President Obama hasnt had much success in getting his ideas on putting the unemployed back to work through Congress, but this latest rejection by Republicans is a doozie.
The president had a good and relatively modest idea to help recent military veterans, namely those who served after the Sept. 11 attacks. Vets are unemployed at a 10.9 percent rate compared to the national figure of 8.1 percent. Its easy to understand why: Their service took them out of the job market, and that market has been pretty dismal all the way around, for everyone.
Obama wanted to create a Veterans Jobs Corps, which would have put vets to work on federal projects. And it would have been paid for in a perfectly legitimate way, with delinquent taxes collected from Medicare providers and suppliers, or from penalties imposed on them.
Republican, claiming the program was too expensive ($1 billion over 5 years) just put it on the shelf in the U.S. Senate.
The GOP knows that the nations budget deficit in growing more important to people, so it becomes a convenient excuse for saying something costs too much. But in this case, whats wrong with paying for a program with money the government is due, anyway?
And of course, when something like this happens, when ordinary people are ignored by the GOP leaders in Congress, who apparently couldnt care less if veterans who served their country now stand in unemployment lines, there is another suspicion. Republicans dont want the president to have accomplishments that help ordinary people on his record as he seeks re-election. What a lousy reason for them to reject his idea.