Monday, July 19, 2010

Obama Wants Americans To Tell The GOP To Stop Sabotaging The Economy


We've been covering Congress' reluctance to extend unemployment insurance to millions of American families with a great deal of concern. Conservatives hate the idea of society coming together to help the needy-- even when the need, as in this case, are victims of bad government decisions, like wholesale (Law of the Jungle) deregulation of Wall Street. Republicans just see it as another spanner they can through into the works to fuck up the economy in their mad attempt to seize power in November. No compassion there!

With the appointment of placeholder Carte Goodwin to the Senate seat held by Robert Byrd, it is now mathematically possible-- even with conservative Ben Nelson voting with the Republicans-- to overcome the GOP filibuster and pass another extension, one that will at least last through the elections. This morning Obama was sterner than usual-- sterner than Saturday-- in his rebuke against Republican obstructionists who are doing all they can to worse the economic crisis for their own partisan ends. Obama:
And for a long time, there’s been a tradition-- under both Democratic and Republican Presidents-- to offer relief to the unemployed. That was certainly the case under my predecessor, when Republican senators voted several times to extend emergency unemployment benefits. But right now, these benefits-- benefits that are often the person’s sole source of income while they’re looking for work-- are in jeopardy. 

And I have to say, after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, the same people who didn’t have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are now saying we shouldn’t offer relief to middle-class Americans like Jim or Leslie or Denise, who really need help.

Over the past few weeks, a majority of senators have tried-- not once, not twice, but three times-- to extend emergency relief on a temporary basis. Each time, a partisan minority in the Senate has used parliamentary maneuvers to block a vote, denying millions of people who are out of work much-needed relief. These leaders in the Senate who are advancing a misguided notion that emergency relief somehow discourages people from looking for a job should talk to these folks.

That attitude I think reflects a lack of faith in the American people, because the Americans I hear from in letters and meet in town hall meetings-- Americans like Leslie and Jim and Denise-- they’re not looking for a handout. They desperately want to work.  Just right now they can’t find a job. These are honest, decent, hardworking folks who’ve fallen on hard times through no fault of their own, and who have nowhere else to turn except unemployment benefits and who need emergency relief to help them weather this economic storm.

Now, tomorrow we will have another chance to offer them that relief, to do right by not just Jim and Leslie and Denise, but all the Americans who need a helping hand right now-- and I hope we seize it. It’s time to stop holding workers laid off in this recession hostage to Washington politics. It’s time to do what’s right-- not for the next election but for the middle class.

Earlier Sean Miller of The Hill recapped some of the anti-social hysteria from Republican Party candidates campaigning in support of DeMint's and Burr's insistence that unemployment insurance legislation be held hostage to the partisan GOP agenda.
Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) said the unemployed are “spoiled.” Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul suggested people on unemployment insurance need “tough love.” And most recently, in Pennsylvania, gubernatorial Tom Corbett (R) said “the jobs are there,” but the out-of-work don’t want them... “Other Republicans have reiterated this same argument that the [unemployment] benefits create a disincentive,” said Terry Madonna, who directs the center for politics at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. “The mindset of conservative Republicans running this year is much more an edge on debt, deficit” at the expense of government benefits for the unemployed.

In Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) campaign has seized on the remarks Angle made in May to KRNV, a Reno television station.

“You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job, but it doesn’t pay as much,” Angle said. “And so that’s what’s happened to us is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry and said you don’t want the jobs that are available.”

The Reid camp has tried to use the remarks to paint Angle as “just too extreme."

In Kentucky, Democrat Jack Conway’s campaign has used Paul’s statements from a June interview with WVLK-AM to accuse him of hypocrisy.

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," Paul said in the interview. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."

“He's fine with feeding at the federal trough himself,” Conway’s campaign said in a statement. “He just doesn't want others, whether they be unemployed or the farmers whose subsidies he wants to end, feeding by his side.”

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, the most likely Democrat to beat an incumbent Republican this year, posted at Daily Kos this morning about his opponent's participation in the filibuster against extending unemployment benefits to over 200,000 North Carolinians thrown out of jobs because of the economy.
Right now, it’s important we show Senator Burr-- and his buddies in Washington-- that ordinary folks aren’t going to stand for these overtly political games. But there is also a smear campaign that we have to refute-- here are some simple points that our campaign has put together on the extension:

1. Jobless aid stimulates the economy. This aid has an impactful dual effect as it helps people who need it most and puts money into the economy. It pays for essential services (food, rent, car insurance, etc...) which puts money right back into the hands of small business and works to stimulate the economy.

2. It’s simply the right thing to do. These are the people who are hurting most during the recession. There is only one job opening for every five out-of-work persons, which means millions cannot find work in this recovering economy.

3. Extending aid has bipartisan support. While Republicans like Senator Burr are attempting to score cheap political points by hurting the unemployed, the extension of this aid has support from economists across party lines. Just ask NYT liberal economist Paul Krugman and former McCain economic advisors!

Please consider contributing to Elaine's efforts here at Blue America's Senate page.

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At 12:01 PM, Blogger Bula said...

I'm not a Tom Cruise fan, but to paraphrase, SHOW US THE JOBS!

If you don't like handing out money for nothing, THEN PAY US TO WORK!

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous me said...

Is Obama ever going to GET IT? Republicans DO NOT WANT the good of the country. Obama might as well go piss up a rope as expect any of them to break ranks with their corporate bosses.

Obama still thinks he can talk sense to republicans. What a fool, a completely deluded fool.

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous jkeets said...

Is obama Insane!!?? lets keep punishing the producers of wealth in this country and give there money to the people who arent doing anything but sitting on there asses. give me a break! secondly he wants to do this not by cutting unnecessary spending but rather by borrowing MORE MONEY! but two weeks ago at the G-20 he said he reiterated his promise to cut the deficit in half. Pay attention people obama is not the savior we all were hoping! he is a delusional socialist!

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Me, no telling what's going on inside Obama's head. He seems to think the people who voted for him were wrong about everything, while he should smile and nod in agreement with everything said by those who hate what he espoused as a candidate.

That he's a conservative goes without saying, given both is Congressional record, and his record since taking office. The evidence is plain. But how he thinks he and the Dems can stay in office by playing nice to people who won't back him even when he supports everything they want, remains one of the great wonders of the world.

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous me said...

jkeets, you are insane. Post your bullshit corporate talking points somewhere where you might find some suckers.


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