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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/31/15

Billionaires Won't Be Happy Until the US Becomes Austerity-Ravaged Greece

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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp


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Billionaires don't need a social safety net, so they're using the right-wing spin machine to destroy it.

Back in December 2013, Republicans gave the US a really nasty Christmas present: they cut off long-term unemployment insurance for 1.3 million people.

The party of Scrooge left Americans high and dry in the cold, and unable to provide for their families during what's supposed to be one of the most joyous times of the year.

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Republicans blocked the extension of unemployment insurance in December 2013 because they said it would encourage US citizens to find jobs and get back to work.

The fact that there were no jobs to find didn't really matter to them.

Fast-forward to today, and the right-wing is claiming a big victory.

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The right-wing spin machine is using a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research to claim that leaving millions of Americans without unemployment insurance actually helped job growth in 2014.

The NBER paper says that, "The analysis based on this simple inference implies that the cut in benefits in 2014 can explain nearly all of the observed aggregate employment growth in 2014."

Naturally, the right-wing spin machine is taking the paper's findings and running with them.

An article in the conservative Washington Examiner about the paper reads in part, "The study gives ammo to conservatives who argue that welfare benefits for able-bodied adults encourage people to live off government handouts instead of seeking work."

A piece over at The Wall Street Journal reads...

"Since the states with the highest unemployment were targeted with the most federal benefits, the extra benefits harmed the people and regions that suffered the worst of the recession and weak recovery. Had Mr. Obama done the opposite, the stimulus might have recognized that people prefer the dignity of a job to claiming a government stipend for not having one. Both individuals and the larger economy would have been healthier."

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This ridiculous meme that cutting unemployment insurance helps create job growth has been repeated over and over again on right-wing talk radio, in right-wing papers, on Fox So-Called News, and even on The Big Picture.

But here's the thing.

It's completely bogus.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)
 
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