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Republican Jim DeMint Can't Get His Lies Straight

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Republican Senator Jim DeMint can't seem to decide which of his series of lies about the unemployment crisis to peddle in any given moment.

In one breath, DeMint says that there's an unemployment crisis because government gets in the way of business, so businesses don't want to hire. In the next breath, DeMint says employers DO want to hire, but unemployed people are lazy and want to live in mom's basement and collect their minimal existence grocery money.

Well, which is it?

Here it is, straight from the horse's (expletive deleted) mouth.

"I have spent the month of August visiting a lot of businesses, manufacturing plants. I have been on shop floors. I have talked to a lot of the companies that create jobs in South Carolina and across the country. And what they want is less regulation," DeMint said.

"They just keep talking about the EPA, FCC, all these different agencies, National Labor Relations Board that seem to be harassing companies. They want to know what their health care costs are going to be, what the unemployment costs are going to be. They are actually afraid to hire people because of what they're afraid of what the government will do to them."

OK, so there is an unemployment problem because businesses do not want to hire people in an uncertain environment and with the government breathing down their neck. That's one of DeMint's versions of the truth. Here's another, taken from the same interview.

"I have talked to a lot of businesses in South Carolina who can't get employees to come back to work because they are getting unemployment and they're getting food stamps and they say call me when unemployment runs out," fibbed DeMint.

Well, now wait a minute. Are businesses hiring or not? At least get your lies straight, Jim, before you go on TV and beclown yourself. You aren't Larry Craig — you don't get to go both ways.

The reality is that neither of DeMint's reasons are accurate, or, in my view, truthful. I suspect he made both anecdotes up, because neither one reflects the world we live in. In the real world, businesses are not hiring because demand is not there. Demand is not there because consumers do not have enough money to buy products.

The money really hasn't been there for a generation, as wages have fallen in real terms. In place of wage-gains, Americans tapped credit: credit cards, low-interest financing on big items, and refinancing their houses. That kept the economy going for decades, until the housing bubble popped. The decline in house values, combined with astronomical foreclosure rates, has frozen the ability for consumers to borrow their way through the crisis. Since wages won't go up (who can compete with $1 a day Cambodians?) and there is no more debt to be had, demand is stuck.

In other words, the only thing that's fueled the economy the past 30 years is debt. And, until wages rise, it's the only thing that will fuel the current economy. In this case, it will be government debt: a massive jobs program that infuses demand into the economy by putting money into the hands of people who will spend it.

Not that the Jim DeMints of the world will ever see the problem for what it is, or offer a solution to fix it.

"There are a lot of people who desperately need it and we need to make sure that we have that safety net in place, but we also have to realize there are a lot of people gaming the system right now," DeMint said.

"And we need to do better than we have done with just extending benefits, there have to be incentives for people to get back to work. These have to phase out in a way that we haven't done it before."

Translation: We're going to stick with lie #2 for now...and who cares about the 20-30% of Americans who cannot find a job because those jobs do not exist. Jim DeMint is a disgusting human being, and I have to wonder about the souls of people who follow him.

You can reach the author by email john@benzinga.com or on twitter @johndthorpe.

 

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