In today’s editorial, the Wheeling News-Register criticizes members of Congress who are “more interested in scoring partisan points than in serving all Americans.” The editorial then praises West Virginia’s two senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito because they “worry about people first, politics second.”
What crap! Manchin and Capito are no different from the rest of the Senate – they listen to their constituents, their party, and their contributors (not necessarily in that order).
But what is it, according to the editorial, that makes Capito and Manchin special?
But both understand tens of millions of Americans – including many of their fellow West Virginians – need help to get through the COVID-19 epidemic.
More crap -- now they're using a shovel. Please . . . no other senator realizes that?
The editorial continues:
Regarding a bill on the subject, Capito said there is “pretty good agreement” between Manchin and her. “But it’s gotten into a political arena,” she added.
Yes, it has -- because everything government does is about politics.
To prove my point, Capito was interviewed on Fox News this morning:
If you watch the interview, Capito has no problem criticizing a lack of Democratic response after Republicans suggested that they are willing to compromise by extending the $600 benefit for one more week. Of course, Capito is playing politics. Additionally, as economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times explains, the Republican’s proposal can’t happen:
They don’t even seem to understand the mechanics of how unemployment checks are paid out. They proposed continuing benefits for a brief period while negotiations continue — but this literally can’t be done, because the state offices that disburse unemployment aid couldn’t handle the necessary reprogramming.
If you’ve been following this fight, you probably know that its the continuing support and the amount of the unemployment benefit that is one of the major barriers to an agreement. Again, from Krugman’s excellent column (emphasis is mine):
Above all, Republicans seem obsessed with the idea that unemployment benefits are making workers lazy and unwilling to accept jobs.
This would be a bizarre claim even if unemployment benefits really were reducing the incentive to seek work. After all, there are more than 30 million workers receiving benefits, but only five million job openings. No matter how harshly you treat the unemployed, they can’t take jobs that don’t exist.
It’s almost a secondary concern to note that there’s almost no evidence that unemployment benefits are, in fact, discouraging workers from taking jobs. Multiple studies find no significant incentive effect.
(Note – if you go to his Times article, Krugman links to the various studies.)
I’ll leave you with the thoughts of former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich:
By the way, I haven’t seen anything in either paper on an opponent -- is Capito running unopposed? (Just kidding – on the day after the WV primary, Ogden listed Paula Jean Swearengin as the winner of the Democratic primary.)