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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Do the "23,000,000 Unemployed" Need Benefits, Republicans?

I'm updating my article on the false Republican pronouncement that there are 23 million people who are unemployed.

As I dig through these numbers, something occurred to me: 

The Republican Spin on the Unemployed

Republican and right-wing people have been quick to tell the unemployed that they are lazy, they should not get benefits (encourages them not to look for work), and that many of them really aren't unemployed because they may be working "under the table".
  • They say that many should not collect employment because they are probably not looking for work.
  • They complain that many of the new people who are applying for disability are not really disabled.   
  • They say that the unemployed are picky and won't take certain jobs or won't work hard.
  • They feel that, when it comes to ponying up for benefits for people who are unemployed, such as unemployment compensation, health care, food stamps, disability, and other social programs, they want to minimize the problem of unemployment and/or blame the unemployed. 
  • The Republicans in Congress also worked to decrease the number of weeks that unemployment compensation is available back in the spring based on the fact that the unemployment rate and the number of people filing for unemployment is coming down.  So... the Republicans admitted that the unemployment situation was improving when they negotiated for fewer weeks of unemployment compensation for the "lazy" unemployed.

However, now a presidential election looms:

  • The Republicans talk about how bad the economy is;
  • That unemployment is NOT improving;
  • That nobody can find a job;
  • That there are supposedly millions more unemployed than officially reported.  

A question for Mitt Romney, Republicans, and Republican sympathizers:

  • If the employment situation is so, so horrible and there has been NO improvement over the past 3+ years: 
  • Why have the Republicans in Congress been pushing so strongly for fewer weeks of unemployment compensation for the unemployed? Why are the weeks of available unemployment compensation down to something like 73 at most?
  • If things are SO bad, why would Republican sympathizers claim that longer terms of unemployment keep people from getting work? 
  • And if things are so, so bad, what help are you going to offer the unemployed before you create all of these millions of jobs that you claim will be created when we give mega tax cuts to the rich and when we decrease those pesky regulations?  
  • Republicans, as things are SO horrible and people are SO miserable now...  Will you suggest that unemployment benefits be pushed back up to 99 weeks OR MORE until the unemployment rate goes down below 7.5%.... or until that mythical number of 23 million unemployed is reduced to a mythical number of 10 million?  

Here's the bottom line:  

Why do the Republicans complain that unemployment is SO, SO bad; too bad to re-elect President Obama..... but SO, SO much better that we need to cut off unemployment benefits from the unemployed?  

You can't have it both ways, Republicans:  

Either unemployment is SO horrible, not improving at all, that we need a massive social program and MORE weeks of unemployment benefits to deal with it until all of those magical jobs start to bloom.

Or the economy and the unemployment situation really is improving, and we can roll back benefits, as we have been doing.

Which is it, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the other Republicans?  

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