Hobos and hammocks

HOBOS AND HAMMOCKS…. One of the more frustrating political stories of the day is the effort of one far-right Republican senator to block extended unemployment benefits, which will expire on Sunday. It’s a reminder, though, that some conservative lawmakers seem to have something against the unemployed.

Take Rep. Dean Heller (R) of Nevada, for example. (via Pat Garofalo)

Heller said the current economic downturn and policies may bring back the hobos of the Great Depression, people who wandered the country taking odd jobs. He said a study found that people who are out of work longer than two years have only a 50 percent chance of getting back into the workforce. “I believe there should be a federal safety net,” Heller said, but he questioned the wisdom of extending unemployment benefits yet again to a total of 24 months, which Congress is doing.

“Is the government now creating hobos?” he asked.

This comes just a couple of weeks after Rep. Steve King, a right-wing Republican from Iowa, explained his opposition to extended unemployment benefits: “We shouldn’t turn the ‘safety net’ into a hammock.” (via reader B.D.)

Those of you who’ve lost your jobs and are struggling to find work in a weak economy? Some conservative Republican lawmakers seem to think you’re lazy.

The Republican brand of “populism” sure is odd.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation