Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The public view of unemployment benefits

With the war over unemployment benefits set to heat up today, it's worth noting that the public is on the side of Dems: Two big national polls show clearly that majorities want unemployment benefits extended -- even if it boosts deficits. Independents support this, too.

So are Republicans worried about the politics of this? If not, why not? Well, one reason they aren't overly concerned is that Republicans still oppose the extension, making this a base-pleaser. And they think the standoff feeds into a larger argument they're making about reckless Dem spending.

More on the GOP view of this in a bit. For now, here are the numbers. The Republican position is that we mustn't extend unemployment benefits if the extension is paid for by boosting the deficit. The most recent Washington Post poll asks the question quite clearly, noting that "opponents say this adds too much to the federal budget deficit."

Even with this wording, 62 percent favor extending benefits, versus only 36 percent who oppose it. Fifty-nine percent of independents favor it, too. The only group that opposes it: Republicans, 54-43.

The recent CBS poll contains similar findings. It asks whether people support extending benefits "even if it means increasing the deficit." Americans support it, 52-39. Independents also support it, 50-40. And again, Republicans are the only group opposing it, 54-35.

So are Republicans worried about the politics of this?

From what I can tell, their view, in addition to seeing it as a base pleaser, is that any discussion about the unemployed favors them in the long run. It's a reminder that Dems haven't fixed the economy and it feeds into a larger conversation about government spending.

One senior GOP aide pointed out that neither of the above polls asked voters if they would prefer extending benefits if the costs were offset somehow, rather than increasing the deficit -- the Republican position.

Another aide conceded that Dems might have a short-term advantage on the issue. But he insisted that in the long run any conversation about the "chronically unemployed" would reflect badly on the massive stimulus Dems passed and on the Dems' ongoing insistence that the economy is improving -- feeding a larger sense that Dem policies are failing.

Yet the bottom line is that majorities overall and independents clearly favor the Dem position. The only group that supports the GOP position is Republicans. We'll see how it plays out soon enough.

UPDATE, 11:22 a.m.: Eric Cantor laid it out to reporters today as follows:

"What Republicans are about: Unemployment benefits, yes. Deficits, no. Surely out of a $3 trillion budget here in this town we can find a way to pay for these unemployment benefits. Republicans are about trying to figure out how to pay for things around here."
UPDATE, 11:30: The Post's Behind the Numbers blog has lots more analysis of this.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  Economy / unemployment , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Morning Plum
Next: Inside GOP's strategy on unemployment

Comments

This is just another issue where Republicans ONLY favor or oppose a policy if/when it helps them politically.

That really is no way to govern America.

Country First.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Is aid to the states completely dead? Here in CA they are talking abut shorteniong the school year to 175 days to save money when places like Korea have 225-day school years. How will we compete? Not! The tech companies prefer to hire immigrants rather than pay the taxes to educate our own people. Sad times.

Posted by: Mimikatz | July 20, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Oops, should read:

This is just another issue where Republicans ONLY favor or oppose a policy if/when THEY THINK it helps them politically.

That really is no way to govern America.

Country First.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Question, is anyone having problems with the site? do you all see this post at the top?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 20, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

PS, note to Republicans:

The economy IS improving. By almost every measure. No thanks to their attempts at scuttling the ship. Go ahead and compare Fall 2008 with today. Apples to oranges. We are clearly much much better today thanks to Obama/Dem policies.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If I were a cynical person, I would read this as Republicans playing with ordinary Americans' livelihoods for political purposes.

Posted by: mattslavick | July 20, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Site works fine for me Greg!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

If Republicans are about trying to figure out how to pay for things, as Cantor claims, then it would be interesting to hear how Cantor would propose to pay for extending the Bush tax cuts, wouldn't it?

Posted by: pollibido | July 20, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"What Republicans are about: Unemployment benefits, no. Deficits, who cares"

Fixed.

Again. It's like they think America cannot recall life during the Bush debacle.

They think Americans are stupid.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@MK: The tech companies prefer to hire immigrants rather than pay the taxes to educate our own people.

Employers have always preferred to hire immigrants because they generally have less resources to fall back on and so are willing to do more for less. If an immigrant loses a job, they can't apply for unemployment and sometimes could be deported if they are here on a work visa. This gives employers tremendous power over immigrants' lives and allows employers to squeeze them through lower salaries and longer working hours.

Welcome to international corporate capitalism, where national boundaries only serve to segment the labor market and allow employers to force domestic and foreign workers to compete over who will do more for less, instead of workers coming together to force employers to improve their collective working conditions.

Posted by: srw3 | July 20, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Greg, site display is off for me. Your post is way at the bottom.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 20, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Mr Sargent skirts the issue in his cleverly worded essay. His words work so well because they bring up the topic but never quite say what the real issue is:
"From what I can tell, their view, in addition to seeing it as a base pleaser, is that any discussion about the unemployed favors them in the long run. It's a reminder that Dems haven't fixed the economy and it feeds into a larger conversation about government spending."

Yes, the question I asked yesterday remains unanswered, now it is even unasked. The real debate about extending unemployment benefits is the fact that there simply aren't any jobs. Prolonging the debate is a great political move because it forces the Democrats to continue to use weasel words upon which the opposition can pounce.

So good weasel words Mr Sargent. Well done. It must be tough to do that day in and day out, but hey, that's the big bucks thing, right?

and, of course, Mr Cantor has it right. by pointing out that the Democrats simply want to spend without any thought of limits he again illustrates the problem for all of America to see. In a budget measured in trillions the Democrats just can't seem to find a way to reduce anything. Why? Because they don't see a need to even bother.

yeah, given the surly mood of the electorate, that attitude will do wonders for the re election chances of any number of Democrats.

I really hope to see Ms Sutton, my rep, waiting for her chance to talk to the unemployment case worker. That should make a film at eleven moment!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 20, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if they ask people in the poll: "Have you been unemployed recently?" I'd like to know how many Republicans who took the survey had actually experienced what it is like to be unemployed. I got to admit they stick to their guns on fiscal responsibility even if they come off looking unsympathetic toward the unemployed. The unemployed will remember any such stonewalling come November at the ballot box.

Posted by: TheNervousCat | July 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The very same Republican leadership which now wants to offset the unemployment cost, with budget cuts,

Gave Bush/Cheney a trillion dollars, to squander in Iraq, without ever requiring that it be paid for.

The Republican Leaders are The Pyromaniacs, now trying to pass as The Firefighters.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

sue, apologies for that. What browser are you using?

Is anyone else experiencing this? Is this post at the top of the site?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 20, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The Top Ten Plays By:

Grizzly Sarahspeare.


10)Romney and Giulliani( Hark,what shite through yonder window breaks)
........................

9)MacYoubetcha.

........................

8)The Merchant Of Venison.

........................


7)The Shrewing Of The Tame.

........................

6) The Tempest In A Teabagger's Cup.

........................

5)Two Bendy Straws Of Pomona.

........................

4)The Grizzly Wives Of Wasilla.

........................

3)Half Measure For Half Measure.

........................

2)A Midterm Quitter's Dream.

........................

1) Oil Wells, That Spend Well.

........................

Posted by: Liam-still | July 20, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Skip's post is a perfect example of Republican philosophy. When facts are present ignore them.

In this case, we have the FACT that the American people want unemployment benefits extended AND the FACT that the GOP ran up TRILLIONS of dollars in debt when they were in charge of Congress. Not Billions. TRILLIONS.

Until Skip begins to address these FACTS, his posts will continue to be the bogus rants we've come to expect.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010 : The US population has repeatedly demonstrated that they have an attention span of about 20 seconds and a long term memory of about 20 minutes. How many people remember that Bush sent out stimulus checks in 2008 WHICH ADDED TO THE DEFICIT and republicans for the most part supported this more? That Bush authored, supported, and ultimately signed TARP legislation, not Obama?

This is not ancient history, but I bet that less than 50% of people could identify which administration introduced them, if you omitted the dates they occurred. During all of the Republican whining about process during the health care debate, how many people remember that Tom Delay held a vote open for 4 hours (an unprecedented action during a house vote) while "encouraging" (read promising retribution and offering inducements, ie bribing and threatening, for which he was admonished by the house ethics committee) reluctant republicans to support medicare d, WHICH WAS NOT PAID FOR AND ADDED TO THE DEFICIT.

I actually had some hope for the American electorate after 2008, but now I see that there is little chance that the american people will ever actually pay attention to policy matters, beyond the faux news soundbite understanding of the issues.

Posted by: srw3 | July 20, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that people want unemployment benefits because there aren't any jobs.

Not even a nice try ethan. You've missed the biggest fact of them all.

The fact is that Obama promised us that if we let him loot the treasury unemployment would remain at or under 8%. It rounds to ten now and shows few signs of abating.

Them's the facts Ethan. All you've got is bluster and denial. Not pretty, not pretty at all. But if it is the best you've got, by all means, work with it.

Based on what's going on in the press today my bet is that Ethan will call me a racist since that's the tactic that seems to be the most favored by liberals who suddenly find that their ideas not only don't work, but they are despised by the American people.

Bluster on pal.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 20, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Benen:

"""The perpetually-confused Stuart Varney was on "Fox & Friends" this morning, talking about how awful it would be to extend unemployment benefits, because aid to jobless Americans would be added to the deficit.

[...]

...if Fox News' "business expert" seriously believes the deficit goes up when tax rates increase, he's in the wrong profession. It's sheer nonsense, and a reminder of why a) Stuart Varney is something of an embarrassment to himself; and b) Fox News viewers struggle so badly with current events. An audience bombarded with incoherent propaganda is bound to get confused."""

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_07/024806.php

"An audience bombarded with incoherent propaganda is bound to get confused."

Ahem, giving GOPers the "opportunity" of exploiting said audience's confusion. Yup yup. Sickening.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: The real debate about extending unemployment benefits is the fact that there simply aren't any jobs.

This sentence doesn't make sense. How can a debate be a fact?

Posted by: srw3 | July 20, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Once more, Skip "rationalizes":

"We shouldn't extend unemployment benefits... because unemployment is high."

Heckuva job, Skippy.

And btw, Skip, nice job of REFUDIATING the fact that the GOP added more than $5 TRILLION to the debt. REFUDIATE THAT! Oh wait! Ya can't! It's a fact!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Post malfunction!

Shows up under the left-hand column for me.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 20, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Another aide conceded that Dems might have a short-term advantage on the issue. But he insisted that in the long run any conversation about the "chronically unemployed" would reflect badly on the massive stimulus Dems passed and on the Dems' ongoing insistence that the economy is improving -- feeding a larger sense that Dem policies are failing.
==========================================

This is all that needs to be said. The Democrats policies are failing! But no one wants to discuss this. All they want to discuss is how Republicans refuse to keep extending unemployment benefits, after already extending them several times!

Greg, why aren't you polling people about the effectiveness of Obama's stimulus plan?

It is just sad that liberals refuse to hold their own accoutable for their ineffective misguided policies. Obama has spent over $800 BILLION to try and create jobs, yet has not fulfilled on any of his promises!

Republicans are right, unemployment benefits should be extended only if they are offset somewhere else in the budget. The Democrats just want to keep on spending and spending until our Debt to GDP ration reaches 110%! Stupid Liberals!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | July 20, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"What Republicans are about: Unemployment benefits, yes. Deficits, no"

Hilarious. They almost singlehandedly exploded the deficit and now say they're "about" no deficits. Talk about the ultimate flip flop.

Posted by: SDJeff | July 20, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Greg: Your post starts way down the middle of the page. Everything is shoved to the left margin. I use IE 8.

Posted by: DinOH | July 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

All, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor are now giving voice directly to this strategy:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/gop_game_plan_use_debate_over.html

...and apologies for the tech difficulties, all, I'm checking with our tech team. thanks for your patience.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 20, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Ethan I love your posts and you are a clever observant fellow but I suspect you waste your time on ole Skip. You said...

"Skip's post is a perfect example of Republican philosophy. When facts are present ignore them."

As are all of Skip's posts. He has yet to use a FACT in his talking point spews...he has NEVER posted a link backing up any of his assertions and he has posted blatant ignorance like yesterday's claim about how if we only looked back to the job growth under GW. Bush we'd stop the bashing. But alas even though I gave Skip a couple of LINKS pointing out that our nation lost a huge number of jobs from 12/31/99 to 12/31/09...the FIRST DECADE WE HAVE LOST JOBS SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. This is George Bush's factual legacy and yet losers like Skip simply wish to gloss over this horrendous job by claiming we are simply bashing Bush for pointing out the truth.

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR ERUDITE OBSERVATIONS ON SKIP! Ethan he is as you have already pointed out one of the many Right wing Kook aid drinkers who have no facts and so they simply spew opinion with absolutely NO FACTS to back them up.

Posted by: rukidding7 | July 20, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@:The fact is that Obama promised us that if we let him loot the treasury unemployment would remain at or under 8%. It rounds to ten now and shows few signs of abating.

The fact is that the stimulus while about 1/3 too small and too heavily focused on tax cuts (all changes forced by republican obstructionist tactics, which have not abated) has shaved 2-3% of the unemployment rate, boosted gdp by about the same %, and changed job losses into job gains. It was a mistake politically to promise too much from the stimulus bill (clearly the Obama team didn't anticipate the depths of the Bush recession), but that doesn't negate the positive effects the stimulus had on the economy. That radical socialist Mark Zandi stated

"The fiscal stimulus is also working. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed early this year has reduced payroll tax withholding, sent checks to Social Security recipients, and provided financial help to unemployed workers whose normal benefits have run out. The cash for clunkers program revved up vehicle sales, and the housing tax credit has boosted home purchases.iii It is no coincidence that the Great Recession ended just as the stimulus began providing its maximum economic benefit...The stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do: short-circuit the recession and spur recovery....The part of the stimulus providing the biggest bang for the buck—the most economic activity per federal dollar spent—is the extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Workers who lose their jobs before the end of 2009 can temporarily receive more UI, food stamps, and help with health insurance payments. Without this extra help, laid-off workers and their families would be slashing their own spending, leading to the loss of even more jobs."

And the money graph for this ss28's false argument that the stimulus failed...

"The nation's jobless rate will top 10% in coming months—higher than the Obama administration forecast when it was trying to get the stimulus passed early in the year.

***That fact, however, says nothing about the program's efficacy. If anything, it suggests the $787 billion stimulus was too small.***

Administration economists, like most private forecasters—including Moody's Economy.com—underestimated how hard the financial shock would hit the U.S. job market."

ss28 can you move on to your next bogus point. This one is about dead.

Posted by: srw3 | July 20, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The only thing the GOP likes about America is Big Business. Everything else is just an irritant.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 20, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

addendum: Link to moody's article --http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/documents/JEC-Fiscal-Stimulus-102909.pdf

@ greg: no problems with display in google chrome...

Posted by: srw3 | July 20, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

In 2008, when Bush sent out stimulus checks to Americans, by putting money back into the economy it would stimulate spending, bolstering the economy! Nobody yelled “socialism” and economically it was the right thing to do! Now since Obama has been in office,any money spent is called “socialism”, “no” has been the republican answer to most programs.Republicans crying we can’t afford it after they ran up the biggest debt ever 11 trillion dollars! America needs a third party, the republicans don’t want to spend a dime on unemployment benefits, any program that might enhance the economy, so its so broken they can fix it! And regain political power at any cost to the economy!

Posted by: roosboys | July 20, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RUK. You're right. But this is a debate Dems should want to have. When it comes to economic/jobs policy the GOP has nothing but more of the same Bush policies. The more we have that debate, the more we remind people about the policies that voters will be voting for in November. Nobody in their right mind would vote for the Bush policies, and our alternative of restoring/bolstering the manufacturing, technology, clean energy, and medical sectors in the USA is looking exceedingly positive.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

As the Republicans now want unemployment benefits to be 'paid for', and since they have not proposed a way to do this (as usual), I will make a proposal just to start things rolling: Revoke the Bush tax cuts retroactively to 2001. This will raise far more than the benefits will cost, and will also eliminate most of the deficit.

See, my proposal accomplishes three things at once:

1. Helps those most at need (even the Republicans say they want to do that);

2. Restores the 'pay-go' principle that the Republicans canceled in order to pass the tax cuts of 2001 for the upper 2%;

3. Helps reduce the deficit.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | July 20, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

How about more facts and less liberal cheerleading. Fact: The Republicans are NOT opposed to extending unemployment benefits. They want it paid for, not borrowed. Obama refuses to use stimulus money for this extension. Why? What about the "pork" attached to this legislation by Democrats?

Posted by: bethg1841 | July 20, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Mimikatz @ July 20, 2010 11:16 AM wrote "Here in CA they are talking abut shorteniong the school year to 175 days to save money when places like Korea have 225-day school years. How will we compete? Not! The tech companies prefer to hire immigrants rather than pay the taxes to educate our own people. Sad times."

I read, not long ago, an article where the value of a college education was being questioned. We are being prepared to revert to the days when only a select few received an education, while the majority were expected to be menial workers.

The saddest part is that the whole world accepted Ford's concept that if his workers did not earn enough to buy the cars they were making, Ford would not have enough customers. After this accomplishment, we are trying to revert to the days before Henry Ford.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | July 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Deficits no, unless they're for extending the tax cuts for the wealthy. Then republicans like deficits.

Republicans think that by keeping people unemployed, they will prove that Democrats are the problem. They'd rather see the economy tank by voting against helpful measures, just to regain power. It's dishonorable at the least.

Posted by: pathfinder12 | July 20, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

it just keeps getting more and more amusing.

yeah, pardon my syntaxical error.

Simple fact: there are no jobs. Extending the debate in congress gives the Democrats' political opponents the opportunity to repeat this sad fact continually.

In addition, as Eric Cantor points out, by refusing to even bother about any kind of offset the Democrats display their carelessness about public funds.

All this bluster in my general direction is simply proof that I'm right on the facts.

srw3 wants to whine about the stimulus. Too bad son. Obama made the promises. I didn't. His opponents didn't he did. If he thought that the stimulus wasn't going to do what he said he had the perfect opportunity to say so. We were told that looting the treasury would stimulate the economy and offset job losses. It didn't work as promised and the folks who voted for it must now pay the price.

All the sophistry in the world can't put this particular humpty dumpty back together.

Obama made a promise. He failed. We can't fire him this time around. But we can fire his cronies that are up for election.

In the meantime I suggest that you try even harder to convince the surly and energized American public that a 3 trillion dollar stimulus bill will do what the 1 trillion dollar stimulus bill didn't.

Yeah, right.

And rukidding's got the wrong name. Let's try umustbjoking. Screaming at me about Bush won't change the mood of the voters. Blaming Bush is simply not going to stop the bleeding as voters are refusing the liberal agenda and turning in a different direction.

If the liberals had delivered on the promises they made we wouldn't be having this discussion now would we?

of course not.

so keep right on yelling pal. The simple fact is this: there aren't any jobs and the public knows who to blame. Democrats.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 20, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Skip, your "promise" of 8% unemployment was debunked OVER A YEAR AGO!

* Cantor and other Republicans say Obama promised stimulus would keep unemployment rates below 8 percent *

What we saw from the administration in January was a projection, not a promise. And it was a projection that came with heavy disclaimers.

We think it's a big stretch to call an economic projection a "promise." The administration never characterized it that way and included plenty of disclaimers saying the predictions had "significant margins of error" and a higher degree of uncertainty due to a recession that is "unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity." And so we rule the statement by Cantor — and other Republicans who have said the same thing:

Barely True.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jul/09/eric-cantor/Cantor-and-other-republicans-say-obama-promised-s/

Debunked YET AGAIN this year:

* Will: Obama said stimulus would cap unemployment at 8 percent *

Obama is correct that many independent economists agree that the stimulus has created more than a million jobs and kept the unemployment rate from going even higher than it has (though in fairness, not every economist agrees with that).

[...]

Will didn't use the word "promise" as Cantor did when we checked the same claim a year ago, but the meaning is the same, that Obama was offering some sort of guarantee the stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent. The administration never characterized it that way and included plenty of disclaimers saying the predictions had "significant margins of error" and a higher degree of uncertainty due to a recession that is "unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity." In short, it was an economic projection with warnings of a high margin for error, not a take-it-to-the-bank pledge of an upper limit on unemployment.

So we find Will's claim:

Barely True.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jul/13/george-will/will-obama-said-stimulus-would-cap-unemployment-8-/

ANY RESPONSE SKIP?

ARE YOU GOING TO IGNORE THESE TOO?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 20, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

ss28: You wouldn't know a fact if it jumped up and bit you in the a$$! Disingenuous fool!

Posted by: DinOH | July 20, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This is totally ridiculous. My Grandpapa used to tell these bums "Get a Job!" when they would hang out side our factory begging for food in the 30's. The GOP is RIGHT! Let's not waste money on these lazy, small people. It's is now time to support and extend the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy. Even if you are unemployed or homeless, politely ask someone with a cell to let you to make this important call to your congressman. It's that important!
And don't forget America, Barak HUSSIEN Obama is a Kenyan born muslim communist!

Posted by: Bush2 | July 20, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: so you are just going to ignore Zandi's analysis, which unambiguously stated that the stimulus succeeded in stemming job losses and economic contraction, even though he is a republican economist who advised mccain in 2008?

Are you going to ignore the consensus of economists that the stimulus did work even if it didn't achieve the unemployment gains that were originally forecast?

Where are your sources, beyond your own demented and twisted opinions (you know like credible economists as opposed to political hacks), about the supposed lack of effectiveness of the stimulus?

I guess its time to ignore you.

Posted by: srw3 | July 20, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The republicans claim they will not vote for any unfunded policies, yet they are pushing for the UNFUNDED $3.5 TRILLION unfunded tax cuts, perks etc for the rich.
How can they justify adding $3.5 trillion to the deficit and denying $34 million for the people who have no jobs because of their mismanagement, unlimited spending during their reign??
They are sacrificing good, hard working Americans for their undying support for Wall St, the rich, once again, ignoring the welfare of us and our country.

Posted by: kathlenec | July 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

What do the Republican's want people who have been looking for work without success for months on end to do? Starve, become homeless?? The social and economic impact of turning people out onto the streets will cost far more than the simple extension of benefits. Republican strategy is blocking any action that will improve the economy in light of upcoming elections and in light of their pernicious drive to stop all forward movement by the Obama administration. The Party of No Way No How is again proving itself an enemy of the people.

Posted by: jeffl240 | July 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Bush 2....funny stuff....

Posted by: SDJeff | July 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010,

Let's not forget that the original number for the stimulus was much larger, because that's what economists thought was needed to actually start creating jobs and not just stop the bleeding. So, when Obama said the stimulus would get unemployment to 8%, he was probably right.

Unfortunately, in order to get the stimulus out of filibuster, democrats had to cut the size of the stimulus. After they did this, in order to appease Republicans, the Republicans all voted against it anyway.

The party of "No" has done this repeatedly and should be called out for it.

Posted by: pathfinder12 | July 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Ok, if the GOBP wants to PAY for it, just repeal the Bush tax cuts.

It's that simple!

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | July 20, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

the repugs will oppose extending benefits to americans to hurt this president and this administration.
the party of "no" will get that same response in 2012, don't say you weren't warned.
repugs for the first time in history please do the right thing for americans, some of whom voted you into office.
lastly,"there but for the grace of God go i".

Posted by: ninnafaye | July 20, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"Deficits don't matter" - G.W. Bush administration

Can we at least hear from one Bushie who can defend "deficits don't matter" as zealously today as they did 4 years ago?

Or will Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity call you a Marxist with Commie tendancies?


Posted by: ScottChallenger | July 20, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The GOP are much less concerned about the deficit and have no concern for the unemployed - they are using unemployment as leverage so they can get Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent. I say yes to extension of unemployment - and He$$ no to any tax cuts at all.

Posted by: Janet1 | July 20, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, just curious.

Is this blog where I go to come up with media strategies to call Republicans (any Republican will do) racist and to figure out ways on how to deflect any criticism in the media from Barack Obama?

Oh. Damn. That's Ezra Klein's column.

This one's just the echo chamber.

Sorry. I will leave you all to repeating your words back to each other.

Posted by: etpietro | July 20, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course 62% think the benefits should be extended...it's free money right?

I think it was Franklin who said something like the Republic is doomed as soon as the public believes it can vote itself the treasury.

We're there folks.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | July 20, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

GOBP point of view: Cause economy crash with lax regulation, then deny help to millions unemployed because of it...

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | July 20, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I say take on the GOP directly on this and make the cost savings from a removal of tax deductions by corporations for senior executive (CEO,COO,CTO) pay and bonuses.

(crickets chirp)

didn't think so, America-hating Republicant Socialist party!

Posted by: WillSeattle | July 20, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Republicans needs to walk in our shoes for a week,just one week. They wouldn't make it without going nuts. See it takes alot to stay sane in our difficult times and because we really dont live the best off of our unemployment, we still make it though. We are bless to have that little bit coming in to support us til a job comes set us free. We work soooo hard for many past years. We are not looking for a way out of working because WORKING actually brings us more money anyway. But the unemployment does keep us somewhat safe for now. And that the republicans, needs to understand.!!!!!!! REPS, LET U LOOSE UR PAY CKS AND NEED EUC TO HELP U MAKE ENDS MEET....THEN U WILL SEE HOW IMPORTANT THAT MONEY MEANS TO U AND THE FAMILY U CARE FOR. A JOB BRINGS MORE, BUT IT's NOT OUR DECISION TO HIRE OURSELVES ARE WE WOULD BE ALREDY WORKING MAKING MUCH MORE THAN EUC GIVES US. BUT AGAIN WE ARE BLESS WITH IT AND YET WE PRAY EVERYDAY FOR BETTER MONEY...MORE MONEY!!! DON'T DESTROY OUR LIVES BECAUSE U ARE SO SELFISH OF YOURSELVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: missthang00114 | July 20, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Republicans needs to walk in our shoes for a week,just one week. They wouldn't make it without going nuts. See it takes alot to stay sane in our difficult times and because we really dont live the best off of our unemployment, we still make it though. We are bless to have that little bit coming in to support us til a job comes set us free. We work soooo hard for many past years. We are not looking for a way out of working because WORKING actually brings us more money anyway. But the unemployment does keep us somewhat safe for now. And that the republicans, needs to understand.!!!!!!! REPS, LET U LOOSE UR PAY CKS AND NEED EUC TO HELP U MAKE ENDS MEET....THEN U WILL SEE HOW IMPORTANT THAT MONEY MEANS TO U AND THE FAMILY U CARE FOR. A JOB BRINGS MORE, BUT IT's NOT OUR DECISION TO HIRE OURSELVES ARE WE WOULD BE ALREDY WORKING MAKING MUCH MORE THAN EUC GIVES US. BUT AGAIN WE ARE BLESS WITH IT AND YET WE PRAY EVERYDAY FOR BETTER MONEY...MORE MONEY!!! DON'T DESTROY OUR LIVES BECAUSE U ARE SO SELFISH OF YOURSELVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: missthang00114 | July 20, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Since the writer brought it up, let's ask the question a different way and see how Americans respond:

Would you favor extending unemployment benefits to the jobless if it could be paid for with, as yet, unused stimulus money?

I strongly suspect that this, the Republican plan for extending unemployment benefits, would win out in the polls.

Posted by: magellan1 | July 20, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr Sargent you should be ashamed of yourself for misleading readers and for supporting the irresponsible Democratic position on this issue.

Republicans have said they support the extension of unemployement benefits. What they do not support is digging a deeper deficit hole for our children and grandchildren.

Democrats care more about votes than they do about our children's well being. Content to pay for unemployment benefits today by robbing from our kids piggy banks, instead of acting like adults and making tough choices.

In the end Democrats are perfectly happy to do the "wrong thing" once again as long as they have someone else to blame.

The Obama administration and the recent Democratic congresses will ultimtely be remembered as one of the shameful eras in American History!

Posted by: ELF2 | July 20, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I was unemployed about 1992 and received a 3 month extension, which I'm grateful for. However, I still had not found work. I never did, and to this day I've managed to sqeak by, making so little I have never even been on the tax role again.

This is 18 years. Are we going to pay people benefits that long? How much is enough? I think after 2 years people need to figure out some way of moving on in life without turning to Uncle Sam with their hand stretched out.

If we are going to keep handing out unemployment I'd like to know why I can't get some too. After all, I've been unemployed 18 years or so.

Lets either stop with a modest extension of 3 months or so like we used to, or else lets be fair and provide the same hand out to all.

Posted by: fakedude1 | July 20, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Magellan, the stimulus money is targeted for infrastructure and job creation, not unemployment benefits. Besides, with today's vote, your point is moot. 60 senators agree with the over 60% of voters who feel the extension is necessary.

Posted by: SDJeff | July 20, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Elf, I think Obama adding $33B to the deficit while trying to put Americans back to work will be viewed more favorably by history than Bush adding 3 TRILLION to it so we could invade a foreign country and kill 4000 American soldiers for no reason.

Posted by: SDJeff | July 20, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

END the endless, worthless, pointless GRANTS given to so-called non-profits.

The is the biggest source of fraud and waste in our country.

Posted by: easttxisfreaky | July 20, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

fakedude, I do think the way unemployment is given out is not the most efficient way to do things. Maybe give a smaller amount to people who have found part time work, or full time at lesser pay, to get them through the tough times of a drastic cut in salary?

I have been on unemployment, and I do believe that for certain people, say if you have young kids, it removes incentive for looking for work.

Sometimes it becomes cheaper to not work, keep your kids out of daycare, and collect unemployment than it is to find a $10 an hour job(which is pretty much all that's out there), work 40 hours a week not including commute, and pay someone else hundreds or thousands a month to watch your kids all day.

Posted by: SDJeff | July 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

A pox on BOTH their houses!

Selfish and cynical Republican obstructionism (it's in their DNA!) vs. chronic Democrat lack of fiscal discipline (it's in their DNA!). Some choice.

I think having the unemployment benefits extended to ameliorate the suffering is the better of two unpalatable choices. But I wish that the Dems could have figured out how to do the right thing in the right way! Meanwhile, I've become thoroughly persuaded that the Republicans are always far more concerned with BEING right than DOING right. For them, far better to make political hay (while hypocritically overlooking their own profligacy during the Bush-Cheney nightmare years) than to help Americans. Party first!

GAWD! Where are the centrists when you need them?

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | July 20, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company