The Republicrats in the Senate gave a big middle finger to the long-term unemployed yesterday, as 12 Democrats joined all the Republicans in voting down the extension of unemployment benefits, citing their hypocritical concerns about increasing the deficit as the reason:
“I’ve said all along that we have to be able to pay for what we’re spending,” said Sen. Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat who voted against the bill. “$77 billion or more of this is not paid for and that translates into deficit spending and adding to the debt, and the American people are right: We’ve got to stop doing that.”
Funny, Sen. Nelson didn’t have any problem with deficit spending when he voted for $165 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for 2008 and 2009.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) also voted again the extension over her concerns that unemployment benefits are so generous that they encourage people to not look for a job:
“We have 99 weeks of unemployment insurance,” Feinstein said. “The question comes, how long do you continue before people just don’t want to go back to work at all?”
Right DiFi, the unemployed are getting fat and happy living on benefits that are about one-third of their previous wages. This coming from the ninth richest member of Congress whose assets in 2005 were estimated at $40 million. And oh by the way, whose husband, Richard Blum, just happens to own two defense contractors that benefitted greatly from Sen. Feinstein’s time as chairman of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee.
Feinstein was echoing what Congressman John Linder (R-GA) said last week:
“Georgia Republican Rep. John Linder suggested Thursday that extended unemployment benefits keep people from looking for work…”[N]early two years of unemployment benefits are too much of an allure for some,” said Linder.”
OK, Rep. Linder, let’s apply your logic to the Pentagon. Since you also voted for the $165 billion in funding for Iraq and Afghanistan, isn’t that “too much of an allure” for the continuation of both wars? Let’s cut off their funding and end their addiction.
Last but not least, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) turned up the stoopid yesterday with his proposal that the unemployed undergo drug tests in order to receive benefits. Right, Orrin. The 46% of the unemployed who have been out of work for more than 6 months, the highest number since the Labor Department started keeping that statistic in 1948, would rather sit around the house, get high and watch the tube than go to work. Idiot.
I propose that members of Congress undergo drug testing. Or maybe more appropriately, brain scans.