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Republicans Want as Many Unemployed People as Possible, Because They Think It Will Get Them Elected

From now until Nov. 2, the Republican Party will be the party of unemployment.

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The other argument the Republicans give is that these bills would add to the national debt. For example, the latest extension of unemployment benefits would have added $22 billion to the debt by the end of 2011. This means that the debt would be $9,807,000,000 instead of $9,785,000,000 at the end of fiscal 2011, an increase of the debt to GDP ratio from 65.3 percent to 65.4 percent.

It is possible that congressional Republicans, who were willing to vote for hundreds of billions of dollars of war expenditures without paying for them, or trillions of dollars of tax cuts without paying for them, are actually concerned about this sort of increase in the national debt. It is possible that this is true, but not very plausible.

The more likely explanation is that the Republicans want to block anything that can boost the economy and create jobs. Throwing people out of work may not be pretty, but politics was never pretty, and it is getting less so by the day.

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of the new book, False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy (PoliPointPress, 2010).

 
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