So here’s the proposed plan from the Democrats, we’re going to pay for extended unemployment benefits now with money we save in 10 years. In ten years. Which may or may not actually happen. With a solution like that, it’s no surprise Democrats are having a hard time convincing Republicans. And while the typical response from the media is that it’s “Republican obstructionism,” Danny Vinik of Business Insider feels the Democrats really aren’t providing a “legitimate way to offset the cost” either. Even if they try pushing it through without a plan in place, it’s going to stop dead in the House. Boehner was firm about that. All in all though, I’m still not hearing about solutions for job creation.
Continuing in the line of ‘helpful solutions’, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has more or less killed any options for Republican amendments on the unemployment extension:
…Reid faced intense criticism at the end of last week from Republicans and the media for not allowing any votes on amendments. He returned [Tuesday] with a new deal: he would allow each side to propose five amendments that would need 60 votes to pass, but final passage would only require a majority. If agreed to, this would ensure that Democrats could pass the unemployment extension no matter what. (Business Insider)
In other words, we’ll let you talk for a bit but we get to pass the extension anyways. That was a no-go.
It’s a shame because last week Sen. Paul and Mitch McConnell proposed the possibility of adding Economic Freedom Zones to the extension. If you recall, this encourages tax incentives for businesses in areas with high unemployment. If a business is keeping more of what it earns, most will use that to reinvest in themselves and grow. Hmm, a successful, growing business could mean more job opportunities. More jobs, less unemployed. So while an extension still means the government is handing out money, at the same time, there can be a solution that solves the core problem.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor [last Thursday]:
…It’s about moving beyond the treatment of symptoms, and getting at underlying problems. … Small business owners would see fewer government regulations, enabling them to create jobs and drive prosperity. Entrepreneurs would see punitive tax barriers peeled back, allowing them to lead a recovery with new ideas and energy.
…I want to share a sentiment I read just yesterday from Thomas Vinson, an unemployed coal worker from the very Kentucky county where LBJ launched his big-government blitz 50 years ago. This was his take on the so-called ‘War on Poverty’: What good are all these government programs if they don’t get you a job? (paul.senate.gov)
The Senate is still stuck on the “money” part with no help from Democrats. While no movement forward on extending unemployment benefits means it’s not adding to our country’s growing debt, it’s also not moving discussion towards solving the actual problem: lack of jobs.
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