In their recent “pledge” to drive up the national debt and return to the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration, Republicans pretended to be outraged by the continued high level of unemployment in the U.S. Of course, such claims of “outrage” are rich with irony given that the high unemployment resulted from the Bush Recession and that Republicans have engaged in nearly lockstep opposition to stimulus legislation, small business aid, and other Obama Administration efforts that have helped the economy recover. In fact job growth has begun to occur under President Obama’s leadership despite this lockstep Republican opposition.
A perfect example of the Republicans’ hypocrisy on the jobs issue is their refusal to extend the TANF Emergency Fund, which has provided employment to 130,000 adults for the past year and an additional 120,000 youths last summer. As part of the 2009 stimulus act, President Obama and Democrats in Congress included $1 billion that states could spend subsidizing salaries for unemployed people hired by small businesses, non-profits, and local governments. Republicans have filibustered every effort to extend that program for another year.
The TANF Emergency Fund was designed to not only increase employment, but also to ensure that people hit hard by the Bush Recession were able to continue to increase their job skills rather than going on public assistance. The program is widely viewed as the most effective stimulus spending possible, has helped small businesses maintain or expend in tough economic times, and has even received praise from a few Republican governors. While extension of the program for an additional year has passed the House, the Republicans in the Senate have filibustered every effort to extend it. Barring a sudden change over the next few days, on September 30, almost all of the 130,000 people currently employed through the TANF Emergency Funds will be unemployed, which shows you just how serious the Republican party is about helping the unemployed in America.
Are you outraged that Republicans would cause 130,000 Americans to lose their jobs at the same time that they are fighting to add $700 billion to the national debt in order to provide tax cuts to the wealthy elite? If so, volunteer for a local Democratic candidate and write a letter to your local newspaper editor to let folks know the truth about the Republicans’ dismal record on the economy.