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Republicans Couldn’t Care Less About the Unemployed

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04.08.2020

In case you haven’t noticed, the coronavirus is still very much with us. Around a thousand Americans are dying from Covid-19 each day, 10 times the rate in the European Union. Thanks to our failure to control the pandemic, we’re still suffering from Great Depression levels of unemployment; a brief recovery driven by premature attempts to resume business as usual appears to have petered out as states pause or reverse their opening.

Yet enhanced unemployment benefits, a crucial lifeline for tens of millions of Americans, have expired. And negotiations over how — or even whether — to restore aid appear to be stalled.

You sometimes see headlines describing this crisis as a result of “congressional dysfunction.” Such headlines reveal a severe case of bothsidesism — the almost pathological aversion of some in the media to placing blame where it belongs.

For House Democrats passed a bill specifically designed to deal with this mess two and a half months ago. The Trump administration and Senate Republicans had plenty of time to propose an alternative. Instead, they didn’t even focus on the issue until days before the benefits ended. And even now they’re refusing to offer anything that might significantly alleviate workers’ plight.

This is an astonishing failure of governance, right up there with the mishandling of the pandemic itself. But what explains it?

Well, I’m of two........

© The New York Times


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