OTHER NEWSPAPERS’ VIEWS
Labor Dept. leader’s remark sounded worse than it was
Madsen’s request to not extend jobless benefits any further wasn’t intended to blame the unemployed for their predicamentOn the heels of Idaho Department of Labor Director Roger Madsen’s remarks about cutting extensions to unemployment insurance in Idaho, the state’s Democrats are barking. “Roger Madsen must resign,” said Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant. “As head of the Idaho Department of Labor it is Madsen’s job to make sure every unemployed person in Idaho has the help and support they need, not cut the very funding their survival depends on.” The state’s Democratic leader said unemployment benefits keep people in their homes and buying food. Which is true. Unemployed Idahoans have received more than $800 million in federally funded unemployment benefits since July of 2008. Madsen himself acknowledged the importance of unemployment benefits in Idaho when he wrote a letter to Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, this month letting the federal legislator know that extensions of these benefits no longer hold Madsen’s support. “These benefits have helped thousands of Idahoans pay their bills, take care of the mortgage and support local businesses,” Madsen wrote. That said, he turned his message to Sen. Crapo to reasons for cutting them off. Madsen said future extensions would do more harm than good. The man in charge of labor efforts in the Gem State said many unemployed workers have lost the skills and knowledge needed to find re-employment and cutting off the support checks would force them to get back on the job before they become unemployable. Madsen said extended unemployment benefits just add billions to the national debt. He said after talking to business leaders, state legislators and his staff that he had to encourage Congress to vote no on any more extensions for those out of work. This circle of trust didn’t seem to include any of the state’s thousands of unemployed. And this “tough love” approach to the state and nation’s unemployment woes didn’t sit well with Grant. “It is not the unemployed that caused the recession,” Grant said. “They are not the problem.” He said the obstructionist actions of Republicans in Congress who refuse to try any legislation to create jobs and stimulate the economy as proposed by President Obama are the real problem. Madsen isn’t blaming people who lost their jobs due to economic stagnation for their own misfortunes. Madsen’s letter to Sen. Crapo isn’t as harsh as leaning out the window of your pickup as you pass by a bread line and yelling, “Get a job!” It’s Madsen’s job to help unemployed Idahoans do just that — get a job. In fact, the Internet home page for the Idaho Department of Labor states it is “your connection to the training, education and opportunities for jobs of the future.” The first link it offers is a portal to help Idahoans search for a job. It’s the next link on the page that should bother Madsen a tad. It’s a link to help people file for unemployment insurance benefits — the ones Madsen wants to limit. In his letter to Crapo asking for a no vote on extensions, Madsen admits he knew his recommendation would make people unhappy. He closes by saying that cutting off the unemployed is simply the right way to cut the deficit and give employers the confidence to invest money and re-hire people. If that doesn’t happen, the pantries of the homes of Idaho’s unemployed will be not only empty, but belong to a mortgage company already bloated with property it cannot sell — especially to people who cannot find work. n This view is from the Idaho State Journal editorial board in Pocatello.
OMG, here's an idiot for ya. Cut off unemployment benefits will help Idahoans seek jobs. HOW THE HELL ARE THEY GONNA PAY FOR THE GAS WHEN THEY CAN'T EVEN PAY THEIR MORTGAGES? Sometimes I get so wound up when it comes to the distorted thinking of the folks running our state. What possesses a guy to 'blame the victim' in this terrible economy? Cut off unemployment benefits...why doesn't he just say pack up the ol' rucksack and take a hike? The guy has the heart of a crocodile.