Politics Magazine

GOP Admits Its Lack Of Compassion For The Unemployed

Posted on the 09 January 2014 by Jobsanger
GOP Admits Its Lack Of Compassion For The Unemployed (The cartoon image above is by Jeff Danziger for the New York Times Syndication service.)
At the end of last year, extended unemployment benefits ran out for at least 1.3 million American workers who remain unemployed (due to the Bush recession and continuing outsourcing of American jobs). Democrats are trying to restore those benefits, and that is the main issue being discussed in the Senate this week. However, it looks like the effort to restore these benefits will probably be blocked by the Republicans.
Even if that bill to restore benefits to about 1.3 million people (thus keeping them from falling into poverty) does pass the Senate, House Republicans are poised to kill it. House GOP leaders are refusing to even let the bill come up for debate unless it is paid for -- and for the GOP, that means cuts in other social programs that are already struggling because of the new austerity (because those same Republicans still refuse to raise taxes a small amount on the rich, reduce the unneeded subsidies for corporations, or close the tax loopholes that allow many hide money overseas and pay a smaller tax percentage than the middle class).
But Republican leaders are not complete idiots (even though they act like it many times). They know this once again puts them in opposition to the desires of the public, and exposes their lack of compassion for the unemployed (or any other American not rich enough to hire lobbyists or donate to their campaign funds). So those House GOP leaders have sent a memo to all members of the Republican House caucus -- a memo that asks them to show "compassion" when speaking on this issue. Note that they aren't asking their caucus members to vote to restore those unemployment benefits, but only to couch their opposition to doing that in more "compassionate" terms.
And yesterday they started that. I watched as Republican after Republican expressed their desire to help the unemployed, and tried to shift the blame for their own hard-hearted actions onto the Democrats. They said their main desire was to help the unemployed by creating jobs, and blamed Senate Democrats for not passing any of the hundreds of "jobs bills" sent to them by the Republican-controlled House. Unfortunately, those claims are just not true.
 The truth is that the House has not sent the Senate a single bill that would create any jobs. What they are calling "jobs bills" are just more efforts to cut taxes for the rich and the corporations, and to protect and extend subsidies for corporations. They still cling to the failed policy of trickle-down economics -- the belief that just giving more to the rich and the corporations will magically solve America's economic problems.
But if that was true, then this country would already be flooded with good-paying jobs (and the unemployed would already be going back to work) -- because the rich and the corporations are making record-breaking incomes and profits, and corporations are currently sitting on trillions of dollars of cash reserves. But good-paying jobs are not being created in large numbers, because tax cuts and other giveaways to the rich and the corporations do not create jobs. The only thing that creates jobs is a large increase in demand for goods/services. Businesses will hire to meet that increase in demand, but would be foolish to hire when demand is not increasing (because that would just cut into profits).
Far from increasing job creation, the Republican policy of rewards for the rich and austerity for everyone else actually depresses job creation. It does so because it takes money out of the hands of the mass of Americans, thus reducing their ability to buy anything and reducing demand for goods/services.
Obviously, the Republicans don't understand the concept of compassion. Compassion is not demonstrated by nicer talk or by lying. Compassion requires action. And until the Republicans are willing to take some action to actually help the unemployed, they will not be displaying any compassion toward them.
Of course this false image of compassion they wish to exhibit is not designed to help the unemployed (since they have no wish to do that), but only to fool people into voting for them in the coming election. And the instruction to Republicans to couch their mean-spirited policies in a kinder language is nothing more than an admission they they have no real compassion for hurting Americans.

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