By: Joseph Picard
The millions of Americans currently out of work must all be registered Democrats.
At least that’s the conclusion you have to draw when you consider the intransigent refusal of the Republican Party, especially Senate Republicans, to do anything to assist the multitudes of our nation’s unemployed.
At the end of June – that is, in a few days – unemployment insurance benefits will expire for approximately 1.2 million people. Actually, the number is greater, since most of those people have other people – spouses, children, aging parents – who depend on them. All of these people, in a few short days, will have the cold and frightening experience of their government abandoning them in the hour of need.
If Senate Republicans ended their opposition to the bill that would extend unemployment insurance until the end of November and voted with their Democratic colleagues, the bill would pass, the extension would go into effect and, as in the old movies where the cavalry arrives at the last minute to rescue the circled wagon train, those million plus besieged Americans would get some desperately needed help.
But that does not appear likely. You would think that Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl would enjoy being the cavalry. Unfortunately, however, they appear more inclined to ride roughshod over the American worker.
The Republicans say they oppose the benefits extension bill because it would add to the national debt. Wow! They’ve rediscovered their fiscal conservatism. That’s just wonderful. It had been completely lost, you will recall, from January 2001 to January 2009. Those very same fellows, who are now so worried about spending money, voted without fail, without opposition, and without a peep, for every one of George W. Bush’s spending bills, spending that dug this nation into the deficit hole the Republicans are now so worried about.
Maybe they think that no one will remember. Maybe someone told them that the word “hypocrite” has been dropped from the language.
The Republicans have no problem spending public money. They just don’t want to do it for a Democratic administration. Their adamant opposition to extending unemployment insurance is based solely on politics. Continue reading