In making the case for citizens subjects of the US to fork over more money in unemployment benefits, President Obama decided to bring out an actual real live unemployed person (no touching, please) for a little dog and pony show.
One teensy little problem. She’s unemployed because she was convicted of prescription drug fraud.
CBS19’s Jessica Jaglois has learned that Macko was found guilty of prescription drug fraud in March 2009, one month before Macko lost her job at ACAC. She served a one year probationary sentence.
Macko joined two other unemployed people and President Obama at the podium for a speech designed to encourage lawmakers to extend jobless benefits.
Now I may be jumping the gun, as the reporter was unable to confirm from the employer that she was indeed fired because of the conviction.
ACAC owner Phil Wendel was unable to tell CBS19 if Macko was terminated because of the conviction. There’s also no indication from the court file that Macko lost her job because of the court case, or that she has received unemployment benefits improperly.
CBS19 contacted Leslie Macko about the conviction, and she declined to comment until she speaks with her attorney. We have also reached out to the White House to see if they know the full story behind the woman they chose to stand next to President Obama, but have not received comment from them either.
But I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t need to check with a lawyer if she weren’t. Maybe I’m wrong. It still doesn’t excuse the remarkable lack of attention to detail of this Administration; it remains amateur hour.
While there may well be people who are out of work and need help to get by, it remains true that extending or increasing unemployment benefits artificially increases the unemployment rate by raising the reserve wage (the amount of money someone will accept to go to work rather than sit home). The solution is not using force to take my money and give it to people Congress think need it; the solution is for good people to freely help their neighbors. Believe it or not, even mean old heartless libertarians help their neighbors. Further, unemployment is a state and local issue, providing unemployment benefits doesn’t fall within the powers granted Congress in the Constitution. Like that matters.