This makes absolutely no sense to me, but most of the things Republicans do don't make much sense other than them looking like they're going to stick to their talking points on more tax cuts no matter what and all government jobs are evil.
Why would someone support extending unemployment benefits instead of stimulus spending where you put people back to work? Aren't Republicans supposed to be the ones that want everyone working instead of sitting home collecting a check from the government? This kind of double speak makes my head hurt.
And to add insult to injury here, there's the added hypocrisy of this from our friends at Think Progress.
Today on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) called for extending unemployment insurance — which is set to run out tomorrow for many Americans — to help the millions of Americans who are out of work. [...]
The reason that so many Americans will lose their benefits tomorrow is because of GOP obstruction. Late last month, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) announced that he was blocking unanimous consent to move forward on a measure in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits — similar to what Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) did weeks prior. However, this time, other Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), are backing Coburn’s obstruction. Read on...
And as Media Matters noted, Chris Wallace let Kyl push falsehood that "most of the jobs created are government jobs" in latest jobs report. As they pointed out Mike Huckabee told the same lie on Cavuto's show:
While criticizing congressional Democrats for touting March's improved employment figures, Fox News' Mike Huckabee claimed that "there are fewer private sector jobs because of their policies, their regulations." But the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that private employers added 123,000 jobs in March, which is the biggest gain in nearly three years. Read on...
Transcript via Nexis Lexis below the fold.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, the unemployment numbers for March came out on Friday and they present a mixed picture, I think it's fair to say. A hundred and sixty-two thousand jobs were created, the most in three years, but unemployment stayed at 9.7 percent.
Senator Kyl, will Republicans support more economic stimulus such as more aid to states, extending unemployment benefits, more tax incentives for small business?
KYL: There are really two questions inherent in that, Chris. We will have to do things like extending unemployment benefits because unemployment is so high, 9.7 percent, 15 million Americans unemployed. But that's not a job stimulator. So we will do those things to take care of the families that are suffering right now.
But in terms of stimulus, I think what Republicans will do is look very carefully at any more spending plans, because as it turns out we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars to very little effect.
Most of the jobs created are government jobs. Even in these latest figures that you noted, 48,000 of the jobs are temporary census takers, and it's not the kind of private sector job creation that we know will sustain an economic recovery. So I think rather than supporting spending to stimulate job creation, Republicans will prefer to look to things, for example, like tax relief. I noted that Christina Romer, one of the president's economic advisers, talked very glowingly, for example, about a zero capital gains rate for small businesses. How about applying that to all business? I think you'd see that help stimulate economic growth, for example.
WALLACE: So just briefly, Senator Kyl, if it's tax incentives, especially for small business but, as you say, maybe extended to other businesses, the GOP would be on board for that?
KYL: Depending on what it is. I think -- my idea is if the president asked Congress tomorrow to give him a bill in a week that freezes all tax rates, doesn't even cut them, just holds them where they are and does not impose the $500-plus-billion in taxes in the health bill, I think you'd see the stock market skyrocket the next day because business would know that taxes will be stable and that they have the ability to raise capital and invest it in their businesses.