Each party has its identity. The Democrats are thought of for their social programs. The Republicans for budget and military. There are cross-overs and overlaps but these are simple generalizations that seem to be commonly accepted. Dems care about the unemployed.
So along comes long-term unemployment extensions. The Democrats want to pass it, the GOP demands it be paid for by government cuts. So the Democrats agree and come up with a pay-for to accommodate the opposition. Sadly, the Republicans don't like the proposed method whereby Congress would extend the Medicare cuts from the budget sequestration into 2024, ten years from now at a savings close to $6 billion.
But that wasn't good enough for the Republicans. Their complaint? As told to HuffPo:
"I'm tired of these supposed pay-fors where you spend money the first year, and you don't pay for it, what, until 10 years later. It's literally a joke," said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). "If you think this emergency, temporary, 14th unemployment extension of benefits ... if you think that's so important, find a real pay-for."
"The reason we didn't agree to it is we actually have principles," Johnson added.
So the Red Party (not to be confused with the Communist Party) has principles. Well bully for them. I wish they'd show some a bit more often instead of their anti-women, anti-education, anti-immigration, anti-climate change, anti-gay, and anti-worker stands on every social issue. But let's take them at their word. They have principles and those include not spending money the first year, and you don't pay for it, what, until 10 years later. Got it.
Then comes the military pension cuts that were the result of the bi-partisan senate vote to approve their sweeping budget agreement (Patty Murray - D, Paul Ryan - R). This reduction in veterans' benefits didn't sit well with either party after the fact. So they had a vote to restore those benefits. But the Republicans again said, this program has to be paid for without tacking on additional deficits. But this time, the GOP had a way to do it.
How? The same method that they refused to use in paying for the long-term unemployment benefits extension that would affect two million out of work people and their families.
What? The same Democratic plan is now okay because it's military benefits and not the worker's benefits? Which side of their face are these hypocrites talking out of?
All but three other senators who were present Wednesday voted that day to repeal the military retiree cut -- and pay for it with the same extension of Medicare cuts at which they scoffed to cover unemployment benefits.
So, it comes down to issues, not principles. Don't worry about the 2 million unemployed and their families. Just take care of the retired military. This shouldn't be an either/or. It should be looking out for both. The Democrats would do it in a heartbeat. The Republicans don't have a pulse - only a mechanical brain in the shell of Ted Cruz. Can someone please tell me where have all the true Republicans gone?
And if you say, "To hell," you might be right.