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August 25, 2021

Keep the Unemployment Gravy Train Rolling?

Joe Biden wants to extend enhanced jobless benefits that are … keeping people jobless.

For the last several months, American workers have been divided into a strange class of haves and have-nots. Those who “have” expanded unemployment benefits because their state decided to keep shoveling out the extra $300 a week are more likely to live in a state where the unemployment rate is higher than the national average, while the “have-nots” are more likely to go back to work because starvation is a good motivator and, if you haven’t noticed, there are more jobs out there than people to fill them.

Normally it would be bad news for the “haves” that the federal unemployment supplement is due to expire September 6 — of all days, the end ironically comes on Labor Day. But never fear: The Biden administration has a plan that doesn’t necessarily involve the Supreme Court. We get the news from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her Cabinet counterpart at the Department of Labor, Martin Walsh, who wrote to Senate leaders announcing that the Biden administration would not seek an extension from Congress. Instead, they had a different idea:

The American Rescue Plan allocated $350 billion to state and local governments to support communities’ continuing response to the pandemic, address its economic impacts, and lay the groundwork for a strong and equitable recovery. Now, in states where a more gradual wind down of income support for unemployed workers makes sense based on local economic conditions, American Rescue Plan funds can be activated to cover the cost of providing assistance to unemployed workers beyond September 6th. …

First, the Treasury Department is re-affirming that states can use their allocations of the $350 billion in American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds to provide assistance to unemployed workers, including by continuing to provide additional weeks of income support to workers whose benefits expire on September 6th and to workers outside of regular state UI programs. Second, the Department of Labor will communicate to states about how they can use their existing UI infrastructure to support these state-funded benefits using American Rescue Plan funds. This will enable states that choose to do so to more seamlessly provide support to unemployed workers, while complying with existing federal law and regulations.

Hey, it’s only the money we stole from our great-grandchildren. Knock yourselves out.

There’s enough money in those funds to give a $300 weekly supplement to every one of the 8.7 million unemployed for well over two years, so this could be the “new norm” for awhile.

While Yellen and Walsh temper the Biden administration’s decision by also claiming that state unemployment agencies need to be reformed — part of that “reform” resting in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan before Congress — the fact is that our government still believes our populace is in such a state that handouts need to be made.

We can’t help but remind readers what we wrote back in May: “If you think a little outside the box, ask yourself why the federal government came up with the idea of paying a direct and bigger subsidy to a larger group of recipients as opposed to shoring up state unemployment insurance funds and simply extending benefits for months as it did a decade ago during the Great Recession.” Could it be the same reason mice never figure out why the cheese is free?

It seems that Joe Biden and his supporters are perfectly fine with continuing with this suspended animation of an economy, where the Wuhan flu and its variants are creating the excuse for holding us back. Moreover, jobs that are going unfilled have wreaked havoc with the supply chain, and those effects have cascaded into shortages on food shelves, loaded container ships still awaiting their turn for unloading days or even weeks late, and increasing prices for goods that are available.

When it comes to being participants in a strong economy, the Biden-Harris regime has turned those of us who are struggling to run a business without enough staffing into the “have-nots.”

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