Jay Carney Claims Unemployment Checks Create Jobs
posted at 12:55 pm on August 11, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
In an exchange yesterday with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made the outrageous claim that extending unemployment insurance creates jobs.
That statement is worth rereading. Carney wasn’t claiming that unemployment checks promote spending, which is the point he subsequently attempted to make (see accompanying video), but that they create jobs.
Carney, who was supposed to be a cut above his predecessor in both intelligence and demeanor, even channeled Robert Gibbs in his caustic reaction to the reporter who posed the question:
Oh, uh, it is by, uh, I would expect a reporter from the Wall Street Journal would know this as part of the entrance exam.
Ho, what a knee slapper!
Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media reacts to Carney’s addled logic:
True, unemployment pays people money and they’re likely to spend it. But you’re also paying people not to work. Not to produce anything. The longer you pay them to not work, the longer they’re likely not to work. And the money to pay people not to work has to come from somewhere. Guess where (besides Jay Carney’s back side)?
That’s right—from people who are working, being productive, and who also are likely to spend the money. While unemployment insurance of some form and length is reasonable, the notion that it creates jobs is laughable on a Seinfeldian level. It’s a safety net, not an engine of our economic might.
Put it this way: If Carney’s logic held up, we should just carpet bomb the country in unemployment checks, forever. That would create a billion jobs and we’d all be swimming in prosperity.
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