Republicans Right On Schedule With The 'Are There No Workhouses?' Spiels
It's fair to say that this is going to be a really difficult holiday season for many, many families across the country. More than six percent of the country is unemployed, and that's of those who aren't considered to have "dropped out of the work force"; it's fair to assume an even larger number are not getting enough hours, and people are stretched pretty thin. And because they're stretched thin, they're not spending a lot of money, which then affects the businesses that have been able to remain open. The most direct way to help people and stimulate the economy, duh, is to give those people money. Money so they can pay rent, buy food, and otherwise put it directly back into the economy.
The idea of Congress going on their holiday vacations without getting people some relief is beyond appalling. And yet, that is exactly what many Republicans would really love to see happen.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), for one, explained that giving people $1,200 checks to allow them to survive now was like taking out a mortgage on "our kids' future."
"I came from the tea party: We are concerned," Johnson said, referring to the conservative grassroots movement that powered GOP victories in the Obama years but has been mostly quiet in the Trump era. "At some point in time, the tea party may not be as strong as it once was but there's still plenty of people like me and a lot of people that voted for people like me that are highly concerned about the fact that we're mortgaging our kids' future."
Ah yes. The Tea Party. The people who wore tricorn hats and carried around signs accusing President Obama of being a Muslin Socialist or what have you. We should definitely listen to their concerns.
This, obviously, is not actually how anything works. Perhaps Johnson would be capable of seeing that if it were presented to him as people getting a cash rebate on their taxes — which, as a Tea Partier, we can assume he would be into. Those guys hated taxes! And they loved gold! And costumes! And Victoria Jackson! He could just put it out of his head that it's going to actually help people, if that's what's bothering him here.
Now, I am not a home owner. I don't have a mortgage. But I am pretty sure that if I did, and I had to make a choice between "having a mortgage" and losing the house entirely, I would go ahead with the mortgage! Additionally, if we were fighting some stupid ass war that warmed the patriotic cockles of Ron Johnson's wee heart, you can bet he would be able to find funds for that. You know, given that he recently approved a $741 billion defense budget and all.
Of course, given that Johnson attended a fundraiser while waiting for his COVID-19 test results, which turned out to be positive, it's pretty clear that he doesn't give a damn what this virus does to anyone.
Perhaps the worst part of all of this is that Ron Johnson's terribleness is forcing us to agree with Sen. Josh Hawley, who, to his credit, would like to get people some money please and is partnering with Bernie Sanders to try and make that happen. [Rebecca here to snit that he would like to be seen getting people some money, and you can't convince me otherwise. Carry on.]
Working people have put America first again and again. They have come to this nation’s aid at every hour of need. I… https://t.co/LS3iDPa2hT— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1608313577.0
In his response to Johnson, Hawley said that no relief is more important than relief for working people. He pointed out that, yes, we have spent a lot of money on COVID relief, and that we are getting ready to spend a trillion more, but it would be pretty shitty to spend all of that money without giving working Americans a piece. He points out that we bailed out the banks (pretty sure that's supposed to be my job, Josh), and that we gave money to Wall Street, and to make sure that they're fine without making sure the American people are fine just isn't right.
Honestly? He really didn't say a thing wrong here. And it pains me to say that because he really is very awful in a number of other ways. But he is very right here and anything that gets money to people right now is something I'm here for. And while I'm sure someone out there will have some galaxy brained "Horseshoe theory!" take about how this actually proves that Bernie Sanders is bad, that would make about as much sense as Johnson's "Giving people money to survive is mortgaging the children!" take. Which — the children having a future — is just quite literally what a mortgage is for.
"mortgaging our children's future" @ronjohnsonWI? I guess we can save all that money for the future, and live on… https://t.co/WmeoSCXHYn— Master Rebecca Schoenkopf, Wonkette Editrix, King (@Master Rebecca Schoenkopf, Wonkette Editrix, King)1608320685.0
Ron Johnson was not the only Republican to miss the fucking point. Jim Jordan also tweeted on Friday morning that jobs are the best stimulus of all. Which is quite a thing to say when there are not enough jobs and even people who have jobs are not getting enough hours.
The best stimulus? A job.— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Rep. Jim Jordan)1608301047.0
Perhaps, when there comes a day when there are enough living wage jobs available for literally every working age citizen of this country, that might be a thing one could say. But if there are not enough living wage jobs for everyone, which there aren't, what is it, exactly, that Jim Jordan expects the people who didn't get one of the jobs that do exist to do? It's basic math. If you have 100 people and only 90 jobs available, 10 of those people aren't getting jobs. And if you're not a total psychopath, you realize that something has to be done so that those people can survive.
And that, I suppose, is the moral of this entire story.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse