Pardon the headlines. Its the moderate to liberal version of Drudge and Andrew Breitbart – both of whom have an addiction to CAPS and tabloid style headlines. Sen. Jon Kyl(R-AZ) and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) statements and obstructionism are not shocking to me. In a way their public confessions of contempt for American workers and their Stroogeish attitude toward the unemployed are a refreshing bit of public confession. Unhinged and out of touch with working class America, Republican have a freakish break down and  public confession of alliance to let the peasants eat cake social policy. Rarely have conservative politicians ( conservative pundits such as Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck etc regularly accuse average Americans of being lazy thieves) expressed such blunt honesty in their assessment of working Americans doing their best to deal with consequences of economic policies largely based on literally bankrupt Conservative ideology.   This Is Getting Good

Jim Bunning is doing all of us a favor. As this comment from the Number 2 Senate Republican, Jon Kyl of Arizona, makes clear, the Republicans are turning toward a form of reactionary radicalism that is well to the right not only of traditional conservatism, but also of post-Victorian concepts of government and–not to put too fine a point on it–of common decency as well:

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican whip, argued that unemployment benefits dissuade people from job-hunting “because people are being paid even though they’re not working.” Unemployment insurance “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work,”

The idea that those who have lost their jobs in this Wall Street/mortgage-scam recession are simply deadbeats, choosing to stay on unemployment rather than look for work, seems more appropriate to Scrooge’s London than the 21st century.

To say that Kyl and Bunning are out of touch with the average America is an under statement. They seem to be calling it in from another planet. This is generally the way unemployment benefits go though there are slight variations in formula from state to state,

Determine the maximum amount of weekly compensation provided by your state. This amount varies significantly depending upon which state you live in, and can be as low as $200 or as high as $600. This is one of the most important figures that you need, and it can be obtained by contacting the department of labor in your state or looking up the information on their official government website.

Listen carefully to that echo from sea to shining sea and you’ll hear what Republican hear – Yea boy let’s get that $200 to $600 dollars and we’ll be living high on the hog. Colorado’s formula is typical of what to expect regardless if you were roofing houses, teaching or a mechanical engineer,

1. The first formula begins with the total wages paid for the highest two consecutive quarters in the base period. The total earnings for this six-month period is divided by 26 (the number of weeks in the six-month period). That number is then multiplied by 0.6 to determine your weekly benefit amount. According to Colorado law, this weekly benefit amount currently cannot exceed $443 per week, or be less than $25.

2. The second formula begins with the total wages paid in the 12-month base period and divides that total by 52 (the number of weeks in a year). That number is then divided by 2 to determine your weekly benefit amount. According to Colorado law, this weekly benefit amount currently cannot exceed $487 per week or be less than $25.

In other words if you were making $8 an hour and based your monthly budget on the standard formula 25-30% for rent, then an average utility bill, plus groceries and gas – at the end of the month it’s a matter of deciding to sit in the dark or eat baloney sandwiches everyday. From Economist View, The “Threat of an Arrogant Laboring Class, …a Threat to the Foundation not Merely of Wealth but of Existence Itself”

The quote from Kyl reminds me of a quote from Nassau William Senior (1790-1864). Senior was head of the Poor Law Commission that rewrote the existing laws dictating when relief to the poor would be paid. To give you some idea of what this was all about, note that “Oliver Twist was written in retaliation against the Poor Law.”

In his book Three Lectures on the Rate of Wages, Senior explains why he believes that relief for the poor will lead them to acquire the attitude that they have the right to exist without having to do any work:

greater exertion and severer economy are … [the laborer’s] resources in distress; and what they cannot supply, he receives with gratitude from the benevolent. The connexion between him and his master has the kindliness of a voluntary association, in which each party is conscious of benefit, and each feels that his own welfare depends … on the welfare of the other. But the instant wages cease to be a bargain-the instant the labourer is paid, not according to his value, but his wants, he ceases to be a free man. He acquires the indolence, the improvidence, the rapacity, and the malignity, but not the subordination of a slave. He is told that he has a right to wages …. But who can doubt that he will measure his rights by his wishes, or that his wishes will extend with the prospect of gratification?

It is not – as the Media Matters links to conservative pundits shows – simply two Republican senators, but the vast majority of the conservative movement that commonly holds forth the attitudes of Nassau William Senior and does their best to implement that philosophy as legislated social policy. No doubt there are a few lazy poor working class Americans, maybe even as many as there are lazy 3rd and 4th generation brats of millionaire family wealth. Republicans have no problem with unearned wealth at the top 25% of wage earners, they just have a problem with subsistence amounts of public aid when it goes to a couple percent of working class Americans. Who really gets hurt when GOP’s Bunning blocks this bill?

The Department of Transportation furloughed nearly 2,000 employees without pay Monday as the government began to feel the impact of Republican Sen. Jim Bunning’s one-man blockage of legislation that would keep a host of federal programs operating.

Bunning’s “hold” also affects jobless benefits for thousands of unemployed workers, rural television customers, doctors receiving Medicare payments and others.

[  ]…Federal projects shut down include more than $38 million in project funding for Idaho’s Nez Perce National Forest and Fernan Lakes Idaho Panhandle National Forest and $86 million for bridge replacements in the Washington, D.C., area. Bunning’s home state of Kentucky has no projects affected by his action.

However, nearly 1.2 million unemployed workers, including 14,000 in Kentucky, would lose federal jobless benefits this month if Congress doesn’t extend them


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