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CBS Reports Obama’s Unemployment Benefits Flip-Flop

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By Doug Powers  •  July 23, 2010 01:36 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

President Obama and the Democrats have been calling out Republicans who opposed extending unemployment benefits without a way to account for the expenditure and piling on more debt. “May God have mercy on your souls,” said resident lunatic Rep. Alan Grayson in a fit of non-secularism to Republicans opposing the unfunded extension.

But, in fact, Republicans are simply doing what Obama himself told everyone last year was “fiscally responsible.”

This fact didn’t escape CBS News’ Mark Knoller:

In signing the bill restoring unemployment benefits to 2 million Americans jobless for more than 26 weeks, President Obama is also adding $34 billion to the deficit and the National Debt.

That’s the reason nearly all Republicans voted against the measure. They wanted the cost of the benefits paid for with unspent government funds or by other budget cuts.

The White House dismissed GOP concerns as partisan game-playing.
[…]
But Republicans were quick to remind Mr. Obama what he said after signing a previous extension of unemployment benefits on November 6th of last year.

“Now, it’s important to note that the bill I signed will not add to our deficit. It is fully paid for, and so it is fiscally responsible,” he said.

So eight months ago, he said paying for the benefits was the right thing to do, but now he sees no need to do so.

Asked about the contradiction, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he needed to examine what Mr. Obama said last November and would get back to this reporter. He didn’t.

In November of 2009 when Obama signed that unemployment benefits extension, the Wall Street Journal quoted a couple of professors:

The probability that a laid-off worker will find a job grows smaller the longer people have been out of work, according to studies in the 1980s by economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard University and Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago.

The above is often used as justification for extending unemployment benefits, but conversely, I don’t think the probability that a laid-off worker will find a job increases if he or she is mailed a check for years on end, either. Intentionally turning 15-20% of the would-be working population into permanent welfare cases is neither prudent on a national level nor dignified on a personal level, and it certainly shouldn’t be something promoted by people who claim to want everybody to be proud, self-respecting human beings.

As Knoller reported, the latest benefits extension will need to be re-extended by around Thanksgiving. Rest assured Democrats are already preparing any number of “Grinch Who Stole Christmas” references for Republicans who oppose that new extension.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Media, Media Bias