All the unemployed need is tough love and tough sh-t
By James Owens
If you’re an unemployed individual, have ever been unemployed or think you might become unemployed at some future date; you have a target on your back. From the rhetoric being slung around today, it would seem the Republicans wish to use the unemployed as scapegoats for all that is wrong with America.
Republicans are not heartless; they have love in their hearts for big business, hedge funds, tax breaks for the wealthy and money in their bank accounts. They love lavish parties, fancy homes, luxury vacations and the grand pensions they will draw when they are dragged from their Washington offices kicking a screaming.
They see themselves as saviors of the American way of like, but that way of life is something few real Americans enjoy or understand.
The GOP used procedural tricks in the Senate to stall the vote on extended unemployment benefits. This past week they began campaigning for an extension of the Bush tax cuts. They are concerned about unemployment benefits because they are not paid for, yet they have no concerned about paying for a continued tax cut for the wealthy.
However, the Republicans do not want the spotlight on themselves, rather, they want it on something and someone else – darken someone else’s path and yours will look whiter. They would like us to forget the failed policies they often refer to are failed conservative policies, so to stir up emotion and excite their base, they have targeted the unemployed, who they claim are drawing free lunch money off the backs of working Americans. Their argument may have more credence if more Americans were working.
The rhetoric has become uglier
Nevada Republican Congressman Dean Heller, who is against extending unemployment benefits asked “Is the government now creating hobos?”
Tom Corbett, (R-Pennsylvania) said “the jobs are there,” but the out-of-work don’t want them.
Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle has said the unemployed are “spoiled” and need a little “tough love.”
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer compared the unemployed to stray animals that should not be fed. Bauer said giving the unemployed the safety net of unemployment insurance is “facilitating the problem” and “they will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that …
they don’t know any better.”
Sen. Judd Gregg, (R-NH) claims unemployment benefits are stifling economic growth. Unemployment benefits, Gregg said, “Encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment.”
Sen. Orin hatch (R-Utah) asked, “Why do we keep giving money to people who are going to go use it on drugs instead of their families?”
Finally, during a discussion regarding unemployment benefits, Jim Bunning( R-Ky) was overheard telling Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Jeff Merkley, “tough shit,” when referring to the plight of those running out of benefits.
Adding it all up
Those two words, tough shit, sum up the conservative attitude toward the working people of America. They claim they are concerned with deficit spending and want everything paid for; yet, they aim to extend the Bush tax credits for the wealthiest people in America.
It’s thought a vote on extended benefits will clear the House again, and move to the Senate where it will finally be voted on because there are now enough votes to overcome the GOP filibuster. Nevertheless, the fight is will not be over and this writer believes the ultimate aim of the conservatives is to eliminate unemployment insurance altogether.
If someone repeats the same words and phrases over and over again it begins to sound like the truth. Lies can be woven into the fabric of belief if you just keep telling them over and over again.
Before the idea that the working class is keeping America from growth begins to take root, it must be pulled from the sewer from which it came and discarded as trash should be. The GOP is counting on the unemployed and working class to stay home on election day, but this core American base must be energized to fight back because the only weapon they have is the ballot box.
Conservatives like to shake their heads and point their fingers at entitlements as the root of all evil. They label social programs as “entitlements” because it implies those who receive any kind of assistance believe they have a God-giving right to receive it. The implication creates a vision in the public’s eye that lazy people are sitting on couches watching television with their feet up drinking beer and feeding at the public trough.
In interview over the past several days Republicans have been asked repeatedly what programs they would cut to reduce the deficit. Not one of them in the many interviews conducted would commit to cutting any particular program. It’s an election year, so they don’t want their policies known. They play it safe by pointing to the other guy and saying, “this has not worked, we have the answer.”
Their answer is to cut social programs to the bone, if not repeal them altogether. Programs like unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Think of the money big business could save if they didn’t have to pay into these programs. The Republicans have no answers for our economic woes; all they have are well-coordinated phrases such as “Americans want”, “fiscal responsibility,” tough love” and “tough shit.”