Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 12, 2010

REPUBLICANS JUST DON'T LIKE THE UNEMPLOYED, CONT'D.... I've been marveling in recent months at the ways in which Republican lawmakers and candidates seem to actively dislike -- on a personal level -- those who've lost their jobs in the recession. It's kind of odd, given that the unemployed don't seem to have done anything to offend the GOP and earn the party's disdain.

In the latest example, we see Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett (R), the frontrunner in this year's gubernatorial race, arguing publicly that jobless workers in his state are choosing not to work, preferring to live on meager unemployment aid.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett on Friday accused some jobless Pennsylvanians of choosing to collect unemployment checks rather than going back to work, prompting swift criticism from his Democratic opponent and one of the state's top labor leaders.

"The jobs are there. But if we keep extending unemployment, people are just going to sit there," Corbett told Harrisburg radio station WITF at a campaign stop in Elizabethtown. "I've literally had construction companies tell me, 'I can't get people to come back to work until . . . they say, "I'll come back to work when unemployment runs out." ' "

I obviously can't speak with confidence about what some guy told some other guy who in turn told Corbett. But the general argument is getting quite tiresome.

"The jobs are there"? No, they're really not. Nationwide, there are five applicants for every one opening, which is a terribly painful ratio. Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is currently at a 26-year high.

Corbett not only seems confused about economic conditions, but his animosity about the jobless' attitudes is awful. Yes, I can appreciate the fact that an unemployed worker who's exhausted his/her benefits will be more desperate to take any job than an unemployed worker who's still receiving public aid. But this dynamic matters a whole lot more when there are plenty of job opportunities for those who want them. That's just not the current reality.

To hear Corbett tell it, the unemployed prefer to be unemployed -- turning down job opportunities that pay more, choosing to rely on aid that offers far less. Worse, Corbett doesn't seem to realize that his approach makes the larger problem worse -- cutting people off from unemployment benefits undercuts consumer spending, which in turn leads to less demand and fewer job opportunities.

And in the bigger picture, Republicans' efforts to castigate the jobless continue to strike me as bizarre. Sharron Angle, the extremist Republican Senate candidate in Nevada, considers the unemployed "spoiled ." One GOP congressman recently compared the unemployed to "hobos." In the House, GOP lawmakers tried to eliminate a successful jobs program. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) actually started pushing a measure to require the unemployed to take mandatory drug tests in exchange for benefits. Kentucky's Rand Paul wants the jobless to quit their bellyaching and "get back to work."

And, of course, in the Senate, Republicans have refused to allow a vote to extend unemployment benefits, and won't even consider aid to states that would prevent hundreds of thousands of additional layoffs.

What did the unemployed ever do to offend the Republican Party this much?

Steve Benen 8:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (84)

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Comments

To the Republicans, the unemployed are a special interest group of the Democratic Party, on same level that BigOil and the KStreet is an interest group of the Republican Party.

Posted by: bakho on July 12, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

The unemployed are a constant reminder of the failure of Republican policies.

Seriously, the economy has changed as we sent all of our jobs to China. We have a lot of 50+ people who may never work again. What are we to do with them?

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 12, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

This guy wants to be a "Governor?"
Why? Then he would have to 'govern.' This might actually have to include ideas on DECREASING unemployment. ANY ideas?
I thought not...

Ron,
I'm one of those over 50, and I'm not ready to be turned into "Soylent Green" yet. :-)

Posted by: c u n d gulag on July 12, 2010 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

It's very simple. By demonizing the unemployed, Republicans don't have to lift a finger to help them. Then they can blame both unemployment and the new poverty on Obama. Anything they can do to worsen the economy insures that Obama is a one-term president.

To the GOBP/TP:

1] People who lose theirs jobs in a recession must be drug-addled losers.

2] People who protest a war must be "anti-troops."

3] People who want everyone to have health insurance must be communist Nazis.

4] Women with bat-shit ideas, but who look good on television [or are rich] must be "smart."

5] Every problem we have must be the fault of the most recently elected Democratic president.

6] The vast majority of the scientific community must be lying about the environment.

Posted by: chrenson on July 12, 2010 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

On second thought, in regards to the unemployed, the Republicans are lifting a finger.

But just one.

Posted by: chrenson on July 12, 2010 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

The unemployed are the new Mexicans. If we are going to get rid of the illegals, we are going to need a new group of underclass folks to fill their shoes. People who will be willing to do jobs that really suck for next to nothing. The only way that you can get American citizens to accept that status is to break their spirit, strip them of all hope. That is what this is about.

Posted by: SW on July 12, 2010 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Divide and rule, it's a very simple principle. First, make the people who do have jobs feel threatened, aggrieved and victimized. Then encourage them to kick down instead of up, and to blame the people who are less well off than they are. It's worked for them before, and may work again.

Posted by: T-Rex on July 12, 2010 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

This line of argument has an emotional appeal to the 90% of the population that is not unemployed. Most people are working longer hours at lower pay (a friend of mine who is a project manager for a construction company got her salary cut in half last week). Since Richard Nixon, the GOP has been the party of personal grievance and it will remain so for the forseeable future.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on July 12, 2010 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

What did the unemployed ever do to offend the Republican Party this much?

Republican economic philosophy is based on Revealed Truths, polices given by God directly to St. Ronald, His Prophet. Republicans have been promised that if they cut the taxes of millionaires and deregulate the corporations then the United Sates will be a paradise -- one where roads and bridges never wear out, where no one ever gets sick and where every singe child's test scores are above average.

Republicans governed using those principles for eight years, and by definition their policies aren't at fault if things aren't going well. So someone else must to blame.

Clearly the unemployed didn't truly believe when they closed their eyes, clicked their heels three time and chanted, "There's no place like the Free Market! There's no place like the Free Market!"

Those who now question are heretics who've turned their backs on God and His Prophet. In Republicans' minds, they deserve whatever happens to them.


Posted by: SteveT on July 12, 2010 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

What I find amazing is that the the Republicans are against the unemployed during the worst economy since the Great Depression, and the Democrats unable to take advantage of it.

Posted by: david1234 on July 12, 2010 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP is grossly mistaking good sound economic sense (juicing the economy with unemployment so some demand can begin to grow our economy) with their perverse morality (only bums would collect unemployment)!

The GOP is shilling for its uber-rich constituents who also share the perverse morality (we're rich, so social Darwinism is true!) while denying their policies have failed middle class American families (first under Reagan and Bush the Elder and then again with a vengeance under Lil'Bush)!

Now the GOP is making sure people will continue to hurt under a system that is supposedly designed to alleviate economic distress to families (the unemployment system is not welfare, employees pay into it while employed so they can rely on a safety net during economic trying times), while refusing to help govern (election politics have solidified the GOP as the Party of No)!

On a final note: The GOP called President Obama's demand that BP put $20 billion in an escrow account so the clean up safety net could be used on the environmental disaster a "shakedown" and my only question to the GOP is under their own logic, isn't unemployment insurance also a "shakedown" on employees of any given business, corporate or otherwise over any amount of time (the duration of employment)?

When the GOP pulls its head out of its ass, I may begin again to listen to what they may be saying! -Kevo

Oh, and P.S. Vote those bastards out!

Posted by: kevo on July 12, 2010 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

These guys all graduated from the University of Versailles with a PHD in "let them eat cake". The primary purpose of demonizing those in need is to create space between THEM and you. For Republicans I think the scariest thing is realizing the demographics are not in their favor. Makes them vicious, vapid and repugnant - more so than normal. Unfortunately, a lot of the populace are following that lead.

Posted by: Diane Rodriguez on July 12, 2010 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

kevo: True dat! The Republicans have figured out that the middle class is what has kept their super-rich from being super-dooper-rich.

Posted by: chrenson on July 12, 2010 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Given that the Republican Party is evolving into one dominated by whites without college educations, many of those worthless unemployed are undoubtedly Republicans themselves.

Posted by: bob h on July 12, 2010 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

I guess playing dead is much easier then earning a paycheck. A majority in the senate is 51 votes. no one is standing up and talking non stop so there is no filibuster, it is all on the Democrats to lead when in the majority. The only thing that is stopping the unemployed from getting extended benefits is the Democratic leadership, hold your own damn party accountable for their own damn failures! If they are to stupid or to lazy then they should quit their job and let someone who will not roll over and play dead do the job that needs to be done. The only thing worse then these pukes not doing their jobs is the creeps that defend them.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on July 12, 2010 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

It's just another variation of "Divide and Conquer". That 90% mentioned above are useful tools to the Republicans. I'm reminded of that old saw from the South, mouthed by the toothless trailer trash. "I may not be much, but at least I ain't black!"

-As I posted a few days ago, I've got a shiny new quarter to give to ANY politician that actually knows someone unemployed. . .

Posted by: DAY on July 12, 2010 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

"These guys all graduated from the University of Versailles with a PHD in 'let them eat cake'."

Diane R: I'm waiting for the tumbrels to start rolling.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Posted by: Decatur Dem on July 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Not only do the Repugs hate the unemployed but also businesses do to. They are putting the word out that only the employed should apply for jobs they advertise. They are using the old worn excuse that if you've been out of work then you do not have the updated skills to do the job they are advertising for. This is the shame of the current situation that employers are not really trying to change this economic situation as they have "only the employed should apply" mentality. We keep giving them breaks (rich and business) to create jobs and they play games with jobs.

Posted by: del on July 12, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

This is long-standing Republican philosophy that is just now being said out loud by those running for office. I still remember a young co-worker in October 2000 telling me he had been confused about who to vote for in the presidential election until a friend spelled it out for him. "If you have a job you should vote for Bush; if you don't have a job you should vote for Gore. I have a job."

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on July 12, 2010 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

It would be nice if we could put many of these Republicans on the unemployment line this year so they will know how it feels. I'd love to see them try to live on under $300 a week and face going on interviews with people younger than their children who are holding stacks of resumes six inches deep. I'm guessing former congressman isn't going to be a plus for anything but K st lobbyist.

Posted by: atlliberal on July 12, 2010 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Back during the Clinton years, one of our captains of industry decried the "spoiled American workers" who all wanted good paying jobs but weren't willing to work hard. I cannot find the quote anywhere. I believe they said a recession could be a good thing, devaluing the workers so they would try harder. Looks like they got their wish. Nobody with a job can feel safe, and nobody without one can fight. Nice system.

And a grammatical/spelling note to "Fed Up and Tired" you use "to" too much where "too" should be used. I believe this was covered somewhere around 3rd grade.

Posted by: wacky liberal on July 12, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea: Reduce all Congressional pay to the meager unemployment benefits for one year. See how much they like trying to make ends meet...

Only people who have never had to try to make it work with so little money or even known someone who had to would have the sheer audacity to compare the unemployed to hobos...

But then again, what is there to expect when most of Congress are white people from privileged backgrounds...

Posted by: Nick on July 12, 2010 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

my most worrisome issue is how... unemotional most people around me are about the whole unemployment problem, with myself unemployed. There's outrage, sure, but also a defeated sense of "whatcha going do?"

wouldn't it be pretty to think that all the unemployed, all 27-30 million of us, would march on Washington and clog the streets demanding good jobs at good wages. Maybe then our nation be able to fully comprehend JUST HOW BAD IT IS OUT HERE in the Jobless World. But there's the rub: it costs money to travel, don't it? It takes time away from our job hunting, don't it? For those of us with kids, a family to take care of, we can't carry them with us when we go marching, can we?

So we're screwed, right?

I say fuck it. WE NEED TO MARCH. We need to get in the streets, get on the cameras, get on the news. We need to wake this damn country up! What else can we do, besides wait for November and vote the heartless bastards out?

Who do we talk to about getting organized here? There's got to be an organization that can line this up, get the word out, et al. Or do we need to start one?

Posted by: PaulW on July 12, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Fed Up And Tired's post:
"I guess playing dead is much easier then earning a paycheck. A majority in the senate is 51 votes. no one is standing up and talking non stop so there is no filibuster, it is all on the Democrats to lead when in the majority."

Dear Fed. It's called a CLOTURE VOTE. The Republicans threaten to filibuster so the Senate holds a Cloture vote that would prevent that filibuster. Cloture requires 60 votes, not 51, and while Ben "Asshole" Nelson may have sided with the GOP, IT'S THE ENTIRE GOP SENATE VOTING AGAINST CLOTURE that's stopping Congress from passing anything for the jobless.

It'd be nice if the Democratic Leadership could drop the Cloture rule, reduce it to simple majority requirement, but the rules governing Congress only change at the beginning of each session, meaning they can't fix this until after the midterms. And by then, God Help Us, the Republicans might be back in charge.

Posted by: PaulW on July 12, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

PaulW:

I hear you, brother.

But the problem is that our Government does not fear the people. Unlike, say, the French government.

That's what's been so devilishly prescient on the part of Republicans. They know that an informed populace is a dangerous populace. Thus, they work to limit educational opportunities. They continually denigrate countries like France, whose people are known to march and protest vociferously whenever they feel like the government is not working for them. See Day, Bastille.

But our government knows this, and they talk ill of France and other countries. People here are likely to a person unaware of the comparatively lavish benefits that workers in Europe receive - five weeks paid vacation for all, from the lowliest refuse collector the loftiest CEO. Yet with all that time off they are just as productive, if not more so, than American workers. And they are a lot happier and tend to enjoy and get more out of life than we do.

So they keep us entertained, American Idol-style, and they make sure that we are the BEST! America! America! Yay!! And they joke about Freedom Fries. They know we won't march; they are not afraid of us. They know history, while they work to make sure that we do not.

Posted by: terraformer on July 12, 2010 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

PaulW; The cloture vote is only needed to shut the person filibustering up if the person gives up the floor no cloture vote is necessary and a simple majority vote is called.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on July 12, 2010 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

For some industries -- construction in particular -- the line this idiot Corbett is peddling doesn't completely come from another planet. Construction companies and other seasonal employers have long relied on the fact that they can hire workers for a project, then dump them on the unemployment rolls (where taxpayers foot a big chunk of the bill) and then rehire them for the next project. It's like the big retailers who rely on the fact that their bottom-tier employees are eligible for food stamps and medicaid. So for a construction worker to make a lousy boss sweat when the shoe is on the other foot makes perfect sense. It just has (as mentioned) nothing to do with the rest of the economy.

Posted by: paul on July 12, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Never be surprised at what you might hear on radio station WTF.

@fed up and tired
What PaulW said. BTW, we're all getting a little "fed up and tired" of those whose understanding of the political process comes exclusively from sixty year old movies.

Posted by: cr on July 12, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Orrin Hatch's suggestion of mandatory drug testing reminds me of the program Montana had for issuing food stamps in the early '90s. In order to qualify for food stamps, they forced recipients to take a mandatory course which was supposed to teach them how to look for work and make them into responsible workers. There one would sit while a "teacher" would ask "what are people skills". The "Prof" would explain that people skills are such as "knowing how to type or being able to show up for work on time". In addition, the recipient had to turn in five places he or she had applied each week and then, spend two weeks working in a state facility, such as local city hall, county or up at the State Capitol in Helena. So, the local entities gained from having free workers for such as filing, cleaning and the like. All of this was required by the RepuG controlled legislature.

Posted by: berttheclock on July 12, 2010 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

The unemployed have done nothing to offend Republicans; Republicans just live by the idea that a strong offense is the best defense; they have to come out swinging or they might get suckered into helping.

Here is the scenario: As someone who lacks the qualities of empathy, generosity, imagination and insight, you are a Republican. Your focus is strictly on the individual--that is, on getting benefits for yourself and others like you--and you resent being expected to participate in systems that might benefit someone who is NOT you. In fact, you basically deny the existence of systems. Everything comes down to the individual, aka you. Right at the moment, many people are suffering, but not you, and you are afraid that someone will ask you to help those other people. There's nothing in it for you so how can you get out of helping?

In this situation, a good Republican, focused on the individual, will go on the offense. They will say, hey, I'm not suffering! Obviously, I have done something right. Then, by extension, someone who is suffering must have done something to deserve his/her bad fortune. Why should I be expected to encourage that kind of bad behavior? That's not fair!

Thus, the unemployed haven't done anything to offend the Republicans. The Republicans are just selfish jerks. The more interesting question to me is why there are so many selfish jerks in the USA?

Posted by: PTate in MN on July 12, 2010 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Fed. It's called a CLOTURE VOTE. The Republicans threaten to filibuster so the Senate holds a Cloture vote that would prevent that filibuster

So make the sons of bitches actually filibuster. Is there some reason the Dems can't do that?

Posted by: kc on July 12, 2010 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Is the unemployment system in Corbett's state really different from that here in NY? Here, if a laid off employee is called back and refuses, the unemployment benefits end anyway. I really doubt that there is that much difference between NY and PA. I would guess either Corbett made this up or his "informants" made this up and he is ignorant of the process.

Posted by: gelfling545 on July 12, 2010 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

@ptate

Interesting. In your scenario, no republicans are poor or unemployed. Wish that was true.

Posted by: cr on July 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Remember the Floridian doc who posted a note some place on or about his door ? The pithy lil' thing kindly informed interested parties that the chances of receiving his offices care and service were slim to dodgy if you voted fer Obama .

To familiarize oneself with the swing of the right wing thing , try thinking -

If you need to ask , "How much ?" , you cannot afford it .
You cain't get there from heah .
We only lend to people who don't the need money .
No Obomber voter's need to apply .

There is of course a simplified version which helpfully stresses the easy comparison between those who are "In" and the rest of us . If you consider the barrages of peculiarly familiar themes concerning violence to white women submerging all other interests by its ceaseless projection , you ain't in . .

Posted by: FRP on July 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

You know Corbett's story is a lie, because he said "I've literally had construction companies tell me ..."

He phrases it vaguely, yet as a plural. Convenient, no? Who is he talking about? Owners of construction companies? Supervisors at construction companies? I think he's lying. This is nothing more than justification for continuing to soak workers, dreamed up over cocktails. I hope the kitchen help are spitting in his food.

What I want to know is, if the Bush tax cuts failed to create lots of jobs in eight years, how could any sane person think more of that is going to do the trick?

I think the problem is we've reached something of a tipping point. The wealthiest now own so much of the economy and the country that the rest of us are expected to be grateful for whatever scrap of cake falls off their table.

I just hope I live long enough to be around for the pitch-fork phase once "the little people" have had enough.

Posted by: karen marie on July 12, 2010 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

In the 80's, the Reaganites came to power by demonizing poor inner city blacks as "Welfare queens riding around in Cadillacs" and "young bucks buying T-bone steaks with food stamps." Millions of Americans went along with it because they personally were not poor inner city blacks. Now, it's the chronically unemployed who are to be held up as the hated leeching Others, and millions of Americans who aren't unemployed will go along with it. I wonder whose turn it will be to become "the Others" twenty years from now.

Posted by: Alan on July 12, 2010 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

cr, actually, I have known two RepuGs who were poor and unemployed. One had acute alcohol problems and had driven his family business into the ground. He hitch hiked across the country obtaining all of the food stamps he could take from various state systems, while, railing "No man is worth $25.00 per hour, and I pay more taxes in one year than you will ever make in a lifetime". He would say this, while staying in Union Gospel missions. He traveled, as many tramps from collecting the then Drunk Check in King County, WA to the Dumb Check in Hennepin County, MN. He would ride the rails back for a layover in Helena, MT, and constantly rail against Socialism and the Democrats.

The other was a former Chamber of Commerce official from a large PNW city. He was on the streets in Salt Lake City wearing his only Brooks Brothers suit and was appointed to represent the local downtown shelter for a Governor's Task Force on aiding the homeless. A wealthy non-Mormon church placed him in charge of developing several properties left to them in a will. All appeared fine, until he demanded he needed to be able to sign checks without having a co-signer. The Church officials relented, and the next day, he departed SLC with over $30,000 of the funds. The RepuGs had taught him well.

Posted by: berttheclock on July 12, 2010 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

As a Pennsylvanian, my main worry is that most PA voters will believe that Corbett is a typical, moderate, northeastern Republican, a la Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker, rather than the far-right, teabagger, a la Sharrrrron Angle + Rand Paul which he actually is. If Dan Onorato can't make hay out of this statement, then he doesn't deserve to win.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on July 12, 2010 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

"Dear Fed. It's called a CLOTURE VOTE. The Republicans threaten to filibuster so the Senate holds a Cloture vote that would prevent that filibuster

So make the sons of bitches actually filibuster. Is there some reason the Dems can't do that?"


According to senate rule 22 it takes 41 senators to filibuster and we never get to even see a list of those 41 who swear that they will filibuster, also Harry (milk toast) Reid was too effin lazy to change the senate rules in 2006 or too stupid, so the senate rules from 2000 are still in play.

But no the Dem's can't do that it would be leadership and it is easier to whine about the other side instead of taking personal responsibility.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on July 12, 2010 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

What did the peasants ever do to Marie Antoinette?

Posted by: TJ on July 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Very possible it is time for a revolution.

Take back our country....from the corporations.

Posted by: Lilybart on July 12, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

RE:Hatch's benefit testing idea....YES! Let's drug test all the bankers who got bonuses with taxpayer money saving their banks. If they test positive then they give the bonus back, including the 100 dollar bills they roll up to snort lines with.

Posted by: Lilybart on July 12, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

You've got it all wrong. The Republicans love the unemployed so much they want to make many, many more of them.

Posted by: JMitzman on July 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Republican are ultimately about one thing: Cheap, disposable labor with no protections. They hate unemployment because it keeps people from bein desperate enough to take crappy, underpaid jobs where they have no rights.

Posted by: Susie Madrak on July 12, 2010 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

@berttheclock

There's a lot more poor and unemployed out there who vote republican against their own economic self-interest simply in order to keep that black man out of their white house.

Posted by: cr on July 12, 2010 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

cr, as a born and bred Kansan, I agree with your comment. Those tales I told come from a Jack Keroac sojourn, I, once, took across the land. I was amazed how many poor supported the RepuGs. I still recall a scene from a mission, where the group was watching the '87 State of the Union address by Reagan. One of the older tramps stood at attention and kept saluting and replied after every Reagan line, "You're God Damned Right".

Or the two RepuGs who had come from Florida to gamble in Vegas. Having lost all of their money, they used the mission and welfare system to get enough to go back home, all the while, blasting the system which provided them shelter, food and, some change. They, too, harshly criticized those who didn't "want to work" for a living as they took up too much space in the lines for the shelter. Or the two young Texans in Helena who complained that Clinton wanted to force them off welfare which they needed in order to get back to Texas. The reason they wanted to go back was Midland had a marvelous Sallies. But, that damn Democrat Clinton wanted to make them work, instead.

Posted by: berttheclock on July 12, 2010 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is just a reworking of Reagan's 'Welfare Queen' mantra. They don't have any new ideas. Period.

Posted by: SYSPROG on July 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

@kevo, 9:11am

"my only question to the GOP is under their own logic, isn't unemployment insurance also a "shakedown"?"

I'm fairly sure that they would agree with that. The GOP thinks that all social safety nets are shakedowns. That's why they want to get rid of them.

Next.

Posted by: David Eoll on July 12, 2010 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Republican are ultimately about one thing: Cheap, disposable labor with no protections. They hate unemployment because it keeps people from being desperate enough to take crappy, underpaid jobs where they have no rights.

Posted by: Susie Madrak on July 12, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

It's fascinating to me that so many people appear to have been completely tuned out when the details of current filibuster rules were being discussed over and over (and over) during the end-game on the health care reform law. For those who were off-planet, you might try reading this, picked at random from the n-thousand blog posts writing across the internet during that period: http://www.congressmatters.com/storyonly/2009/8/23/1399/-Why-we-cant-have-a-real-filibuster

As to why the GOP hates the unemployed, it's because their fundamental cause is to enable the rich to stay rich, and provide the tools to allow them to get richer. The unemployed are not rich, therefore they should be used to support the rich. Government benefits for the unemployed would interfere with the ability of the rich to get richer. (Besides, if they deserved to have money, they'd be rich, or at least employed. It's God's way.)

Posted by: biggerbox on July 12, 2010 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Fed Up & co: Sorry, but your information is out of date. Senators don't have to talk for hours anymore to conduct a filibuster. Under the rules that have been in effect for years, all they have to do is refuse to vote for cloture, which is the procedure that lets the body proceed to take a vote. If say they won't vote for cloture, they can effectively filibuster a bill without missing a single minute of sleep or putting a strain on their vocal cords. If Dems wanted to make them actually debate the bill forever, they'd have to amend the rules again. Personally, I'd like to see them do what the Republicans threatened to do whenever Democrats tried to organize a filibuster, and use the nuclear option -- just bring in Vice President Biden to announce a rule change, and abolish the filibuster altogether, and make the Senate decide every issue by simple majority. And it's high time. If you abuse a procedure, you should use it, and the filibuster was never established in the Constitution. It was a Senate procedural rule that actually goes against the terms of the Constitution by requiring a supermajority rather than a simple majority vote.

Posted by: T-Rex on July 12, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Argggh! Of course what I meant was, "if you abuse a procedure, you should LOSE it."

Posted by: T-Rex on July 12, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think the 5:1 jobless to jobs ratio, while I’m sure it’s accurate in the strictly numerical sense, doesn’t reflect reality. Jobs actually worth having get dozens or hundreds of applicants. My S.O. recently advertised and hired for two jobs. Both offered health benefits. The wage for one was about $9/hour. The other was $11/hour. There were about 80 applicants for the first job and 100 for the other.

Posted by: Joe Bob on July 12, 2010 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Divide and rule, it's a very simple principle. First, make the people who do have jobs feel threatened, aggrieved and victimized. Then encourage them to kick down instead of up, and to blame the people who are less well off than they are. It's worked for them before, and may work again.

That's pretty much it, right there. Recall that the Great Depression created tensions not just between economic classes but also between the employed and unemployed. The employed were especially fearful that they too could lose their jobs suddenly and for no fault of theirs, and they might fall into destitution. So some of the employed chose to believe that many of those who'd lost jobs were at fault in some way, and also that there were jobs available if the unemployed were willing to take them. In other words, those who were lucky wanted to believe it wasn't just a matter of dumb luck, because they feared their own luck would run out. That's what the GOP's demagogues are selling once again. And they're happy to believe this nonsense themselves, because otherwise they'd be responsible for cleaning up the mess their party created.

Posted by: smintheus on July 12, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

But will the unemployed and their families and friends *VOTE*??

I was out of work in the mid-90's and I voted, because I always have and always do. But the unemployed as a cohort? I think not so much.

Posted by: efgoldman on July 12, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

And just to even more clear: $9 and $11 an hour jobs are barely paying a living wage for one person in most US communities.

Posted by: cr on July 12, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

to make the point even more clear

Posted by: cr on July 12, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP demonizes the social safety net because their corporate overlords want to steal it.

See Privatization, Social Security.

Also, I had to re-print this, as it is so effin spot on:

"I hear you, brother.

But the problem is that our Government does not fear the people. Unlike, say, the French government.

That's what's been so devilishly prescient on the part of Republicans. They know that an informed populace is a dangerous populace. Thus, they work to limit educational opportunities. They continually denigrate countries like France, whose people are known to march and protest vociferously whenever they feel like the government is not working for them. See Day, Bastille.

But our government knows this, and they talk ill of France and other countries. People here are likely to a person unaware of the comparatively lavish benefits that workers in Europe receive - five weeks paid vacation for all, from the lowliest refuse collector the loftiest CEO. Yet with all that time off they are just as productive, if not more so, than American workers. And they are a lot happier and tend to enjoy and get more out of life than we do.

So they keep us entertained, American Idol-style, and they make sure that we are the BEST! America! America! Yay!! And they joke about Freedom Fries. They know we won't march; they are not afraid of us. They know history, while they work to make sure that we do not.
Posted by: terraformer on July 12, 2010 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK"

Posted by: U.S of Insanity on July 12, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I imagine their attitude come from how they were raised. They got no sympathy from their parents for being in a dependent state, and now they are jealous of anyone who does.

Posted by: DanM on July 12, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

The more I think about it, the more I think it will be good ultimately for this country if the consumer based economy blows up.

We used to make things in this country. We used to grow things in this country. We used to have a reason to get an education and to look forward to selecting a career/job.

Our economy has been reduced to low/no pay/no benefit service jobs that require nothing more than the ability to ask "would you like fries with that?" These jobs pay minimum wage, have no benefits and are NOT FULL TIME because employers would rather have a staff of part timers whom they don't have to pay benefits.

For every 6 applicants for one of these horrible jobs there is one opening.

Every unemployed person in this country is one less consumer. Eventually, this consumer based economy will collapse because rich people don't spend money on the things that keep the economy going. Moreover, despite the OBSCENE concentration of wealth at 1% of the world population, 1% of the world population can only consume so much.

Let it fall apart. I'm quite certain we can get back to something that resembles a life and not the mere existence an autonomous debt slave in a dead end job in a dead end world.

Posted by: getaclue on July 12, 2010 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

T Rex;
Rule 22 states that it takes 41 senators to start a filibuster, is this done on record it seems like it must have to be, it says nothing of one senator filibustering which has been asserted many times on this and other blogs. If a filibuster is not ever started for the lack of 41 senators signing on, it would still be a matter of a simple majority.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on July 12, 2010 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans have already (repeatedly) offered to fund more unemployment benefits if the money comes out of unspent "stimulus" spending. Why do you keep ignoring, if not lying, about that Mr. Benin?

Posted by: apetra on July 12, 2010 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

this stuff makes me wonder if the various gopers think that being on umemployment pays the same as working...it doesn't..unless someone [or a family member] has a great big savings account [highly unlikely in a decade where personal savings were down to zero BEFORE the meltdown] nobody could actually live on their benefits aone

Posted by: dj spellchecka on July 12, 2010 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

@apetra

You obviously missed (or ignored, or lied about) the posts where Benin explained how stupid it would be to replace dollars that are intended to stimulate the economy with other dollars that are intended to stimulate the economy. That is, if you're at all interested in stimulating the economy. Which, given your post, I doubt.

Posted by: cr on July 12, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think they do this because UI benefits directly refute their mythology that the individual rules his own destiny.

Posted by: Steve J. on July 12, 2010 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

credible plans to shred government budgets to bare-bone is the best plan to stimulate the economy, coupled with short-term, immediate tax guts and cash grants like unemployment benefits.

it is the height of hubris and economic ignorance to suggest that 'stimulus' spending scheduled for fiscal 2012-2014, targeted to favorite Democrat special interests, is a zero sum game with tax cuts and unemployment benefits.

Posted by: apetra on July 12, 2010 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Benen THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT IS VERY NORMAL, FOR MANY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO STAY ON UNEMPLOYMENT , THERE ARE A FEW REASONS, IF THEY ARE PAYING DAY CARE FOR THE COST OF THAT IT'S NOT WORTH GOING BACK BEFORE THEY HAVE TO. MANY PEOPLE WORK PART TIME AND GET PAID UNDER THE TABLE, SO THEY MAKE OUT BETTER LAYED OFF. THAT;S JUST ONE REASON,THERE ARE MANY MORE. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO HIRE A MAINTAINS SUPERVISOR FOR OUR COMPANY FOR TWO MONTHS I HAVE GOT A FEW RESUMES NOT ONE EVEN COMES CLOSE TO MEETING SIMPLE REQUIREMENTS.
YOUR THINKING IS FROM A lIBERAL POINT OF VIEW AND NOT EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING.

Posted by: RDG on July 12, 2010 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

RDG - lose the all-caps! Also, your anecdote above isn't as empirical and all-reaching as you may believe it to be! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 12, 2010 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I forgot to educate you RDG - unemployment is not welfare. One only receives it if one qualifies from a previous employment (one's previous employer took unemployment insurance taxes from the employee's wages to be used at a later time should one become laid off or fired - one does not automatically qualify if one freely quits one's employment), so your suspicion is irrelevant to the issue of extending unemployment payments to the unemployed! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 12, 2010 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Where do idiots like this RDG come from?

Unemployment insurance
Social Security
Medicare

NONE of the above is an entitlement. It is INSURANCE, bought and paid for by the workers who are entitled to receive (or their eligible beneficiary) benefits therefrom.

TARP FUNDS
BANK BAILOUT
TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH

ALL of the above are entitlements.

Learn the difference.

Posted by: getaclue on July 12, 2010 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

RDG - try offering them a living wage and health benefits, and put your whip away. Then you would see a pool of qualified "maintains managers" to choose from.

Posted by: dustbunny44 on July 12, 2010 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

And re: daycare, absolutely right. Expecting people to choose between caring for their kids (or their invalid adults) and a full-time job is going to lead to lots of people staying home.
So you're behind offering subsidized day care/adult care to low income workers?
Glad you're on board!
Just remember - there is money out there, no matter what lies you hear (that's why tax cuts are always possible). Getting money to folks who actually need it is the problem, getting by the greedheads who don't have enough country club memberships or 4th homes yet.

Posted by: dustbunny44 on July 12, 2010 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps they would rather contend with an insurgency like the one that developed in Iraq when Bremmer "fired" the Iraqi army. Give them guns and say follow me if you want to get paid and earn a decent wage/living. It's not the government...it's the republicans. They outsource manufacturing and service jobs that might have paid well here and then wonder why we have so many unemployed.

Did the contractor mention that he wanted to pay workers minimum wage with no benefits or overtime or full time employment. Republicans lie so much that if their lips are moving then the story is bogus. Getting angry mobs to vote for them will backfire when all the blame damage finally settles on the obvious disaster makers.

Republicans are the ones doing all the belly aching about cleaning up the mess they caused...and are still causing.

Posted by: bjobotts on July 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Fed Up and Tired, sadly, you have the knowledge of a low-info repub.

Here is what is going on, in a nutshell: The republicans are PREVENTING bills from comining to the floor for a vote, so the Democrats cannot pass bills which are being PREVENTED FROM COMING UP FOR A VOTE BY THE REPUBLICANS.

Get it now?

Posted by: Sammy on July 12, 2010 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

The Rethuglicans also hate the working class and see their wages as theft from the owners. In Minnesota the GOBP candidate for Governor, Tom Emmer, has recently come out with the amazing proposition that the minimum wage for restaurant servers and bartenders be cut on the grounds that With the tips that they get to take home, they are some people earning over $100,000 a year. More than the very people providing the jobs and investing not only their life savings but their families future, Which begs the questions if waiting tables and battending are so renumerative then why aren't the owners and their families working as wait staff and bartenders? In Minnesota, which does not follow the Federal minimum wage for servers, which is $2.13 an hour and instead pays a minimum wage between $5.25 - $7.25 an hour. Currently the average server in Minnesota earns just over $20,000 a year with no benefits and under Emmer's plan that wage would drop to just over $12,000 a year. In Indiana Our Man Mitch Daniels, Bush II's former Budget Director, is saying that teachers, police officers, social workers and firefighters in Indiana, all professions that pay between $30,000 and $60,000 a year, need a pay cut because they earn "more than the people who pay their taxes." Of course their wasn't a peep from Millionaire Mitch this past June when the Whirpool plant in Evansville moved it's production to Mexico costing 1,100 formerly Middle Class US workers their jobs.

Posted by: lmwilker on July 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

RDG has been trying to hire "a maintains supervisor" for his company for two months. Perhaps potential hires simply don't know what a "maintains supervisor" is. If you spelled the name of the position correctly, perhaps you'd gave some applicants. It pains me to think someone that ignorant is in charge of hiring anyone.

Posted by: jjcomet on July 13, 2010 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

That's "have" some applicants...

Posted by: jjcomet on July 13, 2010 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

The attack on the unemployed is part of the divide and conquer strategy that aims to get the american people at each other's throats instead of focusing on the real problem--a corporate dominated economic and political system that benefits a tiny % of the population. low hanging fruit--immigrants, teachers, the unemployed--who's next ?
that being said, the 2 key facts that expose this attack for what it is are
1.the job vacancy rate statistics. the 5:1 ratio is a national average; state by state, city by city it probably hits at least as high as 10:1. The bureau of labor statistics needs to include the job vacancy rate in their monthly report.
2. The % of the jobless who receive ui benefits is around 35 % overall, as low as 25% in some states. I guess the overwhelming majority of the jobless who do not receive ui must be living off their investments in lehman bros.

Posted by: keith on July 13, 2010 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

This article makes me sick to my stomach. As someone who lost their job a year and a half ago I am beyond offended. I also happen to live in Pennsylvania and will NOT be helping to vote this disconnected bozo into office in November.
I'd love to know where all these jobs are where I can make more money than I was making at my last job. If I could find them I'd be the first one in line to get one.

Posted by: Samantha on July 14, 2010 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

The people who go to bat for the Republican Party every day on the Radio, for example, are promoting evil when it comes to the Unemployment Extension filibusters. Limbaugh, Hannity and their gold chip friends only speak for the wealthy and their Corporate owners and sponsors. Unemployment should be extended for all including the 99'ers for this simple reason: It is the right thing to do in oder to allow people to survive and will reinforce the working economy.
People are becoming disenfranchised by the thousands as I write this and our Government is failing it's constituents. The Republicans have identified themselves in this crisis as being downright despicable, and not worthy of our votes in November. NeoCons are so phony they are riddled with people who cheated or stomped on others on their way to the top. I have specific information on a prominent Conservative that would interest everyone, but have kept it close to my vest for years. This disgusting display of cruelty to several million Americans during the worst time in the US of A since the Great Depression exposes the neocon as a greedy self serving pig that has malaffected the very fiber of the soul of our Country, and I am tempted to let the information out just to embarrass the hypocrits in regard to one of their supposed golden boys. I digress. Perhaps I will --

We must not act stupidly by voting Republican because Obama has not turned around the economy which was created years ago. The Republicans are flagging a massacre in November. This can only happen if the average American voter does not realize that each and every one of them is expendable to the Cnservatives and Republicans beyond that voting booth.

We must vote Democratic in November. We must not allow the opposing Party to regain anything but inevitable obscurity. This Unemployment Benefits crisis has uncovered the evil pig prevalent in the Republican Party to the point that perhaps we should change the Elephant to the Sow when referring to them via logo.

Let the people starve as they are not our kind....Good going, Republicans and Dempublican idiots (the two of you) - you exposed yourselves for all to see and understand this time around.

Sincerely,

That Guy Gary - look for my coming emails across the Country running up to the Elections.

Posted by: TGGary on July 14, 2010 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

It's not until middle class and poor white Americans realize that the GOP has never acted in their best interest and in fact dispises them, this country is screwed. Until the liberal media begins to hold white America responsible for voting against their and the country's best interest, republicans will remain in power and continue to vote against the people. How republicans get elected by a person earning $40K per year, or even $100K per year is beyond me. Trust me "race" has a lot to do with it.

You can't get made at the snake for bitting you because that's what snakes do (ie:republicans). But the real question is 'What idiot thought it would be a good it idea to invite the snake into their bed?'

Posted by: John Roberts on July 15, 2010 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

How can u sit there and say we are bums not looking for work? There are about 500 people or more looking at the SAME job.

I am 63 worked many years and now unemployed and it has run out. The economy is BAD and will only get worse for us in Florida due to oil spill.

I guess whaat you republicans figure is billions can go to bail out companies but to heck with the American person????? Is this how it operates?

Posted by: Shary on July 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

How can you vote if you are unemployed & homeless? You need an address to get your voting forms for your local voting office. They do not want you to vote they dont want you to do anything but die It is selective elimination of the educated poor & middle class they fell threatened by and cannot control at the moment Wake up U.S citizens we are getting sold out!!! We the people need to stand up together organize and take additional actions and follow trough to chance how our government is run. Its very possible!
Support our cause to save our country & people who need it sign this "Petition to Reduce the Wages of Congress Men and Women from $174,000 per year to $50,000 per year. " Copy & Paste below link into address bar:

http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/petition_to_reduce_the_wages_of_congress_men_and_women_from_174000_per_year_to_50000_per_year

Pass it on!

Posted by: B on July 19, 2010 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

this is what we put in our govenors manson all he did was pipe smoke up our asses and say this and that i am one that is unemployed and i cant even get a job at mcdonalds i am over qulified find me a job ill take it i am losing my home and every thing hope the ass hole that is gonna be govenor get this on his desk

Posted by: richard heindl on December 22, 2010 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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