The facts are there: according to Boehner's website, "'Emergency Unemployment Compensation' program is put in place only in the worst economic conditions and is designed to be temporary ... the recent program ... was in place longer (66 months), was extended more times (12), aided more people (24 million), cost more ($265 billion) and added more to the debt ($210 billion) than any previous program. ... the vital safety net that provides all eligible unemployed workers 26 weeks of benefits" is still in place.
Republicans should aggressively back temporary additional unemployment benefits, make sure they're paid for, and tie them to job training and tax breaks for job creation. What's really needed, as Obama says, is more jobs, and additional unemployment compensation does not provide jobs, just money.
To be successful, the Republican argument this fall has to be about more than facts and figures; it has to include emotion as well and be phrased in a positive manner.
Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, links a person's happiness to "the belief that you've created value in your life and value in the lives of other people. When people say that they have earned their success, they become much happier than their neighbors, friends, and families."
But we need to do more to communicate emotionally, linking policy to people.
We are for a program that provides support for the long-term unemployed, but also encourages skills training and job creation while not adding to the debt. Such a program would allow a single mother, who has recently learned new skills, to be hired by a small company that can afford to hire her because of tax breaks. She can now explain to her son how she helps others in her job and earns money for their family.
Now that's a message Republicans should communicate all year long.
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