The PJ Tatler

Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee Explains High Unemployment: It's All Republicans' Fault!

Watching this segment from MSNBC today, it’s a close call as to who of the two is more economically ignorant. It might be the leftwing host asking his leading, softball question. Or it might be the leftwing Democrat he is chatting with.

Chris Hayes asked Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), “Something I can’t help but notice is there is a very obvious policy in front of everyone right now, which would be extending long term unemployment insurance. And it’s hard for me to think that the reason those people are on long term unemployment, or long term unemployed, is because they have neck tattoos, or because they didn’t have enough super vision growing up. I can’t quite seem to connect cause and effect there. Do you agree?”

Way to ask a tough question, there, Chris! What’s the follow-up, “Why are you so awesome?”

It is true that excessive body modification tends to limit one’s career prospects in many career fields, unless you’re Glenn Hetrick and you own your own special effects and movie creature design business. We can’t all be Glenn Hetrick. Which is too bad in some respects, because he pulls off some amazing stuff. At any rate, the whole “neck tattoos” discussion is a predictable vehicle by which Hayes intends to belittle Republicans and dismiss their actual economic and governance arguments. MSNBC is nothing if not the most predictable product on cable.

Lee’s answer to Hayes’ slow-pitch isn’t any better than the question: “These stereotypes are outrageous. People don’t have jobs because we have not invested in job creation, and the Republican Tea Party refuses to invest in job creation.”

It gets worse from there: “People don’t have jobs for the most part because we have really fallen short on workforce training, on education, on really investing in targeting resources in communities that are hardest hit. Not everyone has benefited from this recession — you know, this recovery, excuse me. But you know, some are, others aren’t.”

Government is an exceedingly poor job creator, and cannot create actual wealth. It can get out of the way of wealth creators, but most often chooses not to. It can and does confiscate wealth and redistribute it, all at the point of a gun. Lee evidently wants more of that.

Is it possible that people don’t have jobs because Democrat policies — Obamacare, overburdening regulations, Obama’s energy policies, confiscatory taxes at the state and local level — have made it hard to create and sustain jobs? Hayes never asks that question, and Lee therefore never has to answer it.

Watch the segment here: