Friday, February 26, 2010

What the Tea Party anti-deficit rhetoric means in practice: unemployment benefits cut off starting in March (via Huffington Post)

This article, by Arthur Delaney, is about a Senator from Kentucky who blocked a bill extending unemployment benefits from coming to a vote, repeatedly. The reason?

"Bunning says he doesn't oppose extending benefits -- he just doesn't want the money that's required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate's GOP leadership did not support him in his objections."

interesting considering that the article states "The unemployment rate in Kentucky is 10.7 percent."

He was supported in his obstruction: "Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) took the floor after Reid to stick up for Bunning. He noted that their is broad bipartisan support for extending benefits, but said Bunning was right to take a stand against adding $10 billion to the deficit. He also pointed out that the jobs bill that Reid scrapped two weeks ago, crafted by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), contained an extension of UI and COBRA.

"I admire the courage of the junior senator from Kentucky," he said. "Somebody has to stand up finally and say, 'No more inter-generational theft!'"

Tea Party rhetoric right there. No theft, and an argument about hypocrisy overshadowing the actual issues. Only this time the consequences of the rhetoric are going to be more than just some vague pressure felt by Republicans. It's going to mean people having their last lifeline cut in half.

The article is hopeful about unemployment being extended after the Senate resumes its work on Monday:

"Judy Conti, a lobbyist for the NELP, said that even when Bunning is eventually thwarted and the extension is passed, state governments will still have to deal with the extra administrative costs of shutting down and restarting the extended benefits programs."

I hope that that happens.


Earthlight Books said...

interesting site

just dug a copy of your book out of the back of our shop, Last Word Books, in downtown Olympia.

Are you familiar?

come kick it sometime, I work Mondays and Tuesdays

-sky cosby
a.k.a. Pirate Papa

John Madziarczyk said...

I know Last Word Books, it's a nice little store. Unfortunately I don't get down to Olympia much anymore, so I probably wouldn't be able to take you up on your offer.