We’ve all been guilty of it — the inside-out logic of deliberate self-delusion, to try to convince ourselves of something we really wish were true, such as:
- “I’ll get there on time as long as I hit every light and there’s no traffic.”
- “I can quit drinking/smoking/bingewatching Downton Abbey whenever I want.”
- “If you eat leftover dessert standing up, it doesn’t have any calories.”
- “How can global warming be real if it’s snowing?”
So I’d like to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their objection to extending long-term unemployment benefits, spearheaded by Senator Rand Paul. His explanation is one of the all-time classic inside-out rationalizations, “Extending benefits does a disservice to the unemployed.” See, they’d be out looking for a job, even though there are three unemployed people for every available job, except that $200 weekly check is making them way too comfy, and so they’ll be grateful for the kick in the pants they need to go out and get a job that doesn’t exist.
And let’s assume their objection is also out of concern for the economy — even though most economists say that every dollar in unemployment benefits adds more than a dollar to the economy (because unemployed people will spend the money on frivolous items like food, housing and utilities), and even though the shutdown last fall cost just about the same as extending benefits would. It’s just that in Rand Paul land, up means down, and numbers work backwards. (Either that, or he’s too busy footnoting every single word he says, so that we mean liberals won’t accuse him of plagiarizing again.)
In that spirit, I’m only likening Paul to a certain Seussian green-skinned character because they’re both so cuddly and cute!