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Conservatives Just Killed 240,000 Jobs

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They would rather kill a program that even some conservatives have praised as a one that could continue to be an effective and efficient job creator, eventually even creating most of those jobs in the private sector. Not only have they killed the program, they're killing the jobs it would have created. — perhaps most of them in the private sector, which is the kind of market-led job creation that conservatives say they want. Now, instead, demand for what the private sector offers will drop by at least 240,000.

Given the state of the labor market, it is hard to imagine how any sensible person could oppose such a move. It is a shame that such common sense was absent last year. If they are to be more than the party of no, Republicans need to rally around the Democrats who have shown such reserved pragmatism.

No sensible person would do this given the state of the economy, if they had the state of the economy in mind. Every effort to spur job creation and relieve the suffering of the unemployed has been blocked by the same conservatives who shed crocodile tears over the likelihood that people like Ben Stein, and wealthy whiners like him, will have their taxes raised about as much as the cost of a bag of groceries, without so much as a thought for the working Americans who will be devastated by this callous obstruction.

Maybe conservatives in Congress believe that TANF was helping the "wrong people". Maybe conservatives believe the work those helped by TANF were doing — helping low-income parents pursuing post-secondary education, educating people about their rights under wage and benefit laws helping economically challenged communities organize and advocate for themselves — doesn't need doing and mustn't be done because it helps the "wrong people."

What's clear is what conservatives think should be done to help thousands of Americans like Charles Jenkins, Brian Davis, Jaquayla Burton, Debbie Verdale

Nothing.

In an interview today with "Fox News Sunday," Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller had trouble explaining how he would help the 43.6 million Americans in poverty, even as host Chris Wallace repeatedly pressed him for more than conservative talking points.

Wallace asked Miller about his assertion in August on CBS's "Face the Nation" that unemployment benefits are unconstitutional, noting that without them, many more Americans would be in poverty. "What would you do for them?" asked Wallace.

Miller, however, struggled to come up with an answer, and instead shifted to talking points about reducing the size of the federal government. Wallace repeatedly pressed him on the issue, without ever receiving an actual response.

Because the unspeakable answer is "nothing." That's what they've offered as an alternative to a successful program like TANF. Nothing. That is, except the same disastrous policies that got us here because didn't work before or worked too well.

TANF wasn't enough in terms of what could have been done to address the jobs crisis, but its success showed what was possible. Short-lived as it was, and small as it was, it put more people to work that conservatives did when they had a virtual lock on government. (Which, by the way, they spent not only not-creating jobs, but not reforming health care, and not even talking about financial reform.)

TANF may rise again, depending on the outcome in November, but the damage will have already been done to 240,000 Americans and their families, whom conservatives in Congress kicked back on to the unemployment rolls.