In the "so what else is new?" department…

Jim DeMint is a fucking idiot:

Although President Barack Obama is taking heat from his own party for the extent of his compromise on the tax cuts, DeMint told [radio show host Hugh] Hewitt that Republicans gave up too much in the deal.

“Most of us who ran this election said we were not going to vote for anything that increased the deficit,” he said. “This does. It raises taxes, it raises the death tax. I don’t think we needed to negotiate that aspect of this thing away. I don’t think we need to extend unemployment any further without paying for it, and without making some modifications such as turning it into a loan at some point. It then encourages people to go back to work. So there’s a lot of problems with it.” (emphasis mine)

The way DeMint talks about unemployment it sounds like he thinks of it as welfare, which to the right-wing mind (in complete ignorance of the fact that most redistribution goes UPward) conjures up images of Undeserving Darky only leaving the house to check the mail for a generous check from Uncle Sam, destined to fund T-bone steaks and Anaconda malt liquor.

Problem: unemployment benefits as currently structured are a form of INSURANCE.  People qualify to receive them on the basis of having previously been employed full time for an extended period, losing the job through no fault of their own.  The payments are based on previous employment income.  People who get it even have to provide their local gov’t office with proof that they’re still looking for work.  Meanwhile, the ratio of applicants to job openings is hovering around five-to-one (PDF, 2nd page).

Coming to anti-statism from the Left, I don’t have a problem with social insurance as a concept.  Mutual aid in various forms would be highly desirable, and even inevitable, in a post-state society.  So the rub from my perspective is the government administration of it, and nothing further.  DeMint, in contrast, looks at this program of insurance and says that its recipients, to get money that they’ve been contributing to already, should be charged interest.

Hence, like our bodies need oxygen, and the earth revolves around the sun, Jim DeMint is a fucking idiot.


About b-psycho

Left-libertarian blogger & occasional musician.
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