A bill to extend unemployment benefits beyond the holiday season failed in the House today. Here is how the Associated Press reports the event: “House GOP Blocks Bill To Extend Jobless Benefits.”
Those heartless monsters!
What the AP headline does not tell you, but the full story reveals, is that Republicans wanted to fund this extension of unemployment benefits with unspent “stimulus” dollars from the huge amount of deficit loot President Obama and the Democrats socked away last year. Representative Charles Boustany of Louisiana explained, “The fact is, we can both provide this help and pay for it by cutting less effective stimulus spending. That’s what we should be debating today.”
The AP article goes on to castigate Republicans for refusing to cooperate with this perfectly reasonable measure to provide “extended federal benefits… financed with deficit dollars,” a feature of every recession since 1950. Reporter Andrew Taylor speculates the Republicans might finally pay the political price they somehow avoided when they stalled efforts to extend jobless benefits earlier this year.
An argument can be made against extending unemployment benefits, which have cost over $300 billion during the past three years, and already extend for so long that “unemployment” may no longer be the right term. Republicans are making no such argument, however. They aren’t rejecting the concept of a benefits extension. They’re merely insisting it be paid for with some of that “stimulus” money the Democrats are hoarding, or some cuts in other madcap federal spending.
Remember when Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) was excoriated for insisting the Democrats adhere to their “pay-go” budget promises last March? Now merely mentioning the concept of paying as you go, never mind the specific Democrat promise to do so, is treated as an act of unspeakable cruelty.
A more accurate way to write the headline for this story would be “Democrats Fight To Protect Slush Funds.” That would involve divulging a bit more information than the Associated Press feels like giving you.