Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)

Unemployment in the United States remains high, with the jobless rate hovering at around 7.9 percent.

In an interview with a local radio host this morning, Republican congressman Randy Neugebauer (TX) had his own theory for why Americans are unable to find work — he suggested that we give them too much in government benefits so they are too lazy to simply take jobs:

NEUGEBAUER: Well unfortunately Tom we’ve gotten to the point in this country where we’ve incentivized people not to work instead of incentivized them to work. With unemployment benefits going for as long as 99 weeks, we’ve seen food stamps in this country increase 40 percent in the last 40 years, so basically unfortunately, there’s not a lot of incentive for a lot of people to work.

Listen to the congressman’s full explanation here (the relevant section starts at around 4:50).

Let’s get something clear. The average unemployment benefits in the third quarter of 2010 was $295 weekly — about a third of the average weekly salary at that point of $865.

Neugebauer is basically suggesting that Americans are too lazy to seek work because they are living too comfortably on $295 a week.

Let’s also keep in mind that there are about four jobless Americans for every job opening, the main problem in the economy is a lack of demand that would create good-paying jobs. We need government investment in the economy to stir that job creation. We don’t need ill-informed Members of Congress running down the unemployed.