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GOP House candidate: Extending UI benefits is "European"

Okay, we have another Republican applying for membership in the "Let Them Eat Want Ads" Caucus.

GOPer Scott Bruun, a state representative in Oregon who's running to unseat Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader, told a local radio program that extending unemployment benefits beyond two years is "European," adding that an extension would bring "shame on our government" for "encouraging" joblessness.

Asked by KPAM radio host Victoria Taft whether he would have supported extending benefits, Bruun responded that he wouldn't have:

"When we're talking up over close to two years and longer with jobless benefits, I think we really start talking about a European style system and all the problems that that sort of system brings if you try to bring that sort of system to the United States."

A bit later, Bruun said that we have to adopt a new approach to those who have been receiving benefits for a long time:

"We need sort of a new game plan going forward, a new accountability. Shame on our government, if you will, if the government is in a position where we're encouraging people to stay out of the workplace longer."

This comes after Michele Rollins, a GOP Congressional candidate in Delaware, was caught on tape saying that if people get unemployment benefits extended, they "will continue to do nothing for a very long time."

This is not the official position of the GOP leadership, which argues that extending benefits is okay as long as the cost is offset and doesn't increase the deficit. Be that as it may, the "Let Them Eat Want Ads" Caucus is growing. In addition to these two new members, it includes Sharron Angle, Senators Richard Burr and Jon Kyl, and Wisconsin Senate candidate Ron Johnson.

Separately, on the substance of this debate, Andy Kroll points us to Harvard economist Raj Chetty's finding that unemployment aid is rarely a disincentive to finding a job.

Also: If there are any studies that show that employment suddenly increased among those whose benefits have been cut off, I haven't seen them.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 2:44 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Next: GOP blocks small business bill. Who will get the blame?


I'm blown away by this argument.

So if you are unemployed it is because you are lazy? Really? I doubt this talking point came from Luntz. It sounds more like Grover Norquist.

Let's recap

1) Rich people push the GOP on the American public so they can get tax cuts and policies that enrich rich folk at the exclusion of all others.

2) The economy crashes.

3) It is poor peoples fault.

And how do the Republicans, and rich people, propose dealing with this? Why, with more tax cuts for people like Paris Hilton.

The GOP thinks the American people are stupid. They may be right; we'll find out in a few months.

Posted by: nisleib | July 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"And how do the Republicans, and rich people, propose dealing with this? Why, with more tax cuts for people like Paris Hilton."

You forgot: by privatizing Social Security and eliminating Medicare, also, too.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

GOP bangin' the same old drum: blame the unemployed. It's an old, time-honored tradition. We posted on a true story that turns this meme on it's head:

Posted by: thedonkeyedge | July 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Funny because yesterday on Rachel Maddow Show, she (actually Chris Hayes) had a guest who wrote a book about why European Socialism really isn't such a horrible thing in the first place:

I don't know about ya'll but 5 weeks paid vacation sounds pretty darn nice to me.

One-a those "Things That Make Ya Go Hmmmm..."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I think we can safely assume that Bruun meant "European" as a negative.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 29, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

GOP's Contract on America.

Abolish Social Security.

Abolish the health care reform.

Abolish the 17th Amendment, Department of Health, etc, etc etc.

That cracks me up. :)

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 29, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

And, what jobs would there be if left to conservative policies? Fast food. Thanks to "free trade" (nothing is 'free', ya know) Walmart affords us the ability to buy crap because whan you work at Walmart, all you can afford is Walmart. Shame on Democrats for supporting that as well.

Stop giving tax breaks to corps for going overseas (say what???).

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | July 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"I think we can safely assume that Bruun meant "European" as a negative."

Haha, most definitely.

Just pointing out that THAT perception is almost as flagrantly false as the meme that people on unemployment are lazy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 29, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

From Mark Ambinder:

"The Democratic strategy in a nutshell is small enough to fit in one but has the protein of a good, tasty nut. The Republicans want to be mayors of crazy-town. They've embraced a fringe and proto-racist isolationist and ignorant conservative populism that has no solutions for fixing anything and the collective intelligence of a wine flask. This IS offensive and over the top, and the more Democrats repeat it, and the more dumb things some Republican candidates do, the more generally conservative voters who might be thinking of sending a message to Democrats by voting for a Republican will be reminded that the replacement party is even more loony than the party that can't tie its shoes. This is a strategy of delegitimization, not affirmation. It is how you reduce independent turnout. It's how you fundraise for your own party.


It's not pretty, but it might work.

BTW: If President Obama is able to increase his approval rating by five or six points nationally, he can probably save the House for Democrats."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 29, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

All, my take on the GOP blocking of the small business bill:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 29, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for him to try to recruit European business to invest in Oregon.

Posted by: Garak | July 30, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Larry Summers is an Obama economic advisor. He has even written about how extending unemployment benefits keeps it higher. But with this crew who knows what they believe and what they are lying about? They are so corrupt.

Posted by: wwyni | August 1, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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