Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jim DeMint: Suck it, jobless bums

Posted By on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Two bits of big news about Sen. Jim DeMint (R-Dark Ages). First, the South Carolina uber-conservative seems to have changed his hair color again, switching from black, back to brown, although it's a darker shade of brown than he sported earlier in the year. More importantly, DeMint has come out strongly against the deal worked out by Pres. Obama and GOP Senate leaders. His reason? Those damn, pesky unemployed people.

Part of the White House deal is that, in exchange for extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the GOP would support extending unemployment benefits for 13 months. DeMint, who is becoming as big a media-attention hound as Michele Bachman or Caribou Barbie, declared that he’s opposed to extending unemployment benefits for two reasons. First, “We can’t just keep paying people to stay at home.” Many conservatives, you see, share the myth that unemployment benefits discourage the jobless from looking for jobs. As ThinkProgress points out, however, research shows that workers who get unemployment benefits stay unemployed about 10 days longer than those who don’t qualify for benefits.

DeMint’s second reason? He doesn’t think we should keep extending unemployment benefits because the extension is unpaid for. That’s a very odd reason for DeMint, or other conservatives, to cite as a justification for throwing the jobless to the wolves, especially in light of the fact that he fully supports extending the Bush tax cuts without paying for them (which will, by the way, add around $4 trillion to the national debt during the next 10 years).

Oh, and DeMint says it’s more important to “create economic activity to allow businesses to grow so they can hire people.” Umm, you know, Jim, unemployed people generally spend those checks on things like food and shelter, which, by the way, benefits the economy. That’s opposed to the wealthy who, rather than growing their businesses and hiring people, take their extra money from D.C. and either save or invest it.

So, to sum up DeMint’s positions: Throw a lifeline to millions of unemployed Americans during a bad economy? No way; they’re just bums, anyhow. Dole out tax breaks to the wealthy, who don’t need them? Absolutely; that’s good for ’Mer’ca. Enjoy the news video below of DeMint’s anti-unemployed statement. (And, of course, note the exciting new dye job.)

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