Tuesday is the deadline for Congress to pass an unemployment benefits extension that will affect 2 million workers who have no other income. Republicans claim it costs too much money to help people with no money. At the same time, the GOP continues to demand an extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of the country. Republicans claim these tax cuts are imperative to the vitality of the economy. Let’s briefly examine the GOP stupidity.
For every dollar of unemployment benefits, there is a $2 boost to the economy. To anyone whose forehead is not also a movie screen, that looks like a nice return on investment. And as the dailyfinace.com article I linked to in the first paragraph says, the loss of these benefits would come at the worst time of the year and have significant ripple effects.
Retailers fear the dropped payments will result in fewer sales at a time of year when businesses rely on consumer purchases the most. But the loss of benefits could affect traffic at everyday merchants, too, including gas stations and grocery stores, which are likely to see transactions dwindle as unemployed workers go without.
The subsequent loss in business could result in as many as 700,000 more lost jobs as employers cut back further, according to the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of workers. So far this year, benefits extensions have helped 9.5 million households and pumped roughly $6.8 billion into the economy every month, the organization says.
So, essentially, cutting off unemployment benefits — because they’re too expensive, ya know! — could lead to an
additional 700,000 lost jobs and almost $7 billion in monthly currency that won’t be circulated throughout the marketplace. But this is really expensive, the GOP says, and they simply can’t justify helping these people.
A far better proposal, according to Republicans, is to extend the temporary tax cuts Prezidunce Bush gave to the wealthiest Americans. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and reported via the New York Times, this handout to the top 2% of our country will cost us $700 billion. Apparently we can afford that, no problem.
To summarize the Republican platform of ‘fiscal responsibility,’ we can’t afford to help poor people but it is most necessary to help the richest Americans who don’t need (or even want) assistance. We can’t give $300/week to millions of the neediest unemployed people, but we can definitely give $700 billion to a few hundred thousand millionaires.
Republicans are too dirty for the poopdeck. We have standards around here.