While Americans are being swamped by the recession, President Bush is threatening to veto two bills that might help keep them afloat. One bill would extend unemployment benefits for up to 20 weeks; the other would allow a woman to take 12 weeks unpaid leave from work after giving birth or adopting a child, without losing her job.
Defending his opposition to extending benefits, the president cited the tired GOP tax-and-spend line. But with billions being doled out in foreign aid, that rationale reeks of hypocrisy.
Bush could extend benefits to laid-off Americans and still stay within federal budget constraints merely by accepting Congress' premise that the unemployment problem is an "emergency" situation -- which, with tens of thousands of men and women running out of benefits every month, seems fairly obvious.