"Jim, the most important thing we can do for somebody who’s unemployed is to see if we can get them a job."
That was GOP Leader Eric Cantor speaking with Jim Cramer about the July labor numbers. The full quote (from Joan's article:)
CANTOR: Jim, the most important thing we can do for somebody who’s unemployed is to see if we can get them a job. I mean, that’s what needs to be the focus. For too long in Washington now we’ve been worried about pumping up the stimulus monies and pumping up unemployment benefits and to a certain extent you have states for which you can get unemployment for almost two years and I think those people on unemployment benefits would rather have a job. So that’s where our focus needs to be.
KRAMER: I just want to be very, very clear, on a day when we have a good unemployment number, that’s terrific, but not a great one and you confirmed not a great one, you are not in favor and will go against the president’s wishes to extend those unemployment benefits?
CANTOR: What I have said all along, Jim, is if we’re going to spend money in Washington, we better start to make choices and we’ve got to set priorities. If we’re going to spend money, we better cut it somewhere else.
Rep. Cantor is absolutely right about this: people on unemployment benefits (and those who have exhausted those benefits) would much rather have a job.
Rep. Cantor is wrong on the need to offset emergency unemployment spending, though - in the same way he was wrong about offsetting disaster relief spending.
I'd like to echo Joan's excellent idea:
...I recommend all unemployed people send their resume and a request for a job interview to Rep. Cantor, since he says the most important thing he, as part of government, can do is to get unemployed people jobs. Maybe he'll share his bootstraps with the rest of us.
Back in January, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. issued a call for resumes. He delivered some 9,000 of them to Congress and entered them into the Congressional Record:
Let's see if we can top that.