Florida Republicans Equate Unemployed With Pigs.
Florida Sen. Nancy Detert sent out this gag-inducing press release.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Senator Nancy Detert, R-Venice, released the following statement today on the passage of Unemployment Compensation reform:
“As Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism, I worked with and included provisions requested by my colleagues in the House, the business community, the Governor and his agencies, and advocates for the unemployed, to ensure our state’s unemployment compensation system remains a solvent safety net for those in need.
“The proposed reforms provide relief to employers by weeding out individuals taking undue advantage of the system and provide relief to the unemployed by offering additional assistance to help them get back to work. The bill also saves administrative costs which can be reallocated to make sure those receiving benefits are meeting the requirements of the program. By modernizing and streamlining the current system we will be able to help more Floridians who are struggling to find work.
“Through an innovative concept of using a sliding scale to adjust the available weeks of unemployment compensation benefits based on the unemployment rate, the reforms include tax relief for businesses while ensuring we continue to provide for those actively seeking employment.
“Unemployed Floridians are hurting, and so is our state’s business community, which finances our state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. We have a responsibility to uphold our commitment to out-of-work Floridians while providing tax relief to our state’s businesses as they continue to weather the difficult economy.
“I want to thank Chair Dorothy Hukill and Rep. Doug Holder for the joint package. This is a big step toward helping our small businesses to stay in business and to hire more employees.”
Before the passage of this legislation Florida had one of the worst unemployment systems in the country.Getting unemployment compensation is a paperwork nightmare. The National Employment Law Project ranked Florida's weekly $275 check as the 46th lowest in the country. Detert's legislation does not increase weekly unemployment checks.
Deter had a
uncompassionate answer to her critics.
“Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered,” Detert said. “Learn to like it or get nothing.”
Detert feels that the unemployed are pigs. Detert desribed her bill as "gift of the year" to the business community. It isn't hard to figure out where Detert's priorities lie.
Florida has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates at 11.5 percent. Mark Wilson of the Florida Chamber of Commerce pushed this bill through the Florida legislature. Wilson's reason is the less unemployment compensation businesses have to pay the more profits can be held onto. Wilson has fought for businesses to pay less for unemployment insurance and the workers to pay a bigger share. Wilson succeeded in getting the legislature to make Florida the only state with a sliding unemployment scale.
Under the House version, the national standard of 26 weeks of benefits would no longer be available to unemployed Florida workers. Instead, the maximum number of weeks would vary from 23 weeks when the state’s unemployment rate is as high as 10.5 percent to as low as 12 weeks when the rate drops to 5 percent.
What the Florida legislature is doing is creating a homeless stimulus program. The Florida economy has been in the tank for several years. Homelessness increased by 11 percent from 2008 to 2009. The national average during that time was 3 percent.
In Florida, unemployment increased by 67 percent from 2008 to 2009. Similarly, foreclosures went up by 34 percent and the number of households below the federal poverty line and paying more than half their income for rent went up by 18 percent. These rates were all higher than the national average.
"Not only did Florida have these increases, but it also had levels of risk factors that were high to begin with," Sermons said. "And that resulted in increased homelessness."
If people have no form of income coming in they are headed towards homelessness. Like Sen. Detert said, "Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered." The people in Florida getting slaughtered are the unemployed. As long as Mark Wilson is happy the Republicans in the Florida legislature are happy.