Otherwise you are simply denying people food, electricity, housing, etc.
Forget inexplicable, it’s inexcusable.