Mario Piperni: Cutting Off The Unemployed Takes A Special Kind of Evil

Mario Piperni

It takes a special kind of evil to deny the unemployed extended benefits while at the same time calling for permanent tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires – a move which will increase the deficit by $700 billion over the next decade.

Washington is poised to stop providing extended unemployment benefits despite the huge number of laid-off workers, the paucity of job openings, the high rate of underemployment in every sector of the economy and stubbornly slow economic growth. That’s because Republicans in the Senate insist that, unlike the hefty tax cuts they covet for the wealthy, the comparatively slender subsidies for the unemployed must not be financed with borrowed money. This penuriousness is not just hypocritical, it’s bad economics.

The current federal program, which offers up to 73 extra weeks of unemployment benefits to idled workers, is due to expire Nov. 30. If it does, about 2 million unemployed people will have their benefits cut off in December.

…and it takes a special and pathetic kind of stupid to buy into so blatant an example of Republican hypocrisy.