In the nation’s capital, hypocrisy is the universal sport, played enthusiastically by both parties in the Congress. However there are times when the craven political lies are so extreme as to make eyes roll back and heads explode from the shamelessness demonstrated.
One such was Thursday’s all-Democrat “hearing” to promote an extension of emergency unemployment benefits for American workers about to lose their checks. The purpose was to smack Republicans who want to end crazed overspending, and the Dems presented a theatrical tableau consisting of teary-eyed citizens telling their hard-luck stories.
At the same time, the Democrat loudmouths leading the “hearing” are the biggest advocates for amnesty for millions and a doubling of legal immigration — the worst policy imaginable for citizen employment. Far from being the friend of American workers, Democrats are their worst enemies. One example: ALL Senate Democrats voted for the loophole-ridden S.744 amnesty bill. That bill would be clearly harmful to US workers, since it would reduce average wages in America for 12 years and increase unemployment for 7 years, according to a CBO report.
Some star Democrats were in attendance at the dog and pony show, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (lifetime immigration enforcement grade F), former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (lifetime immigration enforcement grade D) and liberal chatterbox Rosa DeLauro (lifetime immigration enforcement grade F).
The House Democrats ran true to form, and were more concerned with government benefits being spread around rather than improving the job-creation climate in the current economy, in which growth is tepid at best.
You can watch the entire presentation online through C-SPAN, although it is 90 minutes long with much headache-inducing political posturing: Long-Term Unemployment Benefits.
For a shorter sample, you can watch Nevada Congressman Stephen Horsford as he made a general statement about unemployment in his state, then addressed out-of-work electrician Stan Osnowitz:
“Stan, I want to ask you a specific question, because one sector that has been hardest hit in my state is the construction sector. And I have building trade workers and unions, like IBEW, and a lot of other trades that have been unemployed now for more than a year. And there really are no jobs in that sector coming back anytime soon in my community because of the sustained recession. The construction industry was our number two sector behind gaming. So it’s been hardest hit. So it is good to hear a union perspective. So I want to ask you, as a building trades worker, what about the quality of the job that you’re looking for? I mean you come from a sector with good, livable wages, good benefits with pension, and apprenticeship to come back and retrain. What happens to you if the jobs that they are trying to put you in don’t really provide for family-sustaining wages for you and your family?”
“As you sit out of work, you start questioning your ability to do a job. Your worth drops, your self-confidence drops, and it takes quite a bit to build it back up. It’s hard to be unemployed. I feel myself as a craftsman. I build. I enjoy building. I like to look back on what I built and say I did that. That’s my pride. When I don’t have that, when I don’t have a job, you feel worthless. It’s a feeling I don’t like. I’ve been in the trade 43 years. I have worked everything from bridges, to steel mills, to car plants, and I’ve always given the top, best job I could, and the quality is what my pride is and that’s what I try to give. To do anything else is unfulfilling. It doesn’t give you a feeling of worth. It doesn’t make you feel good. It’s hard to do something else, not after all of these years and all the training: the continuous training that we go under.”
As it happens, Nevada has had a huge influx of illegal alien labor into the construction industry. In 2003, house framer William Ennis described how his career was ruined: “I started out making $800 to $1,200 a week here for a 40-hour week. It got to where I was having to work seven days a week, 12 hours a day, just to make $600 a week. And that’s just in the past three or four years.”
If anyone in Congress wanted to help jobless construction workers, a good start would be immigration enforcement.
In another screaming hypocrisy, Father Larry Snyder, the President of Catholic Charities USA, spoke at the hearing, remarking, “Our Catholic tradition teaches us that society acting through the government has a special obligation to consider first the needs of the poor and the vulnerable.”
In fact, Catholic Charities gets billions of dollars from the American taxpayer for questionable activities that include resettling refugees and advising illegal aliens about beating immigration law.