I applaud U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning. Not because he held up $10 billion from the unemployed. Not because he stood up to the Democrats. Not for saying "tough shit" to another senator (well, maybe because of that, too). I applaud Bunning for being a congressman finally able to stand up for something he actually feels strongly about. President Obama has accused the GOP, rightfully, for being a party of no. This is absolutely correct. But the GOP has been a party of no because of partisanship, not because of what they think. Bunning's recent blocking of funding for the unemployed was not a political move. First of all, politicians just aren't going to risk their reputation over $10 billion. Secondly, he is retiring. He is gaining absolutely no political advantage by voting against the bill.
So where does that leave us? It surely leaves us with thousands of unemployed who are not going to get benefits. This is the part people have a problem with, including me. The other part people have a problem with is the growing deficit, including me.
So what is the solution? THE SOLUTION IS EXACTLY WHAT BUNNING SAID IT WAS: Don't pay for something until you have the money. Bunning did not refuse the measure outright; he just wants to come up with the money first. Is that so much to ask? This simple idea of saving until you can afford something has never gotten anybody in financial trouble. Vice President Biden has said we should not be turning off the "valve of relief" but rather opening the "spigot" wider with respect to financial assistance. This is absolutely true. The more-fortunate have an ethical, if not moral, duty to help the less-fortunate. That statement is not a political issue. It doesn't matter whether you are blue or red. It is a human issue. But before we open the "spigot" wider, we need to make sure there is some "water" available.