On Unemployment, Republicans are right and wrong

Get ready for the Sally Struthers commercials about to be produced by the DNC.  Republicans blocked an extension of unemployment benefits.

But what is being missed on a large scale is why Republicans blocked the extension.  Democrats have extended unemployment benefits four times and have not paid for any of the extensions.  In the most recent extension, they allowed people to find temporary work without losing benefits, all unpaid for.  With deficits over a trillion dollars, the Democrat argument has been that unemployment benefits create jobs.  I’m sure we can all come up with a time we were down on our luck and were hired by an unemployed person.  Right?

The Republican argument is simple.  Pay for the benefits, and they will vote to extend them.  In fact, since they are good Republicans, they don’t even want Democrats to cut other programs to pay for the benefits.  Simply take surpluses from Stimulus and TARP to pay for them.  Seems simple enough, but the Democrats appear to have local stimulus funded pork projects on their priority list above paying for unemployment benefits.  You won’t see that on their “Feed the Children of Detroit” tv special.

This one seems cut and dry.  But the Republicans are wrong too.  Saying you have a surplus in the stimulus program is like saying you have a surplus if you go shopping and don’t quite hit your credit limit.  The word “surplus” and “stimulus” (which was 100% in the red from day one) do not belong in the same sentence together.  Does it really matter which account we take the money from when every account is debt funded already?

Unemployment benefit extensions have become unregulated welfare.  No, unemployment benefits do not create jobs.  Businesses who are paid to create and produce goods and services that people want and need at prices they can afford create jobs.  But instead of throwing money at those job creators, we are raising taxes on them and telling them they can no longer conduct business.  A good example is Obama deciding we no longer need the energy independence that oil exploration and drilling would have provided.  That is thousands of jobs lost in his one decision.

Towards the beginning of Obama’s Presidency, he said that “There will be a time for profits, now is not that time”.  And that thinking is why Congress is looking for a fifth extension of unemployment benefits.

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