A couple of days ago, I was listening to NPR's Morning Edition and one of the hosts was interviewing a Republican congressman. I don't even know which one it was, but it really doesn't make any difference. They all speak from the same script and say exactly the same thing. Exactly! If the word of the day is "uncertainity", you can count on every Republican to use it at least fifteen times in any conversation or interview with the press throughout the day.
Anyway, the interviewer was asking the man about his vote against the extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. He mentioned that virtually every economist - except possibly ones employed by the Republican Party or Fox News - states unequivocally that one of the most stimulative things that you can do for the economy is to provide unemployment benefits, because the recipients of those benefits are certain to spend them almost as soon as they receive them. They have to in order to pay their bills, put food on the table, and keep the wolf from the door. The congressman, sounding quite exasperated, said that he would like to provide an extension of long-term benefits, but since he is a fiscal conservative, he wouldn't do so unless those benefits were paid for.
The interviewer did not challenge his reasoning or follow up in any way on that issue, but his next question to the congressman was about the so-called "Bush tax cuts". The congressman, of course, read from the Republican script and demanded that all of the tax cuts be extended and made permanent, including the extra bonus tax cut that taxpayers making over a quarter of a million dollars a year now get. He was appalled at the prospect of voting to extend the tax cuts only for those people who earn less than $250,000 a year.
I remarked to my husband, "Do you think he'll ask him why those tax cuts don't have to be paid for when benefits to the unemployed do?" All I got from him was a disgusted look, but we both knew the answer to my question. The interviewer did not comment on the gross contradiction and hypocrisy of the man and his party on these issues. He simply closed the interview and thanked the man for appearing.
Republicans constantly remind us of what budgetary conservatives they are and yet they are perfectly willing to bust the budget wide open and beggar the country for years to come in order that their friends, the $250,000+ earners, get their bonus tax break which, incidentally, they will not spend - they will hoard. They're just not willing to give assistance to an unemployed person who cannot find a job because of the poor economy, assistance that he would spend, thereby stimulating the economy.
Yes, the unemployed be damned! The rich must not "suffer"! Thus saith the Republicans, those financial conservatives. Those hypocrites!