Joe Miller, Republican Senate candidate from Alaska, is intent on change when he gets to Washington, but it might not necessarily be a popular change. In fact, Joe Miller’s ideas when it comes to unemployment benefits extensions seem to align somewhat with another candidate who also received the blessings of the Tea Party — Sharron Angle of Nevada. Although senatorial candidate Joe Miller did not label the unemployed “spoiled,” and seems to be a bit more politically sensitive, he told ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line” that he did “not favor their extension.”
Miller didn’t travel down the bumpy lane to entitlement and unwillingness to work that Sharron Angle traveled. Still, he went to the end of the road. Angle did say she simply would rather reduce the amount of unemployment (which currently allows for a recipient to receive 36 percent of their former pay) because she felt that the unemployed weren’t looking for work due to receiving too much in benefits. Instead, Joe Miller told “Top Line” that: “The unemployment compensation benefits have gotten — first of all, it’s not constitutionally authorized. I think that’s the first thing that’s gotta be looked at, so I do not favor their extension.”
Emergency unemployment benefits extensions have been passed by Congress as a matter of course since the 1950s. Since companies continuously add to the unemployment compensation coffers through good times and bad, the system is seen as self-rectifying during the better economic years. Miller’s position may not have much of an impact on the current legislation that Republican senators have managed to filibuster throughout the month of June, but, if he is elected to the U. S. Senate in November, his vote of “nay” could be a bill-killer for future emergency unemployment extensions, and, given the economic outlook, extensions may seem necessary past the end of November, when the current extension would expire.
Joe Miller’s possible election does not seem to bode well for those currently in the Tier system of unemployment benefits extensions, nor does it bode well for a possible Tier V extension, an as-yet unlegislated idea of extending emergency unemployment past the Tier IV, or final, unemployment extension for those unemployed (called 99ers) who have exhausted their current benefits eligibility.
And Miller’s is not a popular stance. Polls from CBS News and ABC/Washington Post indicate that there is popular support for unemployment extensions (52 percent and 62 percent, respectively, with 39 percent and 36 percent disagreeing, respectively).
But, Joe Miller is more aligned with the Nevada senatorial candidate on the issue of social security. He agrees with Sharron Angle on privatization of social security, telling “Top Line” that “there has to be a transition.”
Miller also has the endorsement of Sarah Palin. Although Sharron Angle does not have the open, public endorsement of Palin, she has the financial endorsement. Sarah Palin’s politcal action committee, SarahPAC, donated $2,500 to her fall campaign against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Joe Miller also received a financial endorsement from SarahPAC, according to RGJ.com, to the tune of $5,000.
Joe Miller is the Republican candidate set to contest Democratic incumbent Lisa Murkowski’s Senate seat in November.
CBS News, ABC News, and Washington Post polls via NYTimes.com