Friday, February 26, 2010

Balking against the Unemployed

In a truly dispicable display, Senator Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) is blocking the passage of a bill that would give a month's extension on unemployment benefits to Americans still struggling to find work. The New York Times reports the bill would also "extend federal subsidies to help pay health premiums for people who have lost health insurance along with their jobs."

Why is Bunning holding this up? Because he doesn't want the cost to add to the deficit. This is nothing more than dogmatic rejection-ism of Keynesian economics that will potentially lead to the suffering of millions of Americans. Apparently Bunning is "trying to make a point to the people of the United States."

That point is clear. There is no end to Republican obstructionism, even on matters of dire importance to millions of Americans. The government was asleep at the wheel when the housing bubble formed and the financial markets began trading air and now, thanks to Congressmen like Jim Bunning, they're doing their best to drive America into a tree.


Colin said...

I stand and applaud Jim Bunning's obstructionism. It's about time someone in Washington notice that we're running a massive deficit.

For the record, Bunning is not against extending unemployment benefits, he merely wanted to pay for it out of stimulus funds. Just as millions of Americans have to make cutbacks and prioritize their spending, so too should the federal government.

Glad to see that someone in DC is looking after the taxpayers.

Oh, and only if it were true that the government was asleep at the wheel during the housing bubble. In fact, government was popping NoDoz and gulping down coffee, helping to inflate the bubble through the mortgage buying frenzy of Freddie and Fannie as well as cheap money from the Federal Reserve. Hell, Shrub regularly bragged about making home ownership a priority under his watch.

Ben said...

I don't know, man. It's $10 billion for 1.2 million Americans who could use it. I don't recall Sen. Bunning pulling similar stunt during the Bush years when we spent ourselves into this tremendous hole for no reason.

Colin said...

Well, Bunning is on record as saying he doesn't oppose the benefits extension, he merely wants them paid for. I don't see the harm in that.

And yeah, it is unfortunate that there is probably more than a little partisanship involved. Unfortunately there aren't exactly a legion of deficit reducers out there, so I'll take them where I can get them, whatever their motivations.

Ben said...

I respect your principled approach to deficits, Colin. I just wish Bunning were as principled.