Saturday, December 17, 2011

Republicans to the Unemployed: You Are All Drug Addicts

House GOP Reveals Its True Agenda – In Case Anyone Didn’t Know

The Congress is faced with several year end deadlines, and needs to enact legislation to do things like authorize government spending for the rest of its fiscal year, fix the AMT for another year, fix the Medicare reimbursement problem for another year, extend unemployment benefits and possibly extend the payroll tax reduction.  Now in a normal world these issues would be brought to a vote individually, and approved or rejected on their own merits.

But this is not the way Republicans see things.  In order to enact legislation that does not have the support of the majority they tie essential legislation into a bill with their ideological goals in order to force an unwilling Senate and President to accept their odious views.  And this is exactly what they have done in a current bill rammed through the House by the Republicans (but ultimately rejected by the Senate)..

For example, the Republicans want the government to immediately approve a pipeline from Canada through environmentally sensitive areas of the Midwest, a policy opposed by even some Republicans from that area.  So they have loaded up a spending bill

Approved on a vote of 234 to 193, the Republican tax bill would extend a one-year break in the payroll tax that is due to expire at the end of the month, setting the rate at 4.2 percent for the year instead of allowing it to revert to 6.2 percent. But it also would accelerate the construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast that the White House is determined to slow down.

But on unemployment benefits the Republicans in the House really reveal their true beliefs.  For Conservatives, people are not unemployed because they cannot find jobs, they are unemployed because they are a bunch of lazy, shiftless, parasitic drug addicts whose only goal is to lounge around the house, watch daytime TV and be supported by the real Americans, i.e., wealthy ones.  So here is there policy with respect to unemployment benefits.

It would extend benefits for the long-term unemployed but reform the unemployment insurance program to reduce the maximum time those out of work can receive benefits, from 99 weeks to 59 weeks. It also would allow states to require drug testing for benefits.

And of course there are always some ideological and trivial issues that Republicans want to force through

Another is whether to include language that would reverse a decision by Obama to make it easier for Americans to visit relatives in Cuba and another provision to block new standards for incandescent light bulbs.

I mean, we wouldn’t want Cuban immigrants living in this country to be able to visit their relatives and preventing the government from requiring energy efficient light bulbs is surely as critical as funding the government.

In the end this is likely to all be worked out, with Republicans maybe getting some of what they want, but the critical issue here is the lesson everyone learns from this farcical episode of governing.  And if anyone doesn’t get the lesson, don’t worry, there will be another class early next year.

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