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Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 11/30/2010

Rep. John Shadegg's ridiculous views on unemployment benefits

By Jonathan Capehart

A new entry in the annals of Republican ridiculousness came today with the appearance of Rep. John Shadegg (Ariz.) on "Morning Joe." Get a load of his response when MSNBC's Mike Barnicle asked him to square GOP opposition to unemployment benefits (because they're not paid for) with its support for extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest (without saying how they would be paid for).

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Shadegg disagreed with Barnicle's contention that unemployed benefits are "an immediate benefit" to the economy. "No, they're not," countered Shadegg. "Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn't know that." When Barnicle replied, "Unemployed people spend money, congressman, because they have no money." To which Shadegg said, "Ahh, so your answer is it's the spending of money that drives the economy. I don't think that's right. It's the creation of jobs that drives the economy." And then he makes this gasp-worthy claim, "The truth is the unemployed will spend as little of that money as they possibly can."

Barnicle's reaction? Priceless. The truth is the unemployed will spend that money as fast as it will come in. The piled up bills make it impossible for them to not spend it.

By Jonathan Capehart  | November 30, 2010; 11:39 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Shadegg showed he has no common sense.

He must have read so much Ayn Rand he thinks Howard Roark built his buildings with his own hands. Ignoring the simple fact that not one single, solitary idea Roark ever had would have come to fruition without the workers using their hands to do the grunt work to make his dreams come alive. In other words, that Roark was nothing without the workers.

Regular working people need to wake up and start listening to the contempt the Republic Party has for them. They are not your friends and don't care about your family or this country.

BTW, Barnicle was struck dumb by Shadegg's stupidity, but Eugene Robinson pointed out how ignorant the guy is.

Posted by: edismae | November 30, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dems need to pull together and have commerials on television and radio exposing the Republicans for what they are. This is potent stuff that they are let going to waste. It means nothing if public does not know what is going on and many of them don't. Repugnants count on that!

Posted by: wdsoulplane | November 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This is more perverse left wing logic.How do you pay for not stealing people's money?

We got large groups of people now accustomed to living permanently on the dole that need to get off. To say they are a boon to the economy is ridiculous.

Posted by: Pilot1 | November 30, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Over 2/3's of the economy is driven by consumer spending. Everyone with a basic understanding of economics knows that...oh that's right, there don't seem to be any republicans with a basic understanding. If there are, they're in hiding.

Posted by: phbella61 | November 30, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

It's been said before and will be said again... Republicans have no sense of embarrassment.

Posted by: CardFan | November 30, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Well all you unemployed who thought it was a great idea to vote Republican not only had a very short memory of the horrendous past 12 years under Republican rule, but now have only themselves to blame!
This republican idiot who says the unemployed save their money? I shake my head that these are the guys we put in office? They make 174K a year? Over half are millionaires? WHo do you really think they are serving????????????????? DO NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN!

Posted by: Carolinat2 | November 30, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Liberal lexicon: Spending is investment, not taxing is spending.

They still refuse to tell us how we can afford $3 trillion tax cuts for the "middle" class but insist we can't afford $0.7 trillion for the "rich".

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | November 30, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I've heard dumb economic arguments coming out of the mouths of Representatives before, but this one takes the cake.

Anyone who has been reading the numerous economic reports and editorials the last couple of years knows that companies are not hiring not because they lack money but because there is not enough demand. More demand will translate into greater need to hire.

Regardless of the fact that several million people will be left with no income whatsoever, and will end up on State's poverty roles, extending unemployment does put money into the economy through buying - which is demand. Without even that arguably modest demand, more jobs will be at risk because employers will see a drop in revenues requiring them to lay off workers.

How do these guys keep getting hired when they seem incapable of reading and learning what is going on in the economy?

Posted by: valkayec | November 30, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Right Winger: Have you ever seen a poor person create jobs?

Have you ever seen a poor person ship millions of jobs overseas to please stockholders?

Posted by: newsraptor | November 30, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Shadegg personifies the fairy tale economics that the Republican live by. If the typical unemployed head of household with 2 kids is saving money off of unemployment compensation he must have a massive annuity. Trickle down economics is basically screw the poor and the middle class and let the rich get richer.

Posted by: edthefed1 | November 30, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Actually the argument of extending the Bush tax cuts is false to begin with. The Bush tax cuts, ALL of them, should expire. Even for the middle class. That is the fiscally responsible thing to do. Yes the economy will take a major hit, but unfortunately it will have to.

I'd personally eliminate all unemployment insurance. I've seen the destruction this entitlement does and it isn't pretty. It creates laziness and destroys good people. I've seen it first hand and it is very sad.

Posted by: chrisc23 | November 30, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Evidently in Shadegg's district people have jobs producing things that nobody else buys.

Posted by: sjpatejak | November 30, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

To add to my previous comment, it is amazing that in this country you can work hard and many hours and make less than someone who is sitting home and doing nothing collecting an unemployment check. It is criminal and no wonder why work ethic has gone out the window. There is no incentive to be productive.

Posted by: chrisc23 | November 30, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Evidently in Shadegg's district people have jobs producing things that nobody else buys


@edismae: One of the things conservatives don't like to acknowledge is that Rand's philosophy is very elitist. The world is run by geniuses and nobody else really matters.

Posted by: sjpatejak | November 30, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come on! You people act like you can't live on a diet of boiled air or fuel your cars on hopes and dreams.

If only the unemployed would save that $200-$300 per month. Then they may have enough money to buy that yacht some day. This is classic "Rich Dad" vs "Poor Dad" thinking. Think like a rich person. Save, save, save! It's all about the rainy day fund. Who cares if you die of starvation or have to kill and eat the family dog???

Posted by: loudblackgirl | November 30, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Evidently in Shadegg's district people have jobs producing things that nobody else buys


@edismae: One of the things conservatives don't like to acknowledge is that Rand's philosophy is very elitist. The world is run by geniuses and nobody else really matters.
------------
@sjpatejak conservatives would also never acknowledge that many of them wouldn't fall into the "ayn rand's fantasy geniuses who run the world" category anyway.

side note: shadegg "represents" approximately 56,000 unemployed citizens in the very wealthy Maricopa County alone.

Posted by: loudblackgirl | November 30, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Funny, when I was unemployed for a year, I don't remember having savings. I do remember retrenching like crazy, cutting my expenditures to the bone, not buying much of anything beyond food and gas/insurance for the car.

And where exactly is Shadegg (or you Chrisc23) getting your "information" about how much money unemployment pays? You do realize that it's based on a percentage of your former pay, and that it's capped, right? I can only speak to the two states I've been unemployed in, but the max rate in VA is only $363.00 per week. And you still pay federal tax (at a 10% rate) on it. And because I live in Maryland, it's still taxed as income in Maryland, so I paid state income tax as well. In Pennsylvania, I received about $300 per week. So if someone is "making" more on unemployment than you are while working...that actually sounds like a bigger problem for you than them. You may want to rethink your chosen profession.

Posted by: djbigsplash | November 30, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@chrisc23 and anyone else that is missing the human aspect here

First off, I'm independent with leanings both left and right depending on the topic, so framing my perspective in the lib/con paradigm doesn't work

At 35 years old and a married mother of 3 I had done everything right, worked hard, got a degree in business, bought a house that we could afford without any crazy financing tricks, paid all my bills on time, and paid into the system for 19 yrs...until my lay off last year. The company after 10 years and giving me multiple promotions from sales rep to manager decided to split my position among 5 other people. My husband who is a diesel mechanic was laid off earlier this year due to low demand but thankfully found something within a month, although at a 25% pay cut...

I don't blame the companies for what they did, I knew sales had gotten bleak and something had to give. I was one of the few not making minimum wage plus commission, and I was sacrificed to save the rest...at least for a while, they started cutting those in Oct this year.

I live in an area of California that has an official UE rate at almost 16%, which means the real rate is much higher. I've been turned down by Target, Walmart, and McDonalds to name a few because I'm so over qualified. 98% of all the resumes I send out (roughly 100 a week all over the country on top of reg applications) I never even get a response from let alone an interview, and this includes the ones I have pounded the pavement to submit.
The few that were kind enough to talk to me speak of the crazy volume of resumes and quite frankly half didn't even see mine if I wasn't near the top of the pile. So all of that tweaking, re-tweaking, dumbing down, adjusting, and rewriting of my resume for every single position didn't even get a glance.

My children were in daycare full time while I worked but were moved to 2 days a week so I can interview...now that will also end and my provider will also be forced to close her business of 15 years. We were her last non state funded family and CA is having problems paying those that work with welfare recipients...so there is another family beyond my own that has been dependent on unemployment to weather this storm albeit indirectly.

With my husbands income, we make too much for welfare, food stamps, or any services...but after our house payment, health and auto insurance, utilities, and our 1 car payment there is nothing left. We don't spend any money at all other than necessity and it still doesn't stretch quite far enough...

I have a bachelors in bus admin, loads of experience, letters of recommendation, all the bells and whistles...but not a single job offer in a year and a half, even for min wage and I miss being able to move to tier 4 by 3 days...so I won't even get to that magic 99 weeks...

Pray tell what now...if you were in my place what would your next step be, walk in my shoes and see outside the dingy windows of your glass

Posted by: minax28 | November 30, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Should have read

"dingy windows of your glass house..."

Posted by: minax28 | November 30, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: chrisc23 | November 30, 2010 2:15 PM
To add to my previous comment, it is amazing that in this country you can work hard and many hours and make less than someone who is sitting home and doing nothing collecting an unemployment check. It is criminal and no wonder why work ethic has gone out the window. There is no incentive to be productive.
_____________________
I guarantee you at least 9 out of 10 unemployed workers making a fraction of what they made when working would trade places with you in a heart beat. Doing nothing? It takes on average almost 2 hours to fill out a job application even for a minimum wage or part-time job. Then there's constant focus to not allow the hundreds of rejections or no responses from these employers to not let this horrific process affect your positive attitude. Then there's the constant stress of trying to figure out which bill to pay and which to try to negotiate till next month as UE benefits amount to an average of less than $300.00 per week. In my state $250 a week is max no matter what your previous salary was. Then to add salt to the wound, every couple of months members of Congress use the unemployed as pawns to negotiate deals they believe far more important to keep American families sheltered and fed If you make less money than someone on unemployment and you're jealous that you have to work instead of what you think the unemployed do which is vacation in luxury everyday, my guess is you won't have to worry about working much longer. I certainly wouldn't want an employee that would rather be laid off than be grateful they have a job.

Posted by: ThePostRail | November 30, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Shadegg has said some really dumb things over the years but in his parting shot, he insults people who have lost their jobs and kisses up to the richest Americans advocating more of the Bush tax cuts. I guess we know who'll be giving him his next job.

Posted by: jdcapshew | November 30, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Shadegg has said some really dumb things over the years but in his parting shot, he insults people who have lost their jobs and kisses up to the richest Americans advocating more of the Bush tax cuts. I guess we know who'll be giving him his next job.

Posted by: jdcapshew | November 30, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

People like Shadegg are so caught up in their own BS, they can't see straight. Better yet, think about the voters who voted for him and find themselves in need to assistance.......but we've seen it more often than not......just because they can't square themselves with President Obama, they would rather vote AGAINST their interest. Finally, he like others have bought into all the spin and their chorus continues....Not extending the Bush Tax Cuts raises the taxes on the wealth!!!!!WTF. It goes to show you whoever their spin Dr. is to contort the argument that if something is not extended or allowed to end, it automatically "implies" some type of negative, but you have to ask yourself....if the GOP was so concerned, then why did they set a longer term on the tax breaks - WHEN THEY WERE IN FULL CONTROL????

Posted by: fredyt3 | December 1, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

My brother is H.R. Mgr. for a large corporation. They've had job openings, but no one is taking these jobs!
The comments he hears the most:
"I would have to take a pay cut";
"I can stay on unemployment and bartend at night and make more money" (not true)
Everyone I know that's lost their job has had to take a pay cut, but at least they're working! They've reduced their expenses (Walmart cellphones instead of Blackberry; cancel cable TV; eat every meal at home, pack lunch, instead of eating expesive, crappy fast-food;
take advantage of rock-bottom interest rates/refinance home and reduce your house payment; etc., etc.)
The longer you stay on unemployment, the worse your chances are of finding a job.

Posted by: ohioan | December 1, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

There are people working 2 jobs to make ends meet until the economy gets better. These are very proud people who would never, ever, even consider taking welfare.
My brother said he sees a trend where some with college degrees think they're "too good" to do work that's not in their special area., although there ARE job openings out there.
Part of our unemployment problem is an "attitude problem"; not all, but much of it.
I can remember when my dad was layed-off from his job years ago, and couldn't find a job, he went house-to-house asking if he could do odd-jobs, repair jobs, painting, working on people's houses, and that turned into a very well-paying gig for him, surprisingly.
But Americans don't have that same attitude; unfortunately they are dependent on government hand-outs instead.

Posted by: ohioan | December 1, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by minax28.
I understand your frustrations and your thoughts are shared by 15-20 million other Americans. Corporate profits continue quarter over quarter, at the expense of squeezing profits out of formerly overblown operations.
I wish I could offer some relief, however things only get worse the older you get. Hang an age handle of 55 on your situation and you can see there is no relief for more than 10 years (retirement). Let fools like Shadegg lose their jobs and see how tough living on UEB is. Better yet let those irresponsible Republicans/Teapartiers donate all their salaries to see how they would live on UEB!

Posted by: jdefelice001 | December 2, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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