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Obama Bashes Republicans for Putting Tax Cuts for Wealthy Before Unemployment Extension

In his weekly address, President Obama had some harsh words for Republicans, for prioritizing tax cuts for the wealthy over the continuance of federally extended unemployment benefits:

[Republicans] say we shouldn’t provide unemployment insurance because it costs money. So after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, they’ve finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed. They’ve got no problem spending money on tax breaks for folks at the top who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them; but they object to helping folks laid off in this recession who really do need help. And every day this goes on, another 50,000 Americans lose that badly needed lifeline.

Well, I think these Senators are wrong. We can’t afford to go back to the same misguided policies that led us into this mess. We need to move forward with the policies that are leading us out of this mess. **The fact is, most economists agree that extending unemployment insurance is one of the single most cost-effective ways to help jumpstart the economy. **

The speech comes just in advance of Tuesday’s vote to break the Republican filibuster and extend the unemployment benefits. Both Republicans and Democrats are maneuvering to be viewed as the party of jobs as campaigning for November’s midterm elections heats up.

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