Republican Rep: Government Handouts To Unemployed Are Creating A New Generation Of "Hobos"

Dean Heller

Photo: Elko Daily Free Press

One new talking point that appears to be gaining steam among Republicans is that it’s unemployed people’s fault that they don’t have jobs.Another is that it’s the Democrats’ fault–for giving unemployed people handouts that encourage them to sit around on their butts and not work.

Earlier this year, Republican Rep. Dean Heller took this rhetoric up a notch, invoking the Great Depression term–“hobos”–and implicitly blaming the jobless and the Democrats at the same time.

Adella Harding, Elko Daily Free Press:

“Six per cent of Americans believe the stimulus package created jobs. More Americans believe Elvis is still alive,” Heller said.

Nevada lost 61,500 jobs, he said.

Heller said the current economic downturn and policies may bring back the hobos of the Great Depression, people who wandered the country taking odd jobs.

He said a study found that people who are out of work longer than two years have only a 50 per cent chance of getting back into the workforce.

“I believe there should be a federal safety net,” Heller said, but he questioned the wisdom of extending unemployment benefits yet again to a total of 24 months, which Congress is doing.

“Is the government now creating hobos?” he asked.

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