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Hullabaloo


Saturday, January 11, 2014

 
Making the poor too comfortable

by digby

So extending Unemployment Insurance is now just another game to these people:

"...the White House has a tough sell here,” said Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania and a key swing-vote moderate. “On the one hand they say the economy is getting better. On the other, they need emergency unemployment benefits. The two can’t coexist.”

So, unless the unemployment numbers are going up they simply aren't a problem. Good to know.

Republicans have become more vocal in pinning the weak economy on President Obama — and have argued that Congress needs to pave the path for businesses to make more jobs, rather than what they see as the Democrats’ approach of simply making poverty or unemployment more comfortable.

“We have been trying to focus this Congress on getting back to a more optimistic view of what the economy can do,” said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader. “It is about jobs. It is about growth. Our focus is about wanting people to get a job. It’s on employment, not unemployment.”

Because they've been so helpful on the jobs front with all their proposals and sincere commitment to fixing the problem. If only those Democrats would stop obstructing them. But all they want to do is make poor people "comfortable" which is the last thing they should be. Poor people should be suffering, everyone knows that. Especially the kids, the sick and the elderly. Parasites all of 'em. Go out and get a job, goddamit.

And anyway, these fabulous jobs numbers argue for doing nothing:

Even if the measure does clear the Senate, House Republicans say they simply do not feel much pressure to take it up. Mr. Coats said the job numbers weren’t great, but continued job growth, even sluggish growth, dissipates the pressure to act.

But that doesn't mean we can't make a little deal, now does it?

Republicans argue that the jobs report underscores that Mr. Obama’s economic policies have failed, and that Congress should focus on spurring businesses to hire, in part by reducing regulatory requirements and cutting taxes. The price for House action would be steep, Republicans say, citing as options approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and repeal of a tax on medical devices, which helps pay for the health care law.

Environmental degradation, regulation and tax cuts, baby! Now we're talking! If you can't use the suffering of the unemployed to help out your rich friends what good are you? I'm just surprised they aren't asking for a capital gains tax cut. That's a perennial.

If I were to guess, I'd go with the medical device tax simply because that lobby has been very active and may have persuaded some Democrats that they need it. The fact is that the Republican leadership knows that extending those benefits is important but also know they have an opportunity to extract a pound of flesh from the Democrats, which is really the only thing they care about in these sorts of negotiations. What used to be considered simply pro-forma bipartisan votes that everyone understood to be necessary functions of government are now used as opportunities to rub liberals' faces in the dirt on behalf of the red meat base and their wealthy donors. They'll probably find something.


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