Dear Mr. President,
Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona demonstrated rather clearly today why I've lost any faith I might have had in the Republicans' ability to work with Democrats. Senator Kyl, during debate about extending unemployment benefits, insisted that unemployment is a disincentive for some to finding work. How out of touch does a person have to be to think that the unemployment and COBRA benefits are enough to live off of? Or, for that matter, to believe that Americans are content to make enough to survive, willing to accept poverty if it means avoiding work?
How is this man qualified to represent American voters, when he clearly thinks so little of them? I've known several people on unemployment, Mr. President, and they hated every day of it. They worked hard to get back to work. They were grateful to be able to survive, to pay rent and buy groceries while they were between jobs, but they certainly did not hesitate to take jobs when they found them. How does Senator Kyl have so little faith in Americans?
I hope that these Republican senators opposing the extension of unemployment benefits are made to understand the consequences of their appalling cynicism. I hope that they are flooded with letters and phone calls. Most of all, I hope that the next time they are up for reelection, their constituents decide to give them a first-hand taste of the realities of unemployment.