In this morning’s Washington Post, former Delegate and Democratic Attorney General nominee, Steve Shannon, has a powerfully argued op-ed on an important topic: “How to provide more help for unemployed Virginians”. Here’s an excerpt:
This is not the time to shake a fist at Washington and just say no. Gov. McDonnell has exhibited a penchant for studies and commissions. One is an Economic Development and Job Creation Commission. Currently, the commission does not have on its public agenda consideration for how to obtain the $125.5 million to assist unemployed Virginians and, as a corollary, distressed areas of Virginia where those Virginians reside.
In the meantime, Gov. McDonnell should immediately make it clear to Virginia’s congressional delegation and to the leaders of his party that he favors extending long-term unemployment benefits. As this newspaper pointed out in its July 13 editorial, “Unemployment benefits, which are most apt to be immediately plowed back into the economy, are about the most stimulative form of spending. Extending them is both fiscally sensible and morally decent.”
This is an opportunity for the governor to step forward and find a way to say yes to helping citizens who so need our help.
The question is, is Bob McDonnell really “Bob’s for Jobs,” as he said in the 2009 gubernatorial campaign that he would be if elected? So far, except for lavishing corporate welfare on his preferred industries – wine, oil, film, military-industrial complex – in return for a handful of jobs (at best), he sure hasn’t shown it. How about, as Steve Shannon argues, first “find[ing] a way to say yes to helping citizens who so need our help?”