In a startling break with long-standing tradition, this week a professional politician and tax scammer has been nominated to receive not one but two prestigious awards for his courageous efforts to stand up for Republican principles and the citizens of America, particularly the estimated 4,300 Kentucky citizens who would have lost their federal unemployment benefits, beginning March 13th. In the past 14 months, Kentucky has lost about 60,000 jobs and now has an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent. Nationwide, about 200,000 unemployed would have lost their benefits this week. Within one month, the number would have increased to about 1.2 million.
Shortly before midnight on Thursday, February 25, Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky reiterated his objection to a proposal for unanimous consent to a 30-day extension of federal unemployment benefits and other items. As a result of the tireless efforts of this stalwart member of the Party of No, No and Hell No, federal unemployment benefits ended on Sunday. Not a single one of his Republican colleagues told him to drop his objection.
Bunning objected that the cost of the bill would add to the federal debt, which roughly doubled during the terms of Bush the lesser without a single peep of objection from Bunning.
Bunning later relented somewhat by agreeing to drop his objection in exchange for a vote on his proposal to use unspent funds from the $787-billion stimulus bill. His amendment failed and the bill passed on Tuesday, with 78 votes.
Bunning and 18 other Senators, Republicans all, voted against this rare senatorial expression of humanity. In their collective vision, terminating lifelines to parents is the best way to help their children.
Bunning's failure to comprehend that spending stimulus funds also adds to the deficit can easily be explained by his limited intake of information. As Bunning bragged during his 2004 re-election campaign:
"I don't watch the national news and I don't read the paper. I watch Fox News to get my information."
Astounding. A senator who openly declares pride in his intentionally induced ignorance, to the everlasting detriment of the country and the citizens of the state he represents.