Q: When has spending money you don't have ever gotten you out of debt?
It's an unassailable fact, but ideologues such as Steve Benen and Matthew Yglesias can't seem to grasp such a simple concept, as they moan and wail because it appears a Republican filibuster may finally end the unending unemployment gravy train:
Democrats control 59 seats in the Senate but expect to lose the vote of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), meaning they would need the votes of at least two Republicans to cross the 60-vote threshold.
The package includes tax breaks for businesses and individuals, as well as emergency support for millions of jobless workers who have exhausted their regular 26-week state benefits. Unless Congress acts, an estimated 900,000 people will have their checks cut off by the end of the month.
The filibuster has support because Republicans and Nelson understand that you can't keep plunging the country further into debt and expect to climb out of a recession. By stopping unemployment benefits, the Senate will force those lazy Americans enjoying "funemployment" to get off their backsides and get back to work.
I know that many long-term unemployed people have made a sincere effort to return to work, but I know for a fact that many haven't.
As everyone like anecdotes, I can mention the stories of one of my brother and my two brothers-in-law. My brother was in construction management, one of my brothers-in-law is in auto body shop management, and the other brother-in-law is a mid-level manager.
All three lost jobs within the past two years due to their companies facing economic woes. My brother immediately sent out resumes and spoke with industry contacts in his area, and was re-employed—working longer hours at less pay—within a month. With his work ethic, I suspect he be promoted once an opportunity becomes available.
My brother-in-law the body shop manager has gone through a string of layoffs in south Florida, but never was out of work for long because he was willing to compromise and take less than he thought he was worth to support his family. He even moved from Florida to North Carolina in pursuit of work opportunities, and seems to be making a good impression at his new shop.
My brother-in-law the middle-manager has been under-employed over a year. He works a part-time job and collects unemployment.
When he does get interviews, he torpedoes them. He recently told a perspective employer that what they were offering salary-wise wasn't good enough.
These anecdotes run true almost everywhere. Those who sincerely want to work and have the drive and marketable skills are working. Those who don't want to work are coasting off what the taxpayers will allow for as long as they can.
We can't keep subsidizing such people, and it isn't right to ask others who work hard to go deeper in debt to bail out those who won't work.
The Senate seems to grasp that.
Too bad liberals don't.