Jan 6, 2014
Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress consciously made sure that a federal program extending long-term unemployment benefits ended last week, cutting off that aid to 1.3 million jobless workers.
Republicans justify the cut-off by saying that the benefit actually interferes with getting those 1.3 million people back to work – as if the jobs were out there for those workers, if only they would get out there and look for them!
Democrats are happy to blame Republicans for the cut-off, since Republicans are the majority in the House of Representatives. They’re happy to have an issue to campaign on in this election year – an issue that would disappear if an extension were actually passed!
President Obama himself began the campaigning this past week, urging Republicans to “make it their New Year’s Resolution” to extend the benefits – knowing full well that they won’t.
What cynicism! If Obama and the Democrats truly wanted to force an extension through, there are plenty of things they could do to put pressure on the Republicans, even in a Republican-dominated House. Money and contracts going to Republican districts could be threatened until the representatives come around, for example. But no, that’s not the Democrats’ interest.
The Republicans arrogantly mock the unemployed; the Democrats cynically use them. No one in this charade truly represents the workers’ interests.
Obama himself said it best: “Denying families that security is just plain cruel.” And pretending to care to get some votes is just as cruel!