Dean Baker, one of the few economists who correctly predicted the collapse of the housing bubble, makes a plausible case in this Guardian article for the idea that Republicans, by opposing the extension of unemployment benefits, are hoping to make the economy worse in time for the November midterm elections.
It may seem bad taste to accuse Republicans of wanting a rise in unemployment but their actions leave no other explanation.
by Dean Baker
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 6 July 2010 13.00 BST
From now until 2 November, the Republican party will be the party of unemployment. The logic is straightforward: the more people who are unemployed on election day, the better the prospects for Republicans in the fall election. They expect, with good cause, that voters will hold the Democrats responsible for the state of the economy. Therefore, anything that the Republicans can do to make the economy worse between now and then will help their election prospects.
While it may be bad taste to accuse a major national political party of deliberately wanting to throw people out of jobs, there is no other plausible explanation for the Republicans’ behaviour. They have balked at supporting nearly every bill that had any serious hope of creating or keeping jobs, most recently filibustering on bills that provided aid to state and local governments and extending unemployment benefits. The result of the Republicans’ actions, unless they are reversed quickly, is that hundreds of thousands more workers will be thrown out of work by the mid-terms.
Read full article here.