Dems Peddle Instant Gratification, Not the Long-Term Pursuit of Happiness

Can I give you a little news item here that to me expresses perfectly where we really are, as a culture, as a country, as an economy, as a society? I have it right here. It’s a story from the AP, but it’s everywhere. “Democrats want extension of unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans as part of fiscal cliff deal.” Guess what? This is a brand-new demand. “Hovering in the background of the ‘fiscal cliff’ debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas.” Okay, putting on my cap as mayor of Realville, does anybody think that either one of our two political parties wants to be blamed for that happening?

So can we conclude that there will be unemployment compensation benefit extensions? We can. Do you think the Republicans want to go to the mat on this one? I guarantee you, right now the Republicans don’t want to be seen as being in opposition to anybody getting anything. But here’s why this is happening, and that’s the real nub of this. You see, the real irony is, unemployment benefits are ending because unemployment rates are falling. It’s the way the law was written. States with jobless rates below 9% are losing their extended benefits. It was originally written, and this made perfect sense, that the unemployment compensation extensions would end as the employment situation improved. Well, statistically, the unemployment situation is improving. The unemployment rate nationally, 7.7%, down from 8.3, down from 8.2, down from 8.1, down from 7.9.

So on paper, and as far as the low-information voter is concerned, and the low-information voter is a majority of the voters, the unemployment situation is getting better. There are jobs being created, according to what they believe, ’cause the number says so, unemployment rate’s going down. Well, you would figure, if the unemployment rate’s going down and more people are getting jobs, then we don’t need to extend unemployment. No, precisely the unemployment rate is falling, we need to extend unemployment benefits.

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