Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was on Fox News Sunday to continue his minority outreach to African Americans, by saying we shouldn’t extend unemployment benefits set to expire momentarily because he knows one black businessman who wants tax cuts.
Paul said, “I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for, but if you extend it past that you do a disservice to these workers.” His reasoning is that when you “allow people” to be on unemployment for longer, you are causing them to be “perpetually unemployed”. Don’t forget about his one black businessman.
See, it’s not that there are no jobs, it’s that employers don’t like to hire people who have been out of work for very long. Thus, by taking away the “incentive” to stay unemployed, Paul thinks he can solve the unemployment problem. It’s the “firmer hand” theory, also used as an argument for slavery.
There can be no other explanation for Paul’s reasoning other than people want to stay unemployed, otherwise he wouldn’t think that taking away unemployment benefits creates job opportunities. This veers dangerously close to the “lazy urban” narrative that Republicans favor. It is not accurate to suggest that starving will create jobs. So this is not a good plan for jobs or for the unemployed.
Paul said that African American unemployment hasn’t budged under this President, implying that he thinks he can get the African American vote by criticizing this president and blaming him for higher unemployment among African Americans, as if this is a new phenomenon best addressed by letting a white Southern man make decisions for African Americans and this president. Some things just shouldn’t be said by certain people, especially not people who employed a white supremacist. It’s bad optics.
The carrot dangling is far from over. You know what the number once concern is for African Americans, after tax cuts for businesses? School choice, apparently. “My economic stimulus plan would stimulate Detroit. There is no other plan on the table. If my plan would pass I think it’s the only one that would pass. I am also talking about restoring voting rights and school choice.”
Voting rights? His party is the party that came after voting rights nationally and his party is the party that made Detroiters’ votes meaningless under Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. That’s going to be a hard sale.
When asked for alternatives to ObamaCare, Rand criticized ObamaCare and then said he’s for Freedom of Choice. Seriously. The anti-choicer is for Freedom of Choice, which means no plan. It means repeal ObamaCare because the “premiums are higher” – which they aren’t for the majority of people. So that’s his big sell to Detroit: Come and get nothing in order to protect the rich. That’s new for Republicans in Detroit. Detroiters will never see through that (see sarcasm). Clearly Sen. Paul is unaware of the high priority most Americans put on the issue of affordable healthcare. It’s an issue of economic survival for many. Not something they want to toss away into the GOP “freedom” for corporations ring.
Yes, 2016 2016 2016. The Senator is a GOP presidential front runner, and it seems he is already running for President, “the thought has crossed my mind, Chris.” But he’s concerned about the “haters and hacks”. So are we, Senator.
Image: Fox News
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.