Do some Republicans consider the unemployed to be lazy, drug addicted hobos? You bet

By Balzafire · Jul 14, 2010 · ·
  1. Balzafire
    Somewhat of a shock headline, but I think it deserves that treatment because the facts don’t lie and those facts point to Republicans of one stripe or another saying that the unemployed are lazy, drug addicted hobos. Let’s take a look at some of those Republican views of the unemployed:
    Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett on Friday accused some jobless Pennsylvanians of choosing to collect unemployment checks rather than going back to work, prompting swift criticism from his Democratic opponent and one of the state's top labor leaders.
    "The jobs are there. But if we keep extending unemployment, people are just going to sit there," Corbett told Harrisburg radio station WITF at a campaign stop in Elizabethtown. "I've literally had construction companies tell me, 'I can't get people to come back to work until . . . they say, "I'll come back to work when unemployment runs out." ' "

    Disgraced dancer and former Speaker of the House Tom Delay
    Yesterday, for example, disgraced former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) argued that unemployment benefits are a bad idea, because, as he sees it, they discourage people from entering the work force.

    "You know," DeLay said, "there is an argument to be made that these extensions of these unemployment benefits keeps people from going and finding jobs." When CNN's Candy Crowley described his argument as "a hard sell" to the public, DeLay replied, "It's the truth."

    Tea Party (Republican Right) darling Sharon Angle:
    During a speech, Angle was recorded saying, "We did those things growing up that Americans don't do. We cleaned bathrooms and made beds. Swept floors. Did laundry." But now, according to Angle, Americans won't do those jobs, and unemployment benefits, specifically Harry Reid's vote to extend them, are to blame.

    You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job, but it doesn't pay as much. And so that's what's happened to us is that we have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry and said you don't want the jobs that are available.

    Senator McConnell believes deficit control trumps the needs of the unemployed. You can just feel the compassion coming from this Senate leader (the compassion isn’t for the unemployed).
    The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has insisted that the bill not add to the deficit. Democrats argued that they had found ways to cover the entire cost of the $112 billion measure, with the exception of the $35.5 billion extension of unemployment benefits, which some Republicans said they could accept...

    "The only thing Republicans have opposed in this debate are job-killing taxes and adding to the national debt," Mr. McConnell said. Anticipating that Democrats would reject his proposal, he added, "Their commitment to deficit spending trumps their desire to help the unemployed."

    Nevada Republican Congressman Dean Heller has an interesting take on the unemployed.
    Heller said the current economic downturn and policies may bring back the hobos of the Great Depression, people who wandered the country taking odd jobs. He said a study found that people who are out of work longer than two years have only a 50 percent chance of getting back into the workforce.

    “I believe there should be a federal safety net,” Heller said, but he questioned the wisdom of extending unemployment benefits yet again to a total of 24 months, which Congress is doing. “Is the government now creating hobos?” he asked.

    The unemployed in GA are more likely to use drugs than other groups? That must be the case, at least according to a few GA state Republican representatives.

    The unemployed in GA are more likely to use drugs than other groups? That must be the case, at least according to a few GA state Republican representatives.
    ATLANTA — Georgians getting unemployment checks or other state benefits would be subject to random drug tests under bi-partisan legislation Rep. Ben Harbin introduced Thursday.

    Senator Orin Hatch gets on the test the unemployed for drugs train.
    Utah voters have reacted enthusiastically to Sen. Orrin Hatch's legislation to drug test the unemployed and those receiving other forms of government cash assistance, the Utah Republican told the Huffington Post after introducing his measure last week.

    "A lot of people are saying, 'Hey, it's about time. Why do we keep giving money to people who are going to go use it on drugs instead of their families?'" Hatch said.

    Senator Judd Gregg believes that unemployment benefits encourage the unemployed not to work. That’s easy for him to say from his taxpayer salary funded seat:
    Senator Gregg on CNBC (Senate salary $174,000, see benefits below**), saying that unemployment checks mean people are "encouraged not to go look for work" and "don't want to go look for work":

    And let’s not forget Senator Jim Bunning’s sensitive behavior and colorful language when asked to stop his objection to unemployment legislation in March of this year:
    In a colloquy with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeff Merkley, a freshman Democrat from Oregon, was pleading for Bunning to drop his objection (to passing unemployment legislation), when the Kentucky Republican got fed up.

    “Tough s—t,” Bunning said as he was seated in the back row, overheard by the floor staff and others in attendance.

    Arthur Delaney of HuffPost has an article about Senator Bunning that highlights his bizarre behavior. Why many Republicans believe that unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy are OK, but unfunded unemployment insurance benefits for the most vulnerable is startling: Jim Bunning, Once A Pariah, Now A GOP Standard Bearer

    "By not extending the tax cuts, you put the economy in jeopardy of a double dip," Bunning said. "The worst thing you can do when you're in a recession is add taxes to it. And when you take away tax cuts, it's like adding tax to the economy."

    Senator Jon Kyl sees no reason to fund expiring tax cuts for the wealthy, but don’t bring up unfunded unemployment benefits.
    Senator Jon Kyl thinks that unemployment benefits should be funded by huge tax cuts for the wealthy do not need funding:

    Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl has raised eyebrows by insisting that emergency aid to unemployed people -- what he called a "necessary evil" -- be paid for through either tax hikes or spending cuts, while the tax cuts (which mostly benefit wealthy people) not be offset in any way.

    Yesterday claimed that this view is shared by "most of the people in my party."

    And Senator Cornyn was not going to be speechless on the unemployment issue:

    "I think the urgency of deficit neutral extension of unemployment insurance has increased because of the size of the deficit and the size of the debt," Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), another member of the GOP leadership team, told TPMDC yesterday. "I'm aware in the past some extensions have not been paid for, but if there's one thing that I'm hearing from my constituents it's that deficit spending has to stop, and I think this is a good place to do it."

    It's true that many Republicans have some compassion for the unemployed, and some Democrats such as Sen. Ben Nelson don't, but it's also true that the Republican mindset revolves around passing $trillions for unfunded programs such as the Medicare prescription drug plan and bank bailouts, another $trillion in unfunded war spending and another $trillion in unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy. Yet when it comes to the unemployed, well they can take a hike, down a hobo trail…………..

    July 14, 7:56 AMRochester Unemployment Examiner Michael Thornton

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  1. Master_Khan
    Re: Do some Republicans consider the unemployed to be lazy, drug addicted hobos? You

    Great..........a bunch of people who suck the public teat dry every day complaining about people without jobs, priceless!
  2. missparkles
    Re: Do some Republicans consider the unemployed to be lazy, drug addicted hobos? You

    Why this has come as a surprise is more shocking. Sparkles knows lots of people that are fit to work, but cos they can claim unemployment benefit they see returning to work for maybe just a little more money, as just not worth it. I suppose, if you can get almost as much money for doing nothing, as you can for working, you'd begin to believe that you're worth more than you actually are in the job market?

    I think quite a few people voice this opinion, but cos it's not fashionable to do so, it's whispered in bus queues, doctors surgeries, or anywhere that people congregate. I've heard lots of people say it's disgusting that healthy people should have an incentive to not go to work. I suppose if working 40 odd hours a day get's you just slightly more than doing nothing, people are gonna prefer doing nothing.

    But this is no secret, it's been the opinion of lots of people for years.

  3. Coconut
    Re: Do some Republicans consider the unemployed to be lazy, drug addicted hobos? You

    I think you're right. 40 hours of work is quite a lot (the majority of your waking hours, if you include commuting) and is not justified by the very slight increase in pay you'd receive over social welfare. The notion of working not for money but for the good of society is nonsense; the majority of work done is to benefit someone other than the workers (i.e. employers and shareholder), and it is certainly not to improve humanity as a whole. Thus, there is no reason for many people to bother leaving the dole and finding difficult, low-paying jobs.

    On a side-note, I know a few people going on the dole here after graduating from university because they can't find work. At least they'll be able to enjoy themselves by pursuing creativity after their time in the gruelling education system.
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