I’d been meaning to ask my millionaire friends if they put as high a priority on keeping their Bush-era tax cuts as the Republicans in Congress seem to think they do.
Then I remembered that I don’t have millionaire friends. Maybe one. But why bring up politics and wreck my chances of getting a holiday gift basket?
Mostly, I hang out with what the media call “average Americans.”
You know, regular folks who are happy they’ve been able to hang on to their jobs, even if it means working for less. Or people who have been out of work for a while and need the extended jobless benefits that Republicans are holding hostage until the rich get their tax cut.
Layabouts, as the jobless are commonly known in some political circles.
Yes, if there was ever a moment in this recession that underscored the growing “let them eat cake” attitude of some, it came during a radio interview Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina gave the other day.
Vowing to fight any attempt to deny the rich anything less than a permanent income tax cut, DeMint said he opposed extending jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, especially if it added to the debt.
Even then, unemployment compensation ought to be turned into a loan program, he said.
“It then encourages people to go back to work,” DeMint said.
Yes, sir. If only those lazy bums collecting jobless benefits had to repay the government aid they’re squandering on food, gas and lodging, then maybe they’d get off their fat butts and find work.
Don’t guys like DeMint know anyone who has been out of work through no fault of his own for a very long time?
The rest of us sure do. Fact is, it’s tough to find any kind of job in this recovery, let alone one you can feed a family on.
Recently, my little circle of friends cheered when a former co-worker found a job that matched his qualifications.
It took him two years and hundreds of applications, which is not unusual.
You don’t hear many of your jobless friends extolling the virtues of living on the dole, do you?
They want their working lives back. They’re frustrated by both the slow recovery and idiot hiring managers who consider anyone not currently employed as deadwood.
Those on the right are always whining about “class warfare.” It’s the buzzword now being used to decry Democratic efforts to block the extension of tax cuts for the richest 1 percent of Americans.
Well, it also works in reverse. Anyone who looks upon those collecting long-term unemployment as shiftless loafers lacking in ambition is engaging in a form of class warfare, or is simply a fool.
With guys like DeMint, it’s both.