On Monday July 19 President Obama took to his "bully pulpit" to finally take the Republicans on for their unemployment obstruction. As a result of the "deficit hawks" in the Republican Party nearly 2.5 million long-term jobless Americans have missed unemployment checks in May, June, and July. Republican leadership claims that its true worry is about adding to America's bloated budget deficit; their actions prove that this is not the case.
When Republicans are taken to task regarding what they would actually cut in order to solve the deficit, as happened last weekend on <em>Meet The Press</em>, they have no answers. This is because they have no intention of reining in deficit spending. The only thing they care about is making the Obama administration look bad, and making the Democrats in Congress look ineffective.
According to <em>The Huffington Post</em>, Senate Republicans, joined by Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, are blocking an unemployment extension that will cost the United States government $33 billion.
To most Americans $33 billion is a lot of money. In fact, $33 billion is a lot of money to anyone, even the wealthiest man or woman in the world. However, to the United States government $33 billion is pocket change. We spend that much money in Iraq and Afghanistan every two and a half months, fighting unwinnable wars against unknowable enemies.
Furthermore, cutting unemployment extensions for jobless Americans who are actively looking for work will not make a dent in our national debt or our annual deficit. According to an article written in January by <em>Agence France-Presse</em>, the projected budget deficit for 2010 was $1.349 trillion. By cutting unemployment we could shave that down to $1.316 trillion.
Is such paltry saving truly worth sacrificing millions of Americans to a life with zero income?