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Obama's New Stimulus Calls Unemployment "Discrimination"

September 27, 2011 J

In addition to extending more free services to the unemployed, Obama’s new stimulus plan seeks to apply the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to “discrimination” against unemployed job seekers. This isn’t any typical civil rights cause. Out-of-work individuals will receive legal protection for their unemployed status and get paid in the process.

In the President’s plan, businesses are encouraged to give hiring preferences to long-term unemployed individuals through generous tax credits. Furthermore, the government subsidizes joblessness through a series of unemployment benefit extensions. Why would anyone answer Obama’s call to “get to work” and champion the “American” way when they can flaunt the way of the unemployed?

Among the various increases in spending, the American Jobs Act directs states to provide taxpayer subsidized services including: job search counseling, the development of individual re-employment plans, “comprehensive assessments to identify alternative career paths,” “services that are designed to enhance communication skills, interviewing skills, and other skills that would assist in obtaining reemployment.”

And if you participate in the re-employment program, don’t worry about transportation costs, child care, and “dependent care.” The President makes provisions for all of these. The unemployed also receive “augmented wages” for a service that is still unknown. Being unemployed is starting to sound like a full-time job—except for the fact that most full-time jobs exclude individuals from means-tested programs. None of the “Bridge to Work” wages, however, “shall be considered as income for the purposes of determining eligibility” for Federal assistance programs.

All of these government hand-holders push the market toward “living the life” with little to no responsibility. Rather than stimulating the businesses and entrepreneurs the President exalts in his speeches, Obama is rolling out red tape and spending that actively stifles them.

Overall, this Jobs Bill is an implicit refusal to consider public opinion. Two weeks ago, Rasmussen reported, 64% of “Likely U.S. voters think thoughtful spending cuts should be considered in every program of the federal government” (emphasis added). But, the President follows up with a bill stuffed with just the opposite. Programs in this bill not only make it convenient to be unemployed, but make joblessness a self-righteous status symbol: I’m unemployed, so hire me!

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