Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
We often read and hear about the Tea Party and its members being in favor of protecting the Constitution, lowering taxes, protecting state’s rights, reducing the size of government, and going back to the ideals of our Founding Fathers. You can imagine my surprise when I recently read that freshman Texas Congressman, Blake Farenthold, a member of the Tea Party Caucus, at a recent meeting with constituents, claimed that unemployment compensation does not give enough incentive for people to get a job!
“At one point during the session, a man asked about drug testing for “welfare recipients.” Farenthold said that this is an idea worth considering, and then went on to complain that unemployment insurance is too generous. He then compared Americans on unemployment insurance to alcoholics and drug addicts: FARENTHOLD: Drug testing for recipients of various welfare programs, I really think that’s something that needs to be considered. We’ve gotta, you know, nobody wants to starve anybody. Everybody wants to help folks out. But we’ve got a system where you can stay on unemployment for an awfully long time. And I think we need to create a system of decreasing benefits over time to encourage you to get a job. I think anybody who’s had an alcoholic in their life or somebody with a drug problem, realizes that until things get bad enough there’s no incentive to change. I think that we’re so generous in some of our social problems that people are unwilling to get a job outside in the heat. Rather than get 15 dollars to go get roofing they’d rather get 9 or 10 dollars in benefits. I think drug testing is not an unreasonable requirement to get benefits.” Think Progress
Does Rep. Farenthold really believe that unemployed Americans want to stay on unemployment compensation? Does he really believe that being unemployed is akin to being an alcoholic or being addicted to narcotics? As someone who has been unemployed in his life, the last thing that you want is to be unemployed. Do all Tea Party members have this disgusting view of their unemployed neighbors? I am curious as to how many jobs has Rep. Farenthold helped create as a member of the Tea Party Caucus? If you go to Rep. Farenthold’s congressional website, he lists creating jobs as one of his “issues”. Unfortunately, the job’s issue is not the first issue on his list. Let’s take a look at a Tea Party Representative’s idea of what is important to American voters:
- “We are losing our freedoms. Government run healthcare opens the door to massive regulation of every aspect of people’s lives, from what they eat, to how they exercise, all the way to who lives or dies. The federal government is already too large and powerful. Taxes are too high, laws and regulations are too complicated and common sense has been replaced by paperwork and bureaucracy. We must move power away from Washington and return it to the states, local governments, and more importantly, the people.
- Political correctness has taken the place of reason in the military, homeland security, and border control. We must strengthen our national security and we must start right here on the Texas border.
- America is too far in debt. We are spending our grandchildren’s money on worthless inefficient programs and bailouts. Politicians are more interested in increasing their power and keeping their jobs than doing what’s best for our country. American ingenuity and entrepreneurs can come to the rescue of our economy but government must get out of the way and let the free market system work.
- We must be personally responsible. The government is not responsible for meeting all of our needs. Each of us, individually, is responsible for ourselves and our families. We must create a meaningful system that moves people off welfare and into jobs.
- We can create new jobs. Businesses, not government, are the key to putting people back to work. We must simplify and lower taxes to make American companies more competitive. We should reduce government regulation and paperwork. We should also return common sense and reasonable verdicts to the tort law system.
- We are still the greatest nation in the world. We need solid conservative leadership to ensure that the future is bright for our children and our grandchildren.” Blake Farenthold.com
Is anyone else surprised that creating jobs was not the number one issue on Rep. Farenthold’s list of issues? The list actually reads like it was drawn up by Karl Rove or Dick Armey. From lower taxes to restricting tort verdicts, to making everyone personally responsible; these are talking points straight out of the Right’s political bible. Could it be that the Tea Party is not an independent group and is really bought and paid for by corporations? Guardian.com Someone should ask Rep. Farenthold if American workers just got “lazy” when the recession started in December, 2007 or have they been lazy ever since the Democrats took over the White House?
If the Tea Party Caucus does little or nothing to increase jobs, should American voters consider them lazy? Maybe we should give Rep. Farenthold and his fellow Tea Party members some incentive to help create good paying jobs here in America. What do you think?
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, Guest Blogger