Apparently I'm not the only one that caught this segment with Rep. John Shadegg on Morning Joe and was completely appalled. With unemployment benefits set to expire for hundreds of thousands of Americans, we get this joker coming on the air and claiming that unemployment benefits aren't stimulative to the economy and those Bush tax cuts for the rich are.
Republicans really are determined to completely destroy the US economy. Tax cuts for the rich and the rest of you can eat cake.
According to calculations by the Congressional Budget Office, Moody’s Economy, and myriad other economists, unemployment benefits are the single best way to pump money into the economy and generate economic activity, as the unemployed are very likely to spend all of the benefits they receive (thus moving money into local businesses). But during an interview with MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle today, Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) scoffed at the notion that unemployment benefits help the economy. “Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn’t know that,” Shadegg jeered:
BARNICLE: What about the fact that unemployment benefits pumped into the economy are an immediate benefit to the economy? Immediate…
SHADEGG: No, they’re not! Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn’t know that.
BARNICLE: Unemployed people spend money Congressman, ’cause they have no money.
SHADEGG: Aha! So your answer is it’s the spending of money that drives the economy and I don’t think that’s right. It’s the creation of jobs that drives the economy…Actually, the truth is the unemployed will spend as little of that money as they possibly can. Job creators create jobs.
BARNICLE: Have you ever been unemployed? Have you ever been unemployed?
SHADEGG: Yes, I have.
BARNICLE: What did you do with the money? Save it?
Go read the rest of the post for more from Think Progress on why Shadegg is just dead wrong here and on the damage not extending unemployment benefits is going to do to our economy. And as they also noted, Shadegg saying he's going to be unemployed soon is likely of little consequence to him.
And while Shadegg joked that he will be unemployed come January since he is retiring from Congress, next year he will be eligible for a federal pension (if he opted for one), as he is turning 62 and served on Capitol Hill for more than five years.
Given his resume, I would imagine some Republican lobby shop has got a cushy job waiting in the wings for him as well.
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