If I were President Barack Obama, I would be break dancing in the Oval Office. Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay applauded the actions of his Republican colleague Jim Bunning, who chose to block the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. In his comments, Delay effectively argued that Americans want to be unemployed, because having unemployment benefits gives them no incentive to go out and look for a job.
Yes, I was stunned to hear these words. But then again, perhaps Delay has decided to officially marginalize himself and say all the things he wanted to say when he actually had a position of relevance within the federal government. Instead, he has allowed us to peek in to the minds of his colleagues, who are probably thinking the same way. Here are Delay’s words based on his interview with Candy Crowley:
You know,” Delay said, “there is an argument to be made that these extensions, the unemployment benefits keeps people from going and finding jobs. In fact, there are some studies that have been done that show people stay on unemployment compensation and they don’t look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out.”
Host Candy Crowley: Congressman, that’s a hard sell, isn’t it?
Tom Delay: It’s the truth.
Crowley: People are unemployed because they want to be?
Delay: Well, it is the truth and people in the real world know it. And they have friends and they know it. Sure, we ought to be helping people that are unemployed find a job, but we also have budget considerations that are incredibly important, especially now that Obama is spending monies that we don’t have.