By Bryan Fischer
Tea Partiers of the world unite. Republican senators are once again getting ready to prove they are utterly tone deaf and clueless about providing conservative fiscal leadership in our nation’s capitol.
Sen. Jon Kyl and Sen. Orrin Hatch are already running up the white flag of surrender on the extension of unemployment benefits, willing to sell their own grandchildren down the river to force them to pay for this economic boondoggle.
Extending unemployment benefits is a bad idea. It’s welfare on steroids. It subsidizes unemployment, and you always get more of what you subsidize. It dis-incentivizes work - even Paul Krugman understands that - and takes money out of the productive parts of the economy to pay people not to work.
If we truly care about the unemployed, then we want public policies that will get them back to work as rapidly as possible. Leaving as much money in the hands of the people who create jobs is the way you do that. Sucking that money out of the economy to subsidize joblessness is nuts.
Extending unemployment benefits is economically insane, particularly when you don’t have any way to pay for them. This misbegotten idea will only worsen the economy, elevate the unemployment rate, and prolong the recession. It’s horrible public policy on every level, and it’s a ghastly thing that the totally clueless leaders of Senate Republicans are behind this.
The guys out in front of this abject surrender are Sen. Jon Kyl and Sen. Orrin Hatch. Said Sen. Kyl, "I think most folks believe the recipe would include at least an extension of unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed and an extension of all of the tax rates for all Americans for some period of time.”
When it comes to forcing working people to pay other people not to work, count me and most Tea Party people as not a part of whatever Sen. Kyl thinks are “most folks.”
And if you listen to Sen. Hatch, your skin will crawl at his craven capitulation to economic imbecility. Here’s the illustrious senator from Utah: "Let's take care of the unemployment compensation even if it isn't ... backed up by real finances. We've got to do it. So let's do it. But that ought to be it."
“Even if it isn’t … backed by real finances?” What kind of lunacy is this? That means he wants to tack it on to the national debt and throw another brick in the backpack of our kids and grandkids.
“We’ve got to do it,” he contends. Says who? The Washington Post? MSNBC?
“But that ought to be it.” That’s no different than an alcoholic saying, “Okay, one more, but then that’s the last one for the rest of my life.” Nobody believes the drunk, and nobody believes Orrin Hatch.
At some point the adults have to take charge and just say “No.” What’s apparent is that senators Kyl and Hatch are not the adults we’re looking for. What part of Nov. 2 do these hapless lawmakers not understand?
Democrat senator Dick Durbin threw down the gauntlet, and the Republicans ran up the white flag without firing a shot. "Without unemployment benefits being extended, personally, this is a nonstarter," said Durbin.
Fine. The means that if nothing gets done, it’s Dick Durbin and the Democrats that are holding middle class tax rates hostage, not the Republicans. It is aggravating beyond words to see Republican leadership get wrapped around the axle like this by the guys whose policies are destroying our economy virtually by the hour, and whose policies were vehemently rejected at the polls last month.
This is the Republican idea of “compromise” - giving the Democrats whatever they want whether it’s good for the country or no. The spinelessness of these men never ceases to amaze. The lack of conviction, the lack of a guiding, fixed North Star in their political decision-making, means they wander aimlessly around the seas, waiting for some breeze from the masses to arise and push them in the right direction.
The path forward is simple: don’t raise taxes on anybody, and don’t pay people not to work. If Republicans will just hold firm on these two core principles of fiscal conservatism, and the Democrats won’t play ball, then they will be the ones who are holding the extension of tax rates hostage. This impending debacle is a sign that the GOP once again is losing the messaging battle through their own ineptitude and lack of moral conviction on fiscal issues.
It looks like the Tea Party still has plenty of work left to do, and the place to start is the United States Senate.
(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.)