The ‘Let Them Eat Want Ads’ Caucus

THE ‘LET THEM EAT WANT ADS’ CAUCUS…. Some GOP officials continue to push the line that both parties support expanded unemployment benefits; they just differ on how (and whether) to pay for them. As the argument goes, Dems see jobless aid as an emergency, while Republicans didn’t want the costs added to the deficit. But don’t worry — everyone just loves to look out for the unemployed.

This really is nonsense. Greg Sargent has labeled the conservative Republicans with ideological opposition to jobless aid as the “Let Them Eat Want Ads” Caucus, and it’s a contingent that keeps growing.

Here’s Oregon congressional candidate Scott Bruun (R), explaining why he would have voted against the extension:

“When we’re talking up over close to two years and longer with jobless benefits, I think we really start talking about a European style system and all the problems that that sort of system brings if you try to bring that sort of system to the United States.”

I don’t know what that means, exactly, but Brunn went on to say unemployment benefits may be “encouraging people to stay out of the workplace longer.”

This comes the same day as Delaware congressional candidate Michele Rollins (R) insisting that helping struggling families get by after a job loss encourages the unemployed to “do nothing for a very long time.”

I’m probably missing some, but it seems like the “Let Them Eat Want Ads” Caucus is getting to be pretty big. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) dismissed jobless aid as money that offers “a disincentive” to getting a job, a sentiment endorsed by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R).

Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) compared the unemployed to “hobos”; Nevada’s Sharron Angle blasted the unemployed as “spoiled“; Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson said those without jobs won’t look until their benefits run out; Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett said the unemployed choose not to work because of the benefits; and Kentucky’s Rand Paul thinks it’s time to cut off aid, whether it’s paid for or not, because, “In Europe, they give about a year of unemployment. We’re up to two years now in America.”

GOP media personality Ben Stein went so far as to characterize those out of work as having “poor work habits and poor personalities.”

The moral of the story seems to be that conservative Republicans just don’t seem to like the unemployed. If every American who’s had to rely on jobless benefits since the start of the recession was poised to vote in November, the GOP would be in a bit of panic right now.