American Workers Should Not Get The Shaft
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- The Springboard: WHO'S GOT THE AMERICAN WORKER'S BACK?
Partisanship is something that really gets under my skin. To me, you can be a republican and agree with a democrat and vice versa. You can be against 99 out of 100 policies that Barack Obama supports, but still support one.
It happens now and again that I find myself on the opposite side of the fence of fellow republicans. In the case of the question of whether or not we should be extending unemployment benefits, I'm on the side of the fence that says we most certainly should. With unemployment numbers still around 9.5%, there are a lot of people who are looking for work. In the meantime, getting a small pittance, which is essentially what unemployment benefits are, is helpful to simply stay above water as much as possible.
Sure, I've heard the argument made several times that extending the benefits up to 2 years is ridiculous. I've heard the argument made that people who are receiving benefits are less likely to actually seek work, opting to take the benefits and "a little time off" in lieu of actual job seeking. I'm also certain that for a certain number of people who are unemployed and receiving benefits, that may well be true.
All that aside, the thing we have to keep in mind is that the people who are right now collecting unemployment benefits are workers. True, they are not working now. But these are hard-working Americans who paid taxes and who paid into the very system they are now needing to benefit from. If anyone should get any kind of help at all, shouldn't it be the hard-working, American taxpayers such as these people are? After all, it's their taxes which are paying for the bank bailouts. When they get back to work they'll stil be paying taxes, and will likely have to pay more taxes to cover the monies paid out in the bank bailouts. So if the American worker is expected to look out for the welfare of the American economy, someone ought to recognize his importance in the economy and look out for him.
I've heard some people refer to the unemployment benefits as a sort of welfare. I've heard some people refer to unemployment benefits as a social entitlement. I take issue with that. Unlike welfare recipients, the people, again, who are collecting unemployment are the ones who paid for the program in the first place. Welfare recipients do not pay taxes. Many of them don't even hold jobs. So frankly there is no comparison.
Saying no to the American worker when it comes to benefits, in a time when companies are still not hiring at the levels they were previous to the recession, and in an era where workers are having to accept jobs which pay far lower wages than they are accustomed to, is a slap in the face to anyone who believes hard work pays off in the end. Workers went to work every day and put in their 40 and 50 hour workweeks and didn't ask for the economy to tank. They didn't ask for their lives to be turned upside down. They didn't ask to be laid off.
What I want to hear said from fellow republicans to the American worker is, "We're on your side. We'll get you covered while we go to work to establish policies that will grow the economy and get you back to work."
I thought that was exactly what we republicans are all about. Hard work. Job creation. And taking care of the worker. Unlike the democrats who only say that. Through our policies the American worker will get back to work. While we're getting that done, he does not deserve to get the shaft.
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