Thursday, December 02, 2010

Your Weekly Rush - Pretending to be Dumb

Some on the left have suggested that extending unemployment benefits might make economic sense in the current client. Rush Limbaugh disagrees and argues against them in the most idiotic fashion possible.
If "unemployment benefits help drive the economy," we need more of them and an extension here is just not nearly enough. If they help drive the economy, doesn't that say that unemployment drives the economy?

Doesn't it? I mean, you don't have unemployment benefits without unemployment. So unemployment drives the economy.
Hilarious. I hear that wings drive the planes ability to fly. So why don't we see planes with 50 wings on them?

I hear that Aspirin is good for you when you have a headache - so why not down the whole bottle?
. . . no way unemployment benefits create jobs, but this is what the Democrats are saying. (interruption) The unemployed can't hire people, exactly. They... (interruption) No. The unemployed can't hire people, otherwise they'd hire themselves and we wouldn't have any unemployment, but they don't. No, it's just... It is depressingly stupid.
On that point I totally agree. Your feigned ignorance here is depressing. What people mean is that in this specific situation, with unemployment at 10%, extended unemployment benefits gets money in the hands of people who will actually spend it, pretty much immediately. That's the point. They will buy groceries, buy gas, pay their rent, pay their electric bill, and so on. The money takes a very direct path from the government back into the economy, enabling those businesses to benefit.

If you give the money to the wealthy (through tax breaks) as Limbaugh would presumably prefer, you don't know where the money is going to go. They don't have the necessity to spend the money immediately. Some of them may well decide to use that money to hire some new people. But others will spend it on luxuries or simply save it. They have discretionary income already; giving them more, will simply give them more discretion. Unemployment benefits, on the other hand, are not discretionary. The unemployed need money and will spend money. They don't have a choice.

I suspect Limbaugh, despite his feigned stupidity, knows all this. It's just that he knows whose side he is on, and wants to see the wealthy get their money.

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