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The latest attempt to paint a picture of Americans drawing unemployment insurance benefits as a bunch of lazy schemers driving around in their “welfare F-150’s” (as opposed to welfare Cadillacs) is just a perfect example of these conservatives’ take on insurance, i.e., that insurance is a sucker bet whether on the blackjack table, in the hospital or driving your car.

You pay for the insurance through the nose and when the need to collect on that insurance arises, well, lots of luck, Chuck! My experience as a business owner and employer taught me this lesson thoroughly. Most jobs you will ever have, you will see a deduction for UIC alongside your FICA, federal and state income tax, company health care, etc. This stands for “unemployment insurance compensation.” In fact, you and your employer are paying into this fund in case business mandates laying off employees, in which case the employee has time to find employment with a reasonable paycheck and the employer, in the event business improves, may be able to re-hire the same employee, who represents a substantial investment in training and vetting. Again, this is insurance paid for by both parties voluntarily and this program has worked very well for a long, long time. Maybe if Sen. Michael Bennet’s act to prohibit legislators from going to work on K Street right away after they leave office passes they will begin to believe in this program. So, please speak up and expose these charlatans for the hyper-hippo-crits that they are.

All of you laid-off workers from the paper mill, the sawmills and the oil patch: do you really think these Republicans are going to do anything to make your family safer, healthier and more financially secure? The American economy and really, our whole way of life, has gone farther in the toilet every year since Ronnie was elected, with the sole exception of those few Clinton years when we actually balanced the budget. (And that’s about all the nice things I’ll say about Bill.)

Anytime the Republicans have been in power the size of government and the deficit grows and the working man’s paycheck and benefits shrink, without fail for the past 50 years at least. If you want things to continue as they have for the last 30 years, by all means re-elect Denny Rehberg. If you want to have any hope for constructive change then get out your change jar and give what you can afford; volunteer if you can but most importantly, get out and vote for anyone else.

Bob Petersen,

Missoula

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