Obama slams GOP for putting tax cuts above unemployment extension

In his weekly address, President Obama hammered Republicans for putting the interests of the rich above the unemployed. He said they are making a hypocritical stand on the deficit now, after years of spending, and doing it “on the backs of the unemployed.”

[Republicans] say we shouldn’t provide unemployment insurance because it costs money. So after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, they’ve finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed. They’ve got no problem spending money on tax breaks for folks at the top who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them; but they object to helping folks laid off in this recession who really do need help. And every day this goes on, another 50,000 Americans lose that badly needed lifeline.

Well, I think these Senators are wrong. We can’t afford to go back to the same misguided policies that led us into this mess. We need to move forward with the policies that are leading us out of this mess. The fact is, most economists agree that extending unemployment insurance is one of the single most cost-effective ways to help jumpstart the economy.

The speech comes just in advance of Tuesday’s vote to break the Republican filibuster and extend the unemployment benefits. Both Republicans and Democrats are maneuvering to be viewed as the party of jobs as campaigning for November’s midterm elections heats up.

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Annie Lowrey

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