GOP Leaders Reject Unemployment Funds
The United States added just 266,000 jobs in April despite a forecast of more than 1 million, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment inched upwards to reach 6.1%.
“This was a disappointing employment report relative to expectations, particularly as more sectors of the economy are reopening,” says Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens.
The jobs discrepancy is a direct result of the Biden Administration’s decision to extend boosted unemployment benefits through September.
The initial decision to boost unemployment benefits during the pandemic was a bipartisan decision. However, the continuation of those benefits despite widespread vaccine availability has created a disaster. According to the American Action Forum, roughly 40% of workers can make more money through unemployment benefits than they can by returning to work.
To solve this problem, GOP leaders in Montana, Arkansas, and South Carolina have rejected the unemployment funds provided through President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
“Normally when you’re getting unemployment, the whole idea is that it’s temporary, and you need to be looking for work to be able to get off unemployment,” says Governor Ron DeSantis (R). He is expected to be the next governor to reject federal unemployment funds. Last week, DeSantis announced that unemployment recipients in Florida will soon be required to provide proof they are looking for a job in order to continue receiving cash.
In Montana, Governor Greg Gianforte (R) is offering unemployment recipients a one-time bonus of $1,200 if they accept a job.
“Montana is open for business again, but I hear from too many employers throughout our state who can’t find workers,” says Gianforte. “Nearly every sector in our economy faces a labor shortage.”
As GOP leaders respond to pleas from businesses desperate for workers, Democrats remain completely oblivious to the crisis.
“We’ve seen no evidence of lower rates of workers reentering the workforce or higher rates of businesses worried about employee availability,” reports the US Labor Department. Others insist that higher wages and subsidized childcare programs will solve the problem.
“We’re still digging out of an economic collapse,” said President Biden on Friday. “The economy still has 8 million fewer jobs than when this pandemic started. More workers are looking for jobs and many can’t find them. While jobs are coming back, there are still millions who are looking for work.”
Author’s Note: In the words of PBP’s Joe Gilbertson, “Whatever you subsidize, you get more of.” If you want more unemployed people, then pay them to be unemployed. Vaccines are available and it is safe to return to work. There is no reason to continue paying people to sit at home.