Rand Paul begins GOP outreach to African Americans by declaring unemployment benefits “a disservice” to the unemployed

Rand Paul is a disservice to the GOP’s African American outreach


Photo credit: Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

The day after he presided over the opening of the Michigan Republican Party’s office for African American outreach, Rand Paul told Fox News that extending unemployment benefits for workers unable to find work for as long as 99 weeks was doing them “a disservice”.

“I support unemployment benefits for the 28 weeks they’re paid for… If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers.”

This news will come as a surprise to Detroiters who are out of work. In a city that is nearly 83% African American, the unemployment rate is believed to be a staggering 18%. To suggest that it is that high because people choose to live on meager unemployment benefits rather than because there simply are not enough jobs is an insult to Detroiters. Keeping this critical social safety net in place isn’t doing them a “disservice”, it’s keeping them from losing their homes and ensures they can keep the lights and heat on and food on the table.

If this is an example the GOP’s rebranding of their Party to woo African Americans to support them, I’d suggest they are going about it in entirely the wrong way.

It’s just one more example of how tone-deaf and out-of-touch the Republicans are when it comes to the issues that impact minority groups in our country

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  • judyms9

    Unlike Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono and Al Franken who became politicians after being entertainers, Rand Paul is taking the reverse track. But whether one is entertained or amused by Paul depends on one’s employment status. He is becoming the new Louie Gohmert but without the twang.

  • CL Nicholson

    Rand Paul (who not so ironically named after the erstwhile author of “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”) is just spouting the standard fact free Libertarian fantasy nonsense – you’re poor because you’re a lazy bum who deserves to be poor, not because of crushing realities of political economy beyond any single person’s control.

    Summarize, non-sanitized for TV version of Rand Paul statement is “Detroit is broke because is over run with lazy, shiftless Negroes on the government teat from womb to tomb” and to ensure that said shiftless Negroes get their act together (and because he’s such a nice guy) we only get them through with little over 6 months worth of unemployment. I don’t think Rand Paul is racist per se (okay, I lie, he’s a well spoken redneck bigot, just like his old man) but Libertarian logic simply doesn’t take institutional racism or other social factors into play. Its policy as a game of SIMS.

    And, much like the Derp-Doku logic employed by the Professional Left podcast, Senator Paul left a key fact as to why employers don’t like to hire employees out of work for more than 6 months. The reason isn’t because these laid off workers are inherently lazier, its because their skills have completely atrophied or they don’t have adequate skills to do the work they need. It would take considerable time to train these new employees. (read: cost money the company they don’t want to spend)

    Its a little harder to train a 35 year machinist to do my job (troubleshoot healthcare software systems) in under 3 months than it is to train a 21 year old college grad with a freshly minted bachelors in computer engineering.

    In other words, these corporations realize its a buyers market and would rather not have to pay to train anyone – so they go for the guy who will needs the least amount of on the job training. And typically, our community colleges were the place where displaced workers would acquire the new skills necessary to re-enter the workforce.

    But, that also requires money. And since public technical community colleges are constantly being drained by for profit diploma mills that magically suck up resources such as pell grants and loans with virtually nothing to show for it said workers are left out in the cold.

    And since Rand Paul also doesn’t believe in spending money to educate citizens, it takes me back to my original point – F**U** poor person, you’re just a lazy moocher who can’t their own problems.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Well said. Great comment!

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