The GOP has been trying to push legislation like crazy over the last few weeks. Most of it has been under the guise of trimming the deficit and getting us out of economic instability. But the ulterior motive of this legislation has been lost on no one, and is clear in the bills being presented.
One bill by the GOP would extend unemployment benefits, but slash the amount that the unemployed receive, making for a net reduction in the cost of supporting the unemployed. Not only that, but the bill would authorize all of the unemployed to be drug tested. It's one last little "fuck you" from the government: We're going to give you benefits for a longer period of time, but they're going to be much less, and now you have to be screened for drugs on a regular basis. Welcome to the United States.
The tragedy of this is that the demonizing of the unemployed is coming at a time when we have more of them in our country than we have in a long time. We are still hovering around 8.6% unemployment, and that doesn't count those who've stopped looking. How can you tell those people that you are not only going to cut their support, but also force them to be screened for drugs? And what is that supposed to accomplish anyway. There's no statistic that says the unemployed are more prevalent drug-users.
The problem with these bills is that they accomplish nothing, and wouldn't even if they passed Congress. Cutting unemployment benefits doesn't entice people to find a job, and won't spark any hiring. When you have GOPers saying that hard workers don't stay at minimum wage for long, and a group saying that the unemployed are parasites that don't want to work, it's clear that there is a serious disconnect between reality and Republican leaders.
The double standard here is that, when Republicans running for office get up in front of hundreds of supporters, many of whom are unemployed, they change their tune. They become defenders of the unemployed, champions of the working class, protectors of the American worker. It's hilarious that they can say that they feel the pain of the unemployed. How do they do this? They say that it's the "other unemployed", the ones not in the room, that are the problem. It's the "other unemployed" that don't want a job that are setting a bad example, and it's those guys they are targeting. But if that's the case, why not change the lettering of the law? Why not state that a recipient of unemployment benefits must show they are seeking a job in order to receive all their money. If they can't prove that they're looking, they only receive a portion? Wouldn't that get rid of the "parasites" that don't want to work? But then, you have to contend with the sick, the disabled, the elderly, and those who can't work. How do you help them?