Watch John Shadegg express astonishment at the notion that unemployment benefits could provide economic stimulus:
BARNICLE: What about the fact that unemployment benefits pumped into the economy are an immediate benefit to the economy? Immediate…
SHADEGG: No, they’re not! Unemployed people hire people? Really? I didn’t know that.
BARNICLE: Unemployed people spend money Congressman, ’cause they have no money.
SHADEGG: Aha! So your answer is it’s the spending of money that drives the economy and I don’t think that’s right. It’s the creation of jobs that drives the economy…Actually, the truth is the unemployed will spend as little of that money as they possibly can. Job creators create jobs.
Shadegg is expressing -- I was about to call it an "idea" but it's more of an impulse or a prejudice -- common among conservatives, which is that rich people having more money is always good for the economy. Rich people use their money to create jobs, and poor people just blow it on booze or whatever. Liberals may want to give more money to the poor out of some misguided soft-hearted compassion, but to really help people you need to give them jobs which means the rich have to have more money.
Like I said, this isn't an idea. It's just a vague sensibility that flows from the rich man's view of the world and resonates with uninformed minds sympathetic to anything that sounds like conservative thought. The truth is that the blunt "trickle down" theory espoused by Shadegg isn't rooted in any kind of economics, conservative or otherwise. And in point of fact, businesses are sitting on mountains of cash right now. The notion that they need more cash to start hiring is totally implausible.