Republicans Playing Grinch With Unemployment Benefits Right Before The Holidays

Posted by | December 5, 2010 19:23 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

With Senate Republicans killing an extension of unemployment benefits Saturday in a 53-36 vote, I thought I’d share some of my inconsolable rage. First off, given that unemployment benefits have a multiplier effect of 1.64 for every dollar spent, this is clearly another attempt by the Republicans to sabotage any hope of a real economic recovery. Permanently extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy only has a multiplier effect of 0.29 for every dollar spent. But let’s forget the negative macroeconomic impact of this despicable obstruction on the part of the Republicans for a second.

If unemployment benefits are not extended soon, millions of struggling parents in this country will be unable to feed their kids during the holiday season. These people are not lazy or looking for a handout. The average unemployment check is only $293 a week. It is impossible to raise a family on unemployment benefits in the long-term. The unemployed want to work, as they desperately want to support themselves and their families. These are hard-working Americans who were employed all the way up until two years ago when the Wall Street bankers crashed the economy and walked away with trillions of dollars from the American taxpayer.

Republicans claim to be the party of “family values.” Is this their idea of family values? If you’re an average American who loses your job because of the criminal actions of the richest and most powerful people in the country, you and your children deserve to starve right before the holidays? I wonder how many of the Republicans who voted to deny the extension of unemployment benefits claim to be “Christians,” as this is what Jesus would do, right? Jesus would tell the unemployed to go beg for food in the streets to keep their children from starving, because the rich need their tax cuts?

It’s abundantly clear that Republicans view average hard-working Americans, without any lobbyists working on their behalf, as chattel, plain and simple. But I’m asking the Republicans to show some compassion for once. I’m begging them to stop trying to take the last lifeline that millions of suffering Americans and their families are desperately relying on. Because if they think Americans are angry now, just wait until they really have nothing left to lose and starving kids to feed.

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