Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Le Fabuleux Gouverneur-Morons!

Fuck Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and fuck Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and fuck Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi. How's that for a cerebral, eloquent opening line to a column? Fortunately, top brass at S.E.I. is keeping me on a fairly long leash; in fact even encouraging profanity when profanity is warranted.

And profanity is warranted in this mind-boggling case of idiocy. For those still hanging in with us and following the circus that has again commenced in Washington, the aforementioned trio of bozos---all rising stars in the Republican Party---have sternly threatened to turn away federal (stimulus) aid rather than use the money to expand access to unemployment insurance programs in ways that many other states have already agreed upon.

These awful decisions are little more than political posturing reinforcing the terrifying conclusion that the Republican Party is more interested in ideological warfare than in working on policies that get the country back on track.

The GOP's attacks on the unemployment insurance portion of the stimulus package are disturbing. From The New York Times:

"States that accept the stimulus money aimed at the unemployed are required to abide by new federal rules that extend unemployment protections to low-income workers and others who were often shorted or shut out of compensation. This law did not just materialize out of nowhere. It codified positive changes that have already taken place in at least half the states.

To qualify for the first one-third of federal aid, the states need to fix arcane eligibility requirements that exclude far too many low-income workers. To qualify for the rest of the aid, states have to choose from a menu of options that include extending benefits to part-time workers or those who leave their jobs for urgent family reasons, like domestic violence or gravely ill children.

Data from the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit group, show that 19 states qualify for some of the federal financing and that a dozen others would become eligible by making one or two policy changes. Unemployed workers are worst off in the Deep South, where relatively few people are eligible to receive payments. Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas stand out."

The governors have complained that the federal unemployment aid would lead directly to new state taxes. This is not complete horseshit, but very close to it. Fact is no one really knows what the economic situation will be several years from now when the federal aid has been used up. But dumping billions of dollars into shrinking state unemployment funds puts money into the hands of people who will spend it quickly on food and shelter. The immediate injection of capital could help the states through the recession and into a time when unemployment trust funds can be replenished. In other words, the stimulus could make a tax increase less likely.

Governors like the young, ambitious, and up-and-coming Mr. Jindal should be worrying about how to end this recession while helping his constituents put food on the table and keep their houses, not about finding ways to resuscitate tired old election-year arguments about big spending versus small government.


sleepyjer said...

I'm shocked, shocked to find right-wing idealogues ignoring common sense!

Fuck them fuckin' fuckers (was that warrented?)!

Joe said...

Yes. Yes it was.

carlinman said...

To quote Casey Kasem, "Ponderous man...just fuckin' ponderous."