Wednesday, December 1, 2010

GOP Takes The Economy Hostage

From The Daily Reporter comes a story showing that extending the unemployment compensation benefits, which expired on Tuesday, would do much more for the economy than restoring the Bush era tax cuts, which helped get us into this mess.

The facts are simple, when an unemployed person receives his or her check (national average being around $300), he or she is much more likely to spend that money on things like food, gas or to pay some bills.

On the other hand, someone who is already wealthy is much more like to sock away the money from one of their tax cuts, preventing that money from entering circulation, which in turn will only hurt the economy all the more.

Some of the predicted outcomes of not extending the unemployment benefits include:
• Annual economic growth could fall by one half to nearly 1 percentage point.
• Up to 1 million more people could lose their jobs.
• Hundreds of thousands would fall into poverty.

“Look for homelessness to rise and food lines to get longer as we approach Christmas if the situation can’t be resolved,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.
And yet we have a bunch of Republicans that are saying they will only agree to the extension if it is tied in with the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

How stupid can they be?

ADDENDUM: The answer is apparently pretty dang stupid.

Jo Egelhoff, at Fox Politics, takes umbrage with this post. She feels that we should just pay for the extension of the benefits by cutting spending elsewhere. If she had read the article, she would have realized that this would only dilute the impact of the extension, which is the purpose of it in the first place:
Republican lawmakers oppose an extension of the jobless aid if it would enlarge the government’s $1.3 trillion budget deficit. They insist that the cost — around $5 billion a month — be offset with budget cuts elsewhere. Those cuts would reduce the economic impact of extending the jobless benefits.
This would be akin to watering down the chicken soup, to make it less expensive, and then wondering why one is still sick.

But the Republicans confusion regarding all of this is explained in Egelhoff's last line:
I just don’t get it. Dems, quit your whining and move forward with the GOP. Be responsible. Pay for the extended, controversial program, darn it.
If they can't tell forward from backward, and if they think fixing the economy is controversial, it is no wonder that they are confused about most things and end up on the wrong side of most issues.


  1. What happened to pay as you go Chris?

    Your side pased it and then they have ignored it on each bill since.

    Just pay for the program, that's all the right is asking.

  2. When did the conservatives start caring about that. It sure wasn't during the Reagan years or when Bush started two wars or gave excessive tax cuts to the wealthy.

  3. Hang on.

    I thought it was the "Tax and spend liberals." Doesn't that actually mean that they raise taxes to cover the spending.

    The republicans are the group that goes along with the spending but does not want to raise taxes to cover the costs - borrowing. Borrowing the money is what raises the national debt which is also what they are opposed to.

    I'm confused.