Senator Jim Bunning (R) Kentucky has blocked the extension of unemployment benefits that, due to the emergency nature, required a unanimous vote to pass. He stated his reasoning for blocking the bill, saying that Congress must first pay for the $10 million package, arguing that he didn't want to add to the defecit.
The bill not only extends unemployment monies, but also health insurance, federal flood insurance, satellite TV licensing and small business loans. The bill would also provide an extension for the Highway Trust Fund, responsible for transportation projects across the country.
Bunning stood on the floor remarking, "If we can't find $10 million to pay for something that we all support, we will never pay for anything on the floor of the U.S. senate."
I took this opportunity to check up on Bunning's voting record. While he did vote against the bailout bill, he has voted for almost every bill funding the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Hmmmmmm....
The mind reels.
By the end of this month, and/or by June, millions of people, including some of my own friends and I'll bet some of yours as well, will be without any money. I'm sure that will help our bottom line, as a country.
Transportation secretary Ray LaHood lamented that up to 2,000 employees will be sent home without any pay because of Bunning's decision.
Granted, I'm no economist, but I can tell you that Iraq and Afghanistan are doing a lot more to drag us further into debt than highway projects and laid off workers. How are we supposed to bounce back from economic downturn if 10 million people are added to the homeless list? How are we supposed to contribute to this faltering economy if we can't even feed ourselves?
People are so afraid that we're all gonna turn socialist and fall into a vicious cycle of spending, but here's a news flash: we already are in a vicious cycle of spending. What needs to happen is we need to spend on the right things, our own people. We don't need to police the world, we don't need to help corrupt institutions, we need to help the people. We are the ones that keep this economy going, not Saddam and Madoff.