He begins by saying to the 1.3 Million who as of Saturday had lost their long-term unemployment benefits:
The Republican Party wishes you a Very Unhappy New Year!He say there is no rational reason reason for the cutoff:
On both economic and moral grounds, extending benefits for the long-term unemployed should have received an automatic, bipartisan vote in both houses of Congress.The economic grounds are simple: while the cost of extending the benefits for a year is approximately $25 billion (at a time when interest rates for the deficit are very low), the extension would boost economic growth by 2/10 of a percent, and create 200,000 jobs. As for morality? To refuse to even allow a vote on such a proposal, as Speaker Boehner refused, is to bend over backwards to the philosophy of those who divide us between so-called takers and makers, to accept the rhetoric of Mitt Romney about the 47%, to ignore the real hurt that this does to families.
And he says that
refusing to extend the benefits is counterproductive as well as cruel.Please keep reading.
Sadly, cruelty is the point.
Robinson lays out his argument thoroughly. We expect nothing else of this astute thinker and writer, who was well-deserving of his Pulitzer for commentary.
His final two paragraphs are simply superb:
wonder if these Ayn Rand ideologues have ever actually met a breadwinner who has gone without a job for more than six months. I wonder if they know that some jobless men and women — and I know this is hard to believe — don’t have well-to-do parents or even a trust fund to fall back on. I wonder if they understand that unemployment benefits don’t even cover basic expenses, much less bonbons.If the Republicans do not take the issue off the table, the Democrats could - and should - hammer them for this, on both economic and moral grounds.
The Republican establishment doesn’t want this to be a campaign issue for Democrats, so it’s quite likely that the benefits will eventually be extended. Until then, more than 1 million households are being made to suffer privation and anxiety — for no good reason at all. Thanks for nothing, GOP.
If Robinson is correct and eventually they agree to an extension, then hammer them with hurting ordinary Americans in order to make a political point to their Tea Party crazies, ad they did with the Government shutdown earlier this year.
If eventually you are going to agree to be fiscally responsible - which is far more than artificially balancing the budget on the back of ordinary working people while protecting the rich and super-rich from paying for the benefits they receive - then do the right thing for the American people because it is the right thing.
People are unemployed because employers are sitting on cash and not hiring or investing.
That is not the fault of the long-term unemployed.
It is the fault of the greedy bastards who pay themselves huge bonuses, give political contributions to the Republicans, and then claim we cannot afford a government that actually does anything for the American people.
Just remember that until those benefits are extended, more than 1 million households are being made to suffer privation and anxiety — for no good reason at all.
For no good reason at all - because fear of the Tea party is abrogating once oath of office to the Constitution and the American people.
Thanks for nothing, GOP.
He got that right.