Bryan Fischer
Republicans: don't increase the deficit to pay people not to work
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By Bryan Fischer
December 7, 2010

Senate Republican leaders and other misguided souls are crowing over their so-called victory over President Obama yesterday, in which he agreed to a temporary extension of current tax rates in exchange for subsidizing joblessness for another year.

This cannot be called a victory for fiscal conservatism, since part of the deal includes increasing the deficit to pay people not to work for the next twelve months.

Conceding on this point is a sign that the GOP senatorial leadership still doesn't get it. There is no offset for this extension of unemployment benefits, meaning that the GOP did not insist that some way be found to cover the cost of this program without borrowing money from their own grandchildren. They're just going to willy-nilly add to the deficit cavalierly and casually, as if the Tea Party movement and November 2 never happened, and as if we're not already staring down the barrel of a $14 trillion national debt. They are going to make that worse, and pat themselves on the back?

Unbelievably, Sen. Orrin Hatch said, "Let's take care of the unemployment compensation even if it isn't ... backed up by real finances." Wow. He's admitting it's a total sham, that there's no money to pay for it, and saying we ought to do it anyway. There's leadership for you!

No, no, a thousand times no. Borrowing money we do not have to pay people not to work is economic lunacy of the highest order. That GOP leaders think this represents some kind of public policy advance shows an absymal failure of leadership on the part of every Republican senator who supports this misbegotten plan.

Republicans should insist on a permanent, not temporary, extension of current tax rates, and refuse to agree to add to the deficit to subsidize unemployment. You get more of what you subsidize, and so this will only make our unemployment problem worse. Even Paul Krugman, in one of his rare moments of lucidity and sanity, admitted this. It's nuts to suck money out of the pockets of productive Americans, the ones who could use that money to create, you know, actual jobs, in order to pay other Americans not to work for another full year. That's just nuts.

If the Democrats insist on adding to the deficit to further slow economic recovery and increase unemployment, and won't budge, then they will be the obstructionists, they will be the ones standing in the way of a grown-up solution to this problem, they will be the ones shutting down government, they will be the ones holding "middle class tax cuts" hostage (there are no tax cuts on the table, just the extending of current tax rates). What about this is so hard for weak-willed Republicans to understand?

Here's hoping some mature Republicans in the House of Representatives act like adults and tell these childish Republican senators to grow up, stiffen their spines, and do what's right for the economy and for America.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

© Bryan Fischer

 

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