In these horrible economic times and with a barren employment landscape the Republicans are offering a proposal that is "expected to reduce the total number of weeks unemployed workers are eligible for aid by as much as 40 weeks and tighten rules for eligibility."
How nice. How absolutely lovely!
Do these elected representatives and their supporters ever stop to think about where unemployment benefits go? Are we to suppose these folks who have lost their jobs and with them the ability to provide for themselves and their families take these government "entitlements" and put them in Swiss bank accounts?
Now my thinking is along this line. These government "handouts" are actually good investments as well as a moral imperative. Unemployed people take their unemployment checks and do such things as pay bills and buy food - things that do their part, however humble, to keep our economy going.
To those are bent on cutting benefits and elements of our national safety net, we must ask them: What are the alternatives for those affected?
I don't see many legitimate alternatives.
Perhaps we should advise those whose benefits are about to run out to do the following: take those last checks and stock up on Ramen noodles and potted meat; find a close friend or relative to move in with; join a church or religious institute in hopes of receiving charity. If all that fails, move yourself and family into your car (if you still have one) and resort to begging for food and change.
Starting a new career might be an alternative. Perhaps desperate fathers could encourage their wives and daughters to stand on the street corner and offer their bodies for sale. These fathers could also establish themselves in the business of manufacturing Methamphetamine, for which their seems to be a flourishing demand.
Granted these are options which lie outside the law and could result in imprisonment. But, after all, even then one would have food, clothes, and a roof over his head.
It is a very simple question: Is it acceptable in this self-touted "greatest nation on earth" to have widespread hunger, homelessness, and hopelessness?
Are our citizens eager to vote for politicians who believe the answer is "yes"?
They should be looking at extending rather than cutting these benefits. It's the only right thing to do.