GOP leaders: Struggling Americans simply have it too good

(AP)

In a recent interview with Politico about the dangers of forcing a government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked briefly about an unrelated topic. His response reveals a lot about how he and many of his fellow Republicans see the world:

Asked about the improving economy, McConnell scoffed: Business leaders tell him they have “a hard time finding people to do the work because they’re doing too good with food stamps, Social Security and all the rest.”

I find that reaction fascinating and all too revealing.

First, with a jobless rate down to 5.1 percent, business leaders OUGHT to have a harder time finding workers. It’s a good thing, a sign of progress that the grumpy McConnell ought to celebrate not bemoan, and it has nothing to do with food stamps or Social Security. In fact, according to the supposed law of supply and demand, as the jobless rate falls, employers ought to be forced to compete for workers by paying them more, just as they have to pay more when any commodity becomes more scarce. That too would be a good thing.

jobless1

Yet so far that hasn’t happened. There’s very little evidence that employers are responding to a tighter job market by raising wages. To the contrary, wage growth continues to lag well behind GDP growth, and economists are perplexed as to why.

Second, McConnell comes from a state where the median household income has fallen significantly and is now $10,000 lower than the national average. Kentucky also has the fifth highest poverty rate in the country. Yet when asked about the economy, McConnell’s reaction is not to take the side of his own constituents, people who are struggling to make ends meet in an increasing punitive economy. Instead, he instinctively sees the world through the eyes of employers who are frustrated that they might have to begin paying people a little bit more and give their workers a slightly larger share of the pie.**

As McConnell candidly put it, he believes that struggling lower-income Americans just aren’t struggling enough. The economy isn’t punitive enough. They have it too good. He believes that programs such as Social Security and food stamps have to be cut back so that people become more desperate, allowing employers to hire people at even lower wages, with even fewer benefits, so that corporate profits can rise above their already historic levels. That’s his idea of needed economic reform.<

Finally, contrast McConnell's position with that of Donald Trump, who over the weekend lambasted soaring compensation for CEOs and pointed out that CEOs often hand-pick the board members who then set their salaries.  "It's a shame, and it's disgraceful," Trump said on “Face the Nation.” ” …  you see these guys making enormous amounts of money, and it’s a total and complete joke.”****  Trump has also ridiculed his fellow Republicans for their fixation on cutting Social Security, Medicare and other programs.

And he’s the one leading in the polls, while McConnell and his fellow Republicans in Congress have a 12 percent job-approval rating, a 10-point decline from just four months ago.

—————————

** For the record, the national SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) caseload peaked back in December 2012, almost three years ago, and has since fallen by 2.3 million recipients. In McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, SNAP caseloads have fallen by 7.8 percent in the last year alone. And the average monthly SNAP benefit is $117.84 per person in Kentucky, or less than $30 a week.

—–

**** Just last week, the CEO of United Airlines was forced to resign in disgrace after becoming a central figure in a federal bribery investigation involving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  But thanks to the agreement that he negotiated with the United board, Jeff Smisek walks away with an additional $4.9 million lump sum “separation payment” from the airline. He will also remain eligible for financial bonuses, will get lifetime free flights and will receive 60,746 shares in United worth an additional $3.4 million. Again, this is an employee forced out by a major corruption scandal.

Reader Comments 0

492 comments
DS
DS

Business leaders tell him they have “a hard time finding people to do the work because they’re doing too good with food stamps, Social Security and all the rest.”

Republicans hate helping people with government assistance. So they claim that it makes people too lazy to work.

Only trouble is, that doesn't add up. A person would make more money with most jobs than they could get from government assistance.

I think many Republicans don't want a real jobs program, either. They'd rather have high unemployment to keep the working class at a disadvantage. Sort of like indentured servitude, or slavery. A strong labor market would mean that they'd have to compete for workers, pay them better, and treat them better. 

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Fox News hosts freak over Stephen Colbert wearing a Black Lives Matter bracelet:

Ever since a string of controversial incidents between police and unarmed African-Americans, the issue of race in America has taken center stage. While the Black Lives Matter movement has drawn attention to the topic, others have pushed back.

The divide between those who defend law enforcement and those who stand with the victims of alleged police brutality has been made clear. Now a partisan political issue, the story one gets from the right wing media differs from what's told on more liberal leaning news outlets. On the September 13 edition of "Fox and Friends" on Fox News, the hosts discussed the issue of Black Lives Matter, in particular, Stephen Colbert wearing the group's wristband during his first week as host of "The Late Show."

"It's possible (Colbert) is so rich, famous, a celebrity guy, so totally out of touch he doesn't fully understand what that represents," co-host Tucker Carlson said of the Late Show host wearing a Black Lives Matter wristband. "Do you really want to get into this your first week on air, diving face first into the most divisive social movement in America?" Co-host Anna Kooiman agreed with Carlson's statement, saying of Black Lives Matter, "It is very divisive, there is no doubt about that."

Kooiman and fellow co-host Clayton Morris spoke about the separate factions within the movement, all who they agree are divisive. Carlson then continued his attack on Black Lives Matter, stating that the purpose of the group was to divide people based on race. "It's the idea behind all the groups, and that is that you divide people on the basis of their skin color," Carlson said. "Everybody's life matters. Period." Morris then questioned Colbert, wondering "is he going to have an arm full of different wristbands for every skin color?"


http://tinyurl.com/qbx8njq

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Mick11 Everything the right wing says is either false, mostly false or a pants on fire lie.

RantNRave
RantNRave

"@td1234  You need to get your fixation looked at."


Old Engineer


He needs to get that PERSECUTION COMPLEX looked at !



gotalife
gotalife

Iranian president wishes all Jews a happy new year

gotalife
gotalife

The media lost all integrity and crediblity.


cnn uses yellow journalism he said she said bs.


The first question will be:


Mr. Trump, you said blah, blah, blah.


Tump will respond by attacking the yellow journalist tapper..



td1234
td1234

"In North Carolina, all four magistrates in rural McDowell County have recused themselves from performing civil wedding ceremonies for any couples. The moves are allowed under a state law passed in June that allows certain public officials to avoid marriage duties if they have religious objections. So far, 32 magistrates across the state—about 5% of the total—have done so, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts.

As a result of the void in McDowell County, magistrates from neighboring Rutherford County have been driving in to perform ceremonies three days a week, during reduced hours. Tonia Hampton, the McDowell County register of deeds, whose office issues marriage licenses, said the documents continue to be available during regular hours. “It’s business as usual for us,” she said.

While the new law prohibits registers of deeds, who are elected officials, from refusing to issue licenses, it allows their assistants and deputies to do so. Ms. Hampton wouldn’t say whether any staff members had recused themselves.

The situation in McDowell “illustrates the administrative nightmare that this new law set up for our local officials,” said Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. The group is urging any couples who experience problems as a result of the new law to come forward. So far, none has, Ms. Preston said.

In Alabama, about a half-dozen county probate judges, who oversee the issuance of marriage licenses, aren’t providing them to any couples, said Greg Norris, the Monroe County probate judge and president of the Alabama Probate Judges Association.

Among them is Nick Williams, the Washington County probate judge. He said he stopped issuing licenses immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that legalized same-sex marriage—a decision he said he considers “ill-advised” and “invalid,” because marriage is a state issue.

“By not issuing licenses to anyone, I’m not discriminating against anyone,” Judge Williams said.

Under Alabama law, probate judges “may” issue marriage licenses, but aren’t obligated to, providing firmer legal ground for those who have objected. But Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, said the group is studying the issue to see “if there’s an avenue we can use to encourage” the holdouts to resume issuing licenses."

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 Sweetie, you do know that the "new law" referred to was the NC Religious Freedom law which the governor vetoed and was passed over his veto, right? 

TBS
TBS

As long as someone in each county is issuing marriage licenses to those who quailify and request one then so be it

But as I had been stating way before the SCOTUS decision, gay marriage would eventually be legal in all 50 states..... and now it is and it will continue to be that way

As the old hymn goes

"No turning back..... No turning back"

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 you really should cite to your sources otherwise it's commonly called plagiarism. 

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@td1234 And all of these people refusing same sex marriage certificates will wind up JUST like the ones who refused to issue inter-racial marriage certificates.

As artifacts of history. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 Let us know they stop marrying adulterous and divorcee, I'm pretty sure Jesus is just as interested in that as well since He did address both as sins.

foo2u
foo2u

Was TD forced to gay marry? I'll bake him a cake to celebrate!...

Derp...

kitty72
kitty72

@td1234 


and soon all those poor "persecuted" Christians will retire and the baloney will end. Not surprising it is in ignorant rural counties. Too funny. The rest of the world moves on and those folks just keep going back to cavemen.

King_of_Kolob
King_of_Kolob

If we outlawed firearms for the mentally ill, do you think Wayne LaPierre could get a gun permit?

td1234
td1234

"A new CNN/ORC poll shows that registered voters continue to be in revolt against more gun control, with majorities saying “current laws are about right or even too harsh.”

Following public attacks like the one against WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward–where the gunman passed a background check for his firearm–majorities also doubt the efficacy of expanding background checks.

According to CNN, the poll shows a stark decrease in support for gun control between the time that Adam Lanza stole guns and attacked Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012 and now. For example, a poll taken in January 2013  showed 56 percent of poll respondents believed it was “too easy for people to buy guns,” but by September 2015 that figure had fallen to 41 percent.

In fact, 49 percent of respondents told CNN that current laws “are about right” and “10 percent [said] that they make it too difficult to buy a gun.”

While the typical  Republican/Democrat divide exists–65 percent of Republicans think current laws “are about right;” only 28 percent of Democrats agree–the real demographic highlight is the fact that voters under the age of 50 side with Republicans on this issue. For example, “51 percent [of seniors] say it’s too easy to get a gun, while only 37 percent of those under age 50 think the same.”

The loss of faith in gun control was evidenced by the fact that 56 percent of registered voters doubted more gun control “would be able to prevent those with mental health problems from buying guns” and 58 percent doubted more laws “would keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals.”

kitty72
kitty72

@td1234 


We are beyond the tipping point regarding guns. There are so many guns out there legal and illegal people are going to die just because we were too stupid to stop it. You do realize all guns, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, started out as legal guns. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Until they were stolen or sold to a criminal. Or the legal"responsible" gun holder became a criminal.


straker
straker

Outer - "but Obama is proud of his economy"


Are you suggesting he order employers to raise wages?

foo2u
foo2u

He should be... especially when you take into account what the starting point was and the fact that he had NO help from the GOP...

It could be better, but not too shabby for a singular effort. ..

Derp...

PJ25
PJ25

Yet so far that hasn’t happened. There’s very little evidence that employers are responding to a tighter job market by raising wages. To the contrary, wage growth continues to lag well behind GDP growth, and economists are perplexed as to why.

But Obama is proud of his economy. 

kitty72
kitty72

@Outer Marker 


It is better than what Bush left us with that is for sure. Not sure McCain or Romney would have made it any better. Tax cuts DO NOT drive an economy.

foo2u
foo2u

"What would the GOP do to spur wage increases?"

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... snirt...

Thanks for that...

Derp...

td1234
td1234

"The article goes on to hypothesize:

Perhaps more worrisome, women don’t seem to think she’s telling the truth about her server. Among all female voters, 51% in a Fox News poll said Clinton “knowingly lied” about her private server, while 51% of women in CNN’s August survey said Clinton did something wrong when she decided to control her email through her own server.

Apparently, the Clinton campaign is shocked that women can actually read and that they have the capacity to process what they have read. It should be no surprise that when a majority of a demographic segment believes a politician is a liar and has engaged in misconduct that a majority will also vote for someone else.

This erosion morphing into avalanche of women voters away from Clinton is lethal. There is no way anyone in the race is going to generate black voter turnout and roll up the 97% or so level of support that did Barack Obama.

Clinton’s slide among her core constituency hasn’t gone unnoticed by her Republican rivals. “It appears that Democratic women are starting to trend the way of the larger electorate,” said Kellyanne Conway, a longtime Republican pollster who is working for theSen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 100% campaign this cycle. “They don’t trust her, and they don’t see her projecting confidence in herself, in them, or in the future of the country.”

Conway said that from Republicans’ perspective, Clinton would need to outperform Barack Obama’s 56% showing among women voters in 2008 in order to win a general election contest in 2016. “Knowing that women will comprise a majority of the electorate and knowing that she will under-perform among men compared to President Obama and President Clinton, she needs to get closer to 58% to 60% among women and right now she is nowhere near that.”

If she goes into the general election with a non-existent difference in support between men and women she will be routed."



KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 When even Mediaite is pointing out the way this recent Quinnipiac poll (saying the first thing people thought of when they thought of Hillary Clinton was "liar") has been unfairly reported as representative of all voters, you know there's a problem. Columnist Tommy Christopher got them to release their internal polling numbers, and they paint a different story:

Because of the way the results were reported, Republicans and Republican leaners comprised 45% of the reported responses, while Dems and Dem-leaners made up only 36%. Again, this analysis still leaves out a good 20% of the overall responses (ones which were mentioned one time or less), but when you consider the responses in context, it’s pretty clear that the negative responses were overwhelmingly from Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, and that there’s a much higher degree of descriptive unanimity among them. If there’s a point to be taken from this question, it’s that Republicans think Hillary Clinton is a liar, and perhaps Democrats and independents aren’t quite as sure what they think of her. ... .

straker
straker

Doggone - "moochers"


Cons here and elsewhere are constantly complaining about government regulations.


However, they never seem to complain about government subsidies and other perks given to Big Business.

gotalife
gotalife

The cons have the most powerful woman on the planet stuck on their minds all the time.


AKA CDS.


Release your private emails gowdy.

Arms_Akimbo
Arms_Akimbo

@Doggone_GA


Read you article. The state of GA. put up $266mm. The Feds put up $84mm. The balance will come in 2016 after the election. Good thing the state wants invest for the future.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

706 Large Large, an amount which will sail through in a little over 2 months - a two-month ROI - what! - now THAT's a trickle down small govt glorah-of-da-free-mahket, power of freeeee innerprise, let the market decide investm.....

oh wait heheheheh

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 You don't think the refugees move to the closest, easiest to get to place? 


Yes they do. Most times that would be a capitalist country. If there is a humanitarian crisis anywhere is better. 


 You imagine they first contemplate the which economic/political system they might prefer, while they are dodging bullets?


If you turn down the hyperbole a bit yes most people do contemplate EXACTLY that. Otherwise why would they leave. 


In North Korea most are told they live in paradise. The ones who defect are usually exposed to South Korea in some fashion. The kind of thing that makes a comparison possible. 

elgrunir
elgrunir

Off to the salt mines, peepz...

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 Does Headley still root for the Chase

Who for the Yanks plays down at third base?

Or is it a sin

To cheer those in pin (stripes)

And doing so makes you lose face?


It is still a sin. With the Braves season in the toilet i'm pulling for the Cubs. 


I'm used to getting let down what can I say. 

elgrunir
elgrunir

A rare GMARE special!!!


Wherefore art thou, Gmare?

Do you have any “likes” you can spare?

Your name’s like a dream

That makes us all scream

I know what you’ll say: “Grow a pair”

straker
straker

Debbie - "what's a girl to do"


Putin will get you for that.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

So Lenin is actually BANNED for at least 24 hours?!? Gasp!  Shock!  TWENTYFOURHOURS without reading witty repartee like "Yes, from our reliable 'liberal' enforcers against left anti-capitalism" and "You think the mouthpieces of capital should be bubbling over with joy at seeing the jobless rate down (assuming it actually is) and not bemoaning the relative loss of power for the employers? Then you need to go back and read your Marx. "

OMG what's a girl to do without her daily dose of radical Marxism and anti-capitalism for TWENTYFOURHOURS!!??!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG7KCOO76Wc