Jon Huntsman Calls Out Rand Paul’s Ignorant Comments about Unemployment

huntsman-1I’m sure by now quite a few of you have heard about Senator Rand Paul’s out of touch comments regarding unemployment, saying that if Congress were to extend unemployment benefits past 26 weeks, “you do a disservice to these workers.”

Comments like these only fuel the belief that Republicans simply don’t understand the struggles of the average American.  While some do abuse unemployment benefits, the majority of Americans do not.  Despite what Republicans perpetuate about those on unemployment or welfare, the majority of people on these programs do not want to be on them.

Well, former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman called out Paul’s comments.

Huntsman said:

“This is language that’s suitable for the Republican primary, plain and simple.  This isn’t the language that’s good for all Americans and that gets us closer to solving the problem.

“It’s about politics, and that is the broader issue that we’re all about here with No Labels, and that is in this long streak of pessimism this country has faced, the longest in our nation’s history, what are we going to do to come together Republicans, Democrats, independents and start finding solutions?  Not words, not sound bites, not finger pointing, acrimony and anger, but actually finding solutions.”


No Labels is a bi-partisan group in which Mr. Huntsman is an honorary co-chairman.

First, we have far too many Republicans in Congress running for president instead of trying to be productive members of Congress.  Individuals like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul who make it abundantly clear that everything they do in Congress is a play to pander to the far-right reaches of the Republican party, more specifically the tea party.

Which is something Huntsman calls out.  While the kind of nonsense Paul spouts does play well with the Republican base, it’s more of the same worn out rhetoric where some conservative politician offers no solutions — just criticisms.

Then the part about it not being good for “all Americans” is exactly right.  While these conservatives act as if they’re “speaking for the American people,” the only people they’re really representing are the most extreme right-wing members of their party.  On issues such as immigration, the government shutdown and expanded background checks for gun purchases, Republicans have consistently done the opposite of what the vast majority of Americans support.

Heck, even when it comes to the Affordable Care Act they’re quick to attack the law, yet through all of these years have yet to provide a single viable alternative.

They’re the party of “no,” plain and simple.  Which is one of their biggest problems.  While Democrats aren’t perfect, at least they’re trying to do something.  All Republicans do is sit there and oppose anything Democrats support.

It’s just a shame there aren’t more Republicans like Huntsman who actually use common sense when it comes to their political ideology.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • PDK

    Huntsman is what conservatives used to be when they were reasonable and willing to actually govern for the greater good, but today he is on the outside looking in at the disaster that is the Get Obama Party.

  • strayaway

    States should be free to extend unemployment compensation for as long as they wish but where is the power even delegated to the federal government to provide unemployment insurance? If the federal government actually wanted to drastically reduce the number of employed it could do so rather inexpensively by increasing the demand for US labor. To do this would require two things. Replace the income tax on the middle class with cross the board import taxes on corporations to the extent possible and heavily fine and incarcerate the employers of illegal aliens. I think we would see a new era of demand for US workers who could then demand rather than beg for a larger share of the national economic pie.

    • JamieHaman

      Those are good ideas, however implementation of the second is going to be expensive. You would have to hire a lot of people to check on employees, and raise the fines for that illegal employment considerably.
      Last I checked the first time offender of illegals pays a fine from $250 to $2000. per employee. For a second offense the fine runs $2000 to $5000. per employee.
      Which doesn’t seem to get paid at all. Seems like instead of fining companies, we could just lock up CEO’s and Human Resource managers.
      Right up till you find out it is the contractor on the ground who did the hiring.
      We would actually have to get judges in place to work on this, which means more staff for courthouses too. Probably more jailers, and etc.
      That would work for increasing jobs as well, however we would probably have to vote for increased taxes to hire the judges and staff.
      How likely is that?
      Never mind I’ve depressed the f out of myself.

      • strayaway

        Yes, it would cost some money putting rich people in prison. They have deep pockets to legally resist. Where I live, there is an area meat packer, poultry operation, and furniture maker, and the occasional corporate farm that almost routinely get raided and have to replace their illegal alien employees with more. Yet nothing happens to their CEOs or managers. On the other hand, taxpayers already have to highly subsidize these businesses with free medical care, free education for the families their illegal employees bring in, extended unemployment for displaced US workers, and other social benefits. This existing system privatizes profits and socializes welfare. I don’t think there is a need to round up illegal aliens. it would be more efficient to round up a much smaller number of their cheating employers. I don’t want to make too much of the illegal alien end of the spectrum. The giveaway of jobs to foreign countries is a larger problem decreasing the demand for US workers and the fast tracking of the TPP is a huge additional danger to US workers.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        dammmnnn,,,,,,,,,,,,, U are sounding delightfully logical!!

  • Adam R Wallace

    Huntsman seems like a guy that has some level of common sense and a desire to start fixing problems instead of adding to them. Expect the Tea Party to primary him out.

    • Texdakota

      He ran for president last time and did not survive the primary process.

      • blurider

        True, but it was a divided GOP much influenced – too much influenced – by the T’Party faction.
        I could be wrong but it seems there has to be a few little glimmers of reality within the GOP and in any case he’s left them.
        Now, we are all left to dope out how to overcome the oligarchy’s money = speech, juggernaut – and maybe with a broader influence a third party could work…

  • JamieHaman

    From where I sit the GOP has been the party of no since Reagan got elected. No fiscal restraint, no kindness, no common sense, and no woman running her own body, making her own medical decisions.
    Lest I forget, this is also the party of “cram Christianity down people’s throats.”

  • Jim Bean

    I fear Clifton’s workload at FP is too great. He spends all his time talking and no time listening or studying. Pubs alternative health care fix is HR 3121.

    • Turnipblood

      3121 was created in the 11th hour with the plea ‘if anyone has anything to add, please get in touch with my office’ (Roe) Title I of the summary reads, “the repeal of Obamacare”. Titles II-IV read, ‘improving access, improving portability, and creating a competitive marketplace’. Sound familiar?

      • Jim Bean

        Topic of discussion is: “Pubs have not alternate plant to Obamacare, true or false?”

      • Turnipblood

        The topic of my reply is that the alternative is not an alternative at all. It is yet another thinly veiled attempt at a repeal vote – as evidenced by Title I. The remainder is rehashed/reworded ACA with a few more wet reach-arounds to the insurance companies. Just because you turn in a paper doesn’t mean it meets the curriculum requirements – as evidenced by it’s non-progress through the House. 3121 was created for the sole purpose of having a straw image in which some folks may have something to point at….and hopefully do not have to defend.

      • Jim Bean

        Obamacare was not a ‘straw image’ in your estimation?

      • Turnipblood

        One is a law with 18 months of negotiation, 4 years of manipulation, a House test, a Senate test, an Executive test, a SCOTUS test, and an electoral test. The other was literally thrown together overnight and has been sitting in a subcommittee for three months with not even a roll call vote by it’s own architects. You tell me.

      • Green_Devil

        Teatards offer all sorts of alternative plans, including HR 3121. The problem is they’re all jokes and if you read 3121 it does nothing to address pre-existing conditions, affordability, doesn’t allow parents to keep their kids on the family policy until age 26, offers teatards their favorite milksop by limiting malpractice awards to $250k (which isn’t enough in many instances to cover the hospital bills caused by medical malpractice), and repeals ObamaCare. It would be like saying to you that instead of me giving you a dollar, why don’t you give me $20 and we’ll consider everything even. Only a flaming partisan moron would consider 3121 to be a credible plan.

      • getsmart4

        Exactly right. HR 3121 was bkrn just to be waved around at a committee hearing, a d the guy waving it got a righteously deserved smackdown.

    • Peter

      Actually, Obamacare derives from a republican plan …..back when they had plans that didn’t involve “trickle down” economics, or what we in the real world call “the killing of the middle class.”

    • BigTBone

      Pukes couldn’t fix a bicycle if their lives depended on it. They don’t have a damn thing or they’d have the corporate media wailing about it 24-7. Out of ideas, out of personality, out of reality.

      Plenty of room in the 2016 clown car though.

  • openlyblack

    Jon Huntsman sounds less like a moderate Republican than a conservative Democrat … and that’s not a bad thing at all.

    • Bill

      That’s how far politics in good old ‘MURIKA have skewed to the right. Even Obama, as liberal as the right would love for him to be, is a moderate.

  • jokr8790

    Yeah, according to Paul it does such a great service to the unemployed if they and their families are hungry, cold, ill-clothed and homeless.

  • william Scanlon

    What is not reported is that many on unemployment are still temporary workers while on unemployment. They are required by law to report that income and at times they make too much to be given any money for two weeks of their current claim period. For instance: say their weekly benefit is $250.00, they earn $350.00 from temporary employment and report it; in this case they are not given any benefits. However, the following week should an assignment end they earn only $100.00, than for that week they will be granted $150.00 in benefits for their claim. The government sends them a check for $150.00 rather than a check for $500.00 for that two weeks claim period. They report their earnings every two weeks and the amount of benefits varies quite a bit. That is the way the system is designed to work, yet the media pundents are never honest about this fact.

  • Stephen Barlow

    I would have voted for Huntsman, even if her were a RED. he is talking about making the swap to the Blue Zone because the RED Team isn’t Republican any more, they are almost Soviet.