Here's my retort to the Wall Street Journal's Robert Barro for this: Screw you and the horse you rode in on. I have had enough of the unrelenting blame-the-victim messaging from the financial experts and the Murdoch stable of reliable conservative idiot ideologues. This little crap-bomb from Barro is exactly what I'm talking about:
Now the administration wants to kill the 2003 income-tax cuts, at least the parts that reduced marginal income tax rates for high-income earners and for all recipients of dividend income. This proposal is particularly disturbing because the 2003 law was George W. Bush's main economic achievement; unlike most of Mr. Bush's policies, this one was well-conceived and effective.
Oh, boo hoo. As a corollary to my "screw you" to Barro, another middle finger for that. But wait, we haven't gotten to the best part yet:
The unemployment-insurance program involves a balance between compassion—providing for persons temporarily without work—and efficiency. The loss in efficiency results partly because the program subsidizes unemployment, causing insufficient job-search, job-acceptance and levels of employment. A further inefficiency concerns the distortions from the increases in taxes required to pay for the program.
Once again, we have a hack Hooverite writer for a Murdoch publication (who is employed and making entirely too much if he makes more than a buck) not looking at the more complex picture of why unemployment is what it is. No, that would be too much work for Barro. Instead, he blames the people who lost their jobs for not hunting hard enough, not bearing down and taking that McDonald's gig down the street. Because if they were all working at McDonald's or Wal-Mart, we wouldn't have this stubborn unemployment rate.
By God, Republicans will make them work. Republicans wouldn't let them live off the dole this way. Republicans would take the tax cuts and fly the bird at the middle class, but those bastards would work.
Not content with that indictment, he then goes on to say that the midterm challenge Democrats face is a direct result of extending unemployment benefits! Just imagine how things could be if Mr. and Mrs. Unemployed were slinging hash or Chinese merchandise for the corporate benefit of all those CEOs.
Let's not ask the tough questions about why trillions remain in reserve at those large corporations. Let's not ask the tough questions about why foreclosures are up, commercial real estate is a dead market, and new houses aren't being built. Let's not ask the tough questions about how it feels to sleep at night without any clue as to where the children of 99ers will get their next meal or how long it will be before they lose their house. Let's not ask the questions about why workers over age 50, workers of color, and other qualified workers are routinely passed over for their job search.
Why ask those questions when there are legions of unemployed to blame? So here's my wish for Rupert Murdoch, and it's not all that my heart wishes for him, but some things shouldn't be said aloud. I want him to walk in the shoes of the unemployed for 100 weeks, but with only 26 weeks of unemployment insurance. I want him to have no way to pay for food, and for him to be passed over for every job applied for, day after day after painful day. I want him to lose his car, his home, and his dignity. I want him to sit in a bureaucrat's office and apply for emergency food stamps, aid for the children, Medicaid benefits and place himself at the mercy of others, who may or may not be merciful.
I want him to rot from the inside out from the constant anxiety of having to wonder if he will ever reach the age where he can claim Social Security benefits -- benefits HE paid for. I want him to lie awake at night wondering where he can go to collect aluminum cans and glass bottles to turn in for the recycling money so he can bring home groceries that night.
I want him completely humbled and humiliated, to be prostrate before the government agencies he so sneeringly dismisses, to know what it is like to have nothing, not to be able to rely on anyone, and when he is so low there isn't a lower place to go besides hell, I want to lean over and whisper in his ear, "This is all your doing. You, and you alone, are responsible for it."
And then I want him to rot in the hell he made for himself for all eternity, while his remains are picked apart by conservative vultures.
Update: Fox News couldn't wait to jump on the bandwagon this morning, too:
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