April 10, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Gov. Kaine and unemployment

Our governor, Tim Kaine, voiced outrage that the Republican-led General Assembly rejected the conditions for getting extended unemployment benefits as part of President Obama's stimulus package, but did not respond to the Republicans' principled critique of such policy measures as being counterproductive.* The Republicans' refusal means that Virginia will forego $125.5 million in federal "stimulus" aid. As reported in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Kaine says that the General Assembly will have to reconvene in order to pass the necessary measures to qualify for that money, but it seems unlikely. "Opponents, mostly Republicans, said this would cost the state money and, perhaps, lead to more layoffs when the economic stimulus money runs out."

* It's pretty elementary, once you think about it: If you want more people to work, you create the conditions under which more money will be spent on payroll; if you want fewer people to work, you pay them not to do so, i.e., unemployment compsensation. There is a place for emergency government relief measures, but it ought to be part of a public works program, not a welfare "freebie." As Delegate Chris Saxman said in a press release (via e-mail):

A short-term check from the federal government is no substitute for real, pragmatic solutions that will create new jobs, stimulate economic growth, and get Virginians working again in long-term, full-time jobs that provide good pay and good benefits.

Randall Terry is back

The loathesome and obnoxious anti-abortion activist Randall Terry is raising hell once again, spearheading a movement to prevent President Obama from speaking at the Notre Dame commencement, because of his (Obama's) pro-choice stance. I saw Terry making a strange statement on TV, and confirmed it at stopobamanotredame.com:

We must create a political mud pit that is so ugly that Obama does not want to wade through it to speak at Notre Dame.

That's a odd approach for a supposedly religious person to take. Do Megan and company in the Mud Pit know about this?