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Smart Dems are going to start running against this Republican attitude. From the Wonk Room:
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), appeared on CNBC this morning to say that Congress should stop extending benefits “right now” because “at some point you’ve got to acknowledge that we’re not Europe”:
Q: Senator Gregg, is there a point, you think, when the government has to sort of end these ever-continuing claims?
Gregg: Yeah, right now. This week, however, we’re going to extend it again. And this has become counterproductive. We’re basically undermining the cyclical event. Because you’re out of the recession, you’re starting to see growth and you’re clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it’s important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you’ve got to acknowledge that we’re not Europe.
...Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Economy.com, was fortunately on with Gregg, and rebuked the senator. “The senator is right except that, in this environment, the job market is so bad, I think it’s still premature to give up on those emergency benefits,” Zandi said. “I mean, just a statistic, for every one job opening there’s five people that are looking for work. That is incredibly unusual, so therefore its premature to give up on those emergency benefits.”
Not only that, but in March 2010, 6.5 million people had been looking for a job for 27 weeks or more. According to the Center for American Progress’ Christian Weller, “The average length of unemployment that month was 31.2 weeks, and 44.1 percent of the unemployed were out of a job for 27 weeks or more. This is a new record for long-term unemployment.” But Gregg — like somanyRepublicansinrecentmonths — is willing to kneecap them just as the labor market is starting to turn the corner.
We're not out of recession when it comes to employment. This is a clear, defining issue for Dems--the callous Republican attitude toward the real economic catastrophe millions of Americans are facing on a daily basis.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon May 24, 2010 at 12:48 PM PDT.