Ken Buck’s Descent Into Comic Book Villainy Continues

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

As the Greeley Tribune’s Cuyler Meade reports–voting against every coronavirus relief bill, sometimes almost alone, slamming stay-at-home orders to slow the pandemic while deaths from COVID-19 skyrocketed in his home Weld County, mocking basic best practices like wearing masks and avoiding mass gatherings, and plenty more examples of outrageous irresponsibility we didn’t even bother to list here during the ongoing emergency wasn’t enough for Rep. Ken Buck, Congressman and embattled chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

Now Rep. Buck wants you to know that the unprecedented millions of Americans who lost lost their jobs in the last two months, and forced through no fault of their own to seek unemployment compensation, are a bunch of freeloaders! Especially the really poor ones:

Touting a bill he and North Carolina Republican Ted Budd introduced in Congress on Tuesday, Windsor-based Republican congressman Ken Buck continued his consistent criticism of the CARES Act, saying it incentivized unemployment through benefits that are too high for those who are out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [Pols emphasis]

The Getting Americans Back to Work Act, Buck said, caps the amount an individual can receive from unemployment insurance at 100% of their previous wages, fixing, a release said, “glaring errors in the CARES Act” that provide too much money to people who have lost their jobs and are relying on unemployment insurance.

“America’s Grand Reopening starts by getting people back to work. We need to fix the glaring flaws in the CARES Act that have incentivized many Americans to remain out of work by providing more income through unemployment benefits than they would have received from their employer,” Buck said in the statement released by his office. “A record number of Americans have lost their jobs because of this nationwide shutdown and we need to do everything we can to encourage people to safely return to their places of work. Our strong, vibrant workforce is the backbone of our nation and is the key to a full recovery.”

It’s true that the additional unemployment relief authorized in the original CARES Act on top of states’ existing unemployment benefits has created a situation where some low-wage workers are receiving more in relief funds than they made on the job. For the purpose of keeping people home and safe during the ongoing pandemic, there’s nothing wrong with making sure the most vulnerable workers in the economy are not driven to unhealthy choices out of economic necessity. As anybody who has ever tried to live off the wages earned by workers who fall into this category of getting a bigger relief check than they got in paychecks before the pandemic, workers making such low wages are not “ripping off” anyone. They are themselves being exploited. Taxpayers are already paying to supplement the low wages of workers in America who earn so little they are forced onto public assistance to make ends meet.

But above all, for Ken Buck to make clamping down on the lowest-paid workers who are guilty only of receiving a benefit that exposes much greater systemic inequality his top priority, instead of policing big corporations who vacuumed up “small business” Paycheck Protection Program funds before real small businesses could even call their bank to apply or countless other more useful and (key point here) less heartless targets of oversight, says everything you need to know about Buck’s own principles.

At this point, we think Buck intentionally chooses his ugly grandstands. The uglier the better, and the negative reaction he gets is perversely gratifying to him. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of cynicism and misanthropy that has its embittered audience, but contributes nothing useful to the debate over any issue beyond helping define the limits of common decency. And it will continue until Buck leaves office or the voters of beet-red CD-4 decide they’ve had enough.

Until then, Chairman Buck soldiers on as the greatest brand ambassador since Jared the Subway Guy.

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    It's really too bad Ben Kuck didn't apply this logic to his old boss and Haliburton when they were raiding the Treasury under the disguise of promoting liberty in the Middle East? 


    • MichaelBowman says:

      Seems like the right place for this John Berger quote: 

      "The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied…but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing."
      ~John Berger

      • Duke Cox says:

        1 Timothy 6:10 : For the love of money is the root of all of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 

        Big Money leaves a bruise.



        • MichaelBowman says:

          The fact his ilk can't even stand with Kentucky coal miners should tell you all you need to know (that, and the fact our Commerce Secretary made a small fortune on their backs). 

          Same shit, different day:  

          Mitch McConnell: The Man Who Sold America

          When a group of former coal miners suffering from black-lung disease caravaned to Washington to ask the senator for help, he met with them for only two minutes, leading to terrible headlines. As Fancy Farm got underway, coal miners in Harlan County were holding a protest that made news throughout the state. Their company had declared bankruptcy without warning and was refusing to pay their final paychecks, and the miners were blocking the tracks to prevent rail cars from shipping $1 million worth of the coal. As the protest stretched into late August, the site became a 24-hour encampment, attracting activists and food donations from around the country, and was visited by nearly every Kentucky politician except McConnell. Practically every story featured the miners cursing the senator. “He’s not pro-coal,” said miner Collin Cornette. “I don’t even think he’s pro-Kentucky.”



          • notaskinnycook says:

            Kentucky’s about the poorest state in the country. The people there may be poor, but just maybe they’re wising up about who’s helping to keep them that way.,

            • Duke Cox says:

              Indeed, Kentucky is 45th in median income in the US. But they have always been rich enough in uninformed voters who wouldn't vote for a Democrat under any circumstances. Hopefully Mitch has exposed himself to enough Kentuckians for the lying thief he is, they will send him packing.

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