Sometimes in life, until you’ve actually been through something, you have no idea what it’s like to really deal with a particular situation. Being poor is one of those things. Until you’ve lived a life where you literally didn’t know if you might be homeless soon, able to pay your electricity bill or even have food to eat — you really can’t comprehend what it’s like.
It’s why when people judge the poor — especially those who’ve never been poor — I just can’t take their opinions seriously. I grew up dirt poor. I know what it’s like to struggle. I know that being poor often makes it harder to dig yourself out of a hole even if you desperately want to. That’s what people don’t get about unemployment benefits, and programs that help the poor in general. Most of the people who rely on these programs really don’t want to. Most Americans, the vast majority of them in fact, just want a job that pays them enough to provide for their family. That’s it.
Most of us don’t strive to be rich. We don’t have dreams of private jets or multimillion dollar yachts. A decent house, money for our children’s eduction and the ability to retire with dignity to enjoy the latter part of our lives is about all most of us want.
But even these humble hopes are something tens of millions of Americans will never attain. Even as badly as they might want to, unfortunately they’ll just never get there.
So when I listened to a radio interview where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talked about how extending unemployment benefits was something he opposed, I was slightly disgusted. Not shocked — after all he is a Republican — just fairly repulsed.
Then when the radio host was closing out and with a chuckle implored McConnell to please not extend long-term unemployment benefits — and McConnell emphatically laughed right along with him — I became enraged.
These are people’s lives these jackals are playing around with. This isn’t some political game. Millions of Americans need these benefits to provide for their families. Millions of children face an uncertain future if these benefits stop coming in.
You want to call yourself the “pro-life” party while taking away the little that millions of Americans are getting, putting children at risk in the process? That’s an absolute joke.
And don’t give me this, “Well, McConnell said he’ll support an extension if they agree to delay the ‘Obamacare’ mandate for one year” nonsense. They’re not going to delay the mandate — get over it already.
As a politician, you either care about the livelihood of Americans or you don’t. Extending benefits for millions of Americans who desperately need them shouldn’t be a matter of, “What are you going to do for me?” You either support the extension by simply extending the benefits, or you don’t.
But it’s clear Republicans only care about continuing to help millions of Americans if they can get something out of it. Mitch McConnell is basically saying, “I’ll extend these unemployment benefits if you give into something my party has been trying to blackmail the Obama administration with for years.”
That’s all they’re doing is willfully playing games with the lives of millions of Americans. And that’s absolutely pathetic.
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