Sunday, February 22, 2009

Unemployment Rates in the States Where the Governors Reject Federal Unemployment Assistance

We noted the silly argument made by Louisiana’s governor as to why he wants to turn down the $98 million in federal unemployment assistance – which amounts to less than 2% of the total stimulus going to his states. CNN reports that Jindal has company:

Though they support some federal action to help their states recover from the recession, several Republican governors said Sunday they plan to turn down a portion of what's offered in the stimulus bill that President Obama signed last week. "If we were to take the unemployment reform package that they have, it would cause us to raise taxes on employment when the money runs out -- and the money will run out in a couple of years," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. The Republican governors of Idaho, Alaska, Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana have expressed similar concerns.

I guess Barbour got the same talking points that were given to Jindal. Steve Benen reports on the nonsense coming from the governor of South Carolina:

As for Sanford's notion of a "fundamental misdiagnosis," what does the South Carolinian believe is the wisest course of action? "When times go south you cut spending," Sanford recently explained. "That's what families do, that's what businesses do, and I don't think the government should be exempt from that process." It is Neo-Hooverism in its most obvious form.

As these governors decide that the unemployed of their states are less important than a little political pandering to the rightwing, maybe we should check with this source as to how much the unemployment rate has increased from December 2007 to December 2008:

Alaska: 6.5% to 7.5%

Idaho: 2.7% to 6.4%

Louisiana: 4.0% to 5.3%

Mississippi: 6.3% to 8.0%

South Carolina: 6.2% to 9.5%

Texas: 4.2% to 6.0%


Anonymous said...

By Will C. Justice
They’re at it again. You can hear them on hate radio and hate TV, venting about socialism and bailouts for the irresponsible.
They urge their disciples to bombard politicians, creating an illusion that they are a massive populist majority.

In reality they are the right-wing fringe, comprised of a few million obedient souls with lots of hate in their hearts and time on their hands.

These are the people who murmured ne'er a word about the billions and billions sent off to Iraq.

These are the ones who wanted “business-friendly” regulations, which worked beautifully for Enron, Madoff, and assorted mining companies.
These are the laissez-faire people. For the most part, they call themselves Republicans, although some say they are libertarians, apparently not knowing that they really sound like Russian anarchists.

Oh, they can be pious! They make their mortgage payments, and are outraged that deadbeats get special breaks at the government's expense.

Deadbeats? Is that what one should call the unlucky millions who’ve lost their jobs during recent dreadful months? Over 680,000 “deadbeats” last month alone. Could losing their jobs be the real reason they are losing their homes?

Do these people not know that when a ship sinks, the good and the bad do down with it?
Do they not know that those who drown will be those who faithfully made their mortgage payments, as well as those who couldn’t or didn’t?
Do they not know that if there’s a foreclosure sign in front of one's neighbor's house, that it adversely affects the value of one’s own house?

Do these people not know that this nation has a long and successful experience subsidizing mortgages? Like the G.I. loan.

Oh, these people would probably call the G.I. mortgages socialism, too, because the government intervened on behalf of its citizens. But those subsidized mortgages created an American middle class of home owners.

Now there’s an idea. Why not a new, with low-interest and low closing costs for veterans of Viet Nam and Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and firefighters, and police, and teachers? And why not make those mortgages truly assumable, the way G.I loans and many other mortgages used to be.

Do the people who so hate, discord, and doubt not know that they are making the problem worse? Do they not know that the economy will not revive until Americans believe that it’s safe for banks to make loans again, and safe for consumers to spend and borrow again?

Fortunately, fewer and fewer take the hatemongers seriously. They did everything in the 2008 election to smear and deceive and discredit. And they failed.

One would think that they learned their lesson. Perhaps they did. They discovered that you CAN fool SOME of the people all of the time. And they discovered that some of the people can make a lot of ugly noise.

Anonymous said...

Typical republican hatred of the people. They would just damn their own constituents to prove a point. NEWS BULLETIN: You guys lost the election. You almost killed the USA with your policies. You are all a failure (except the ultra rich). You'll soon be extinct like the Dodo Bird. You are so disconnected from the people it is pathetic, just like your old boss W. May he rot in obscurity. The worst president in history. Shame on you all republicans. Leave, just leave.

Anonymous said...

I see the point trying to be made, however the nationwide unemployment rate has risen from 5% to over 7% during this time period. So technically some of these states have fared better than those states which did take the funds (California for example).

ProGrowthLiberal said...

ekhan - these state by state increases in unemployment rates preceded the stimulus bill. Are you expousing Pre-Hoc Propter Hoc reasoning?

TheTrucker said...

I am sorry that the people will suffer because of these morons conducting themselves in true rightarded fashion. But perhaps the people will remember that while the governors of the states did not form the policy, these governors are actually bound by the people who elected them to take a fair share of the funds and pass them on. The governors were not a party to the policy that created the funds and must be held blameless. But they most certainly should be held accountable for refusing to help their constituents.

It may well be that the people of these states will be more rational than the loons they elected to the governorship.