When House Speaker John Boehner shot down the 2014 unemployment extension bill earlier in the year, the justification was that it was missing some sort of job creation incentive. But in a recent comment, Boehner criticized the work ethic of the American people, essentially claiming people do not really want those jobs and would rather sit around.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has Social Security Disability running out of money by the year 2016 — although it’s possible their estimate may be off by a year in either direction, and politicians are debating whether to increase taxes or raise the senior retirement age. In addition, the latest long-term deficit and national debt projections forecast enough doom and gloom that the CBO says entitlement programs may need to altered.
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been working on a GOP plan for addressing poverty and been attempting to flip the image of the GOP favoring the rich and being callous toward the poor. Most of the idea are focused on promoting faster job creation and requiring federal and state assistance programs, like unemployment benefits, to be paired with incentives to work.
After Ryan finished giving a speech, Boehner was asked to make a comment and this is when he seemed to be making a reference to the unemployment extension debate.
“I think this idea that’s been born over last… couple of years that, ‘You know, I really don’t have to work, I don’t really want to do this, I think I’d just rather sit around,’ – this is a very sick idea for our country.”
This concept has long been a theme behind the 2014 unemployment extension debate. For example, back in 2011 Paul Ryan once compared unemployment benefits to a hammock instead of the trampoline it’s intended to be.
“We are at a moment, where if government’s growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America’s best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency.”
Earlier this year Charles Krauthammer supported Boehner in shooting down the EUC.
“These six months which Obama heralds as the largest, fastest growth in jobs in the U.S. since 1999, have coincided with the six months of which we have no longer extended emergency unemployment, long-term unemployment. Remember at the end of last year the furious debate, the president, the Democrats saying, if you end this the sky is going to fall, people are going to go starving, there’s going to be an increase in unemployment. It’s had precisely the opposite effect.”
The debate over the unemployment extension bill had the federal government undergo a study on whether or not unemployment benefits contributed to laziness. The study concluded there was indeed a small effect but overall the extension of unemployment benefits did not cause people to give up.
“We find that Extended Unemployment Benefits increased the unemployment rate by about one-third percentage point in the most recent recession but did not affect the participation rate,” the study’s authors wrote. “In previous recessions, the effect of EEB on the unemployment rate was even smaller.”
What do you think about John Boehner’s recent comment?