Big Balls

March 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Economy, Labor, senate | Leave a comment
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Boy working at double circular saws. N.Y. Dimension Supply Co.,. Location: Evansville, Indiana. 1908 October. (Library of Congress)

I’m reading here this morning about the defeat of the Murray Amendment which would have extended the TANF Emergency Fund through fiscal year 2011 and provided funding for 500,000 (half a million) temporary summer jobs for young people.

All 41 Republican senators voted against this amendment, but four Democrats joined them make its defeat bipartisan.

(Bureau of Labor & Statistics) In July 2009, 4.4 million youth were unemployed, up by nearly 1.0 million from July 2008. The youth unemployment rate was 18.5 percent in July 2009, the highest July rate on record for the series, which began in 1948.

Who are these brave Democrats and why did they vote against this bill despite it being almost fully paid for over a 10-year period?

Prison cell block, man playing organ, prisoners sitting on bench behind gate. c.1890. Tappan Adney, artist. (Library of Congress)

Jim Webb (D-VA): You might remember him. He was the darling of the left back in 2006 but the election of Scott Brown to the open Massachusetts senate seat proved to him that despite voters having given Democrats majorities in the House and Senate in November 2008, the bread is indeed buttered on the Republican side.

Mark Warner (D-VA): Despite his recognition in 2001 that “Virginia’s juvenile justice system needs a stronger commitment to re-entry programs and career training, so that when juveniles ultimately leave the system, they will be equipped to enter the workforce as productive members of society,” he apparently believes that young people need to go through the trial by fire of prison experience before their first job.

Ben Nelson (D-NE): Perhaps this no vote was a “thank you” to the GOP for services rendered?

Earl Cazier, manager of St. Anthony stud service, receives call for bull. Fremont County, Idaho. c.1940 (Library of Congress)

Claire McCaskill (D-MO): Maybe she just hates young people.

Whatever the reason for these four Democrats to vote against assistance to poor families and to fund jobs for young people, I am sure that shareholders in the private prison industry are grateful for their support.

I am confident that these four Democrats and their friends on the Republican side will be joining hands to pass the larger bill to which Senator Murray’s amendment would have been attached. After all, the trickle down theory has been well proven.


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