He’s said it before, but this time retiring U.S. Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) is getting some attention with his argument that federally funded extensions of unemployment benefits are counterproductive.
Georgia Republican Rep. John Linder suggested Thursday that extended unemployment benefits keep people from looking for work.
After complaining that the Democrats’ stimulus bill has failed to keep unemployment from hitting double digits, Linder said, “And even when businesses are willing to hire, nearly two years of unemployment benefits are too much of an allure for some,” said Linder. “The evidence is mounting that so-called stimulus policies rammed through Congress are doing more harm than good.”
Linder made his remarks during a hearing held by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support. He’s the ranking Republican.
The Gwinnett County congressman, who announced this spring that this would be his last term, said roughly the same thing after first reading this May 10 piece from the Detroit News — which cited instances in which landscapers had refused employment in an effort to keep their unemployment benefits.
From a statement issued last month by the congressman:
“When you build it they will come. When you build more of it, more will come, and those that were already there will stay even longer–I’m talking of course about the medley of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit extensions being signed into law. Reports are coming in now that individuals are purposely staying unemployed so that they can continue to be propped up by the American taxpayer as long as possible.”
On Thursday, the Atlanta Press Club hosted a session with Sue Everhart and Jane Kidd, the two women who—respectively — run the state Republican and Democratic parties.
Everhart came to the defense of Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for governor, whom the anti-abortion group Georgia Right to Life had refused to endorse – in part because Handel supports a right to abortion in cases of rape or incest.
GRTL, whose president is Dan Becker, recognizes a right to abortion only when the life of the mother is threatened.
The press club session was moderated by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), who fortunately had hit the “record” button. He posted the sound Thursday night.
Here’s exactly what Everhart said:
“Mr. Becker and I don’t agree on a lot of things. We’re both pro-life. But our approach to our message is a lot different. I do not – nor do members of my party – give a litmus test to people who want to come into the party. We don’t say you can’t run…for the position if you are pro-choice.
“I’m sure that we have many people in our party that are not pro-life. It’s not don’t-ask-don’t-tell, but we’re conservatives. And I think that is the important thing. Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but Mr. Becker had requested that I put something on the state [primary] ballot. I said absolutely not.
“It is a social issue. I am interested in taxes, the economy, and the safety of my family in our own home.
“Karen Handel is pro-life…I don’t care what her exceptions are. She is pro-life. I don’t ask people, ‘What is your exception?’ And Mr. Becker is not the voice of the Georgia Republican party or the national Republican party. He represents very few people as far as being as outspoken as he is.
“I would say that two-thirds of the Georgia Republican party is pro-life. And the ones that say they’re pro-choice, they will say, ‘I’m pro-life for myself, personally. I just don’t agree that I should bother with other people’s rights.’”
Eric Johnson, the Republican candidate on Thursday unloaded a series of proposals to contain illegal immigration in Georgia. One element was his suggest that public K-12 schools be required to ascertain the citizenship status of their students. Why?
“So we can determine how many illegal immigrants we are providing an education for and then sue the federal government for compensation,” Johnson said.
Down on the coast, people are talking about the firing of Carl Smith, fire chief for the small burg of Thunderbolt, by the town council. Municipal officials said they sacrificed the chief’s $52,000 salary to save the jobs of three lesser employees.
Smith is out of town, but told News 3 in a statement that he is “shocked, stunned, and disappointed at the decision.” He said it’s “nothing more than ‘political retribution’” since he’s seeking to challenge Congressman John Barrow in the November election.
Smith is one of four Republican candidates in the July 20 primary.
The Associated Press is tallying up the costs of four rounds of voting in the 9th District congressional race – A special election and runoff in May and June, followed by primary votes in July and, likely, August:
The May 11 special election and the June 8 special election runoff have cost the district’s 15 counties hundreds of thousands of dollars combined, local officials say.
In Hall County – the district’s most populous – costs for the two elections are about $90,000. In neighboring Forsyth County the price tag is roughly $75,000.
In Lumpkin County, elections supervisor Kimberly Pruitt said the more than $26,000 needed to pay for the special election and subsequent runoff has used all the money she had set aside this year to purchase new voter equipment. And she still has to find another $10,000.
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