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Tony Perkins / May 12, 2021

Biden’s Big Government Works Overtime for Unemployment

The Democrats’ COVID welfare is turning the country’s workforce into a bunch of highly-paid couch potatoes.

The evidence of it is everywhere — at restaurants, factories, construction sites, even want ads. A couple in Chattanooga couldn’t even go out to dinner without being greeted by a sign that read: “We are short staffed. Please be patient… No one wants to work anymore.” In Indiana, the head of a trailer company told reporters, “I’ve never seen it this bad.” Employers offer to pay more, give night and weekend incentives, and still — they can’t seem to find any applicants. “There’s too much free money sitting out there to stay home,” one said. And if something doesn’t change — and fast — the worker shortage will be the least of America’s worries.

The Democrats’ COVID welfare — a mix of generous unemployment benefits and stimulus checks — is turning the country’s workforce into a bunch of highly-paid couch potatoes. “The government is my main competitor right now,” Labor Link’s Todd Hein shook his head. In Indiana, where Hoosiers are getting about $600 a week in relief, most industries have no way to compete. “We did a four-hour job fair [in April],” Hein explained. “It was advertised and was on TV, and nobody showed up.” And the vacancies are across the board. New York City’s restaurant scene, like Ilili in Manhattan, are struggling to keep operating with more than 15 positions empty. But the CEO, Philippe Massoud, doesn’t have to guess what the problem is. “If I was working a back-breaking job and making $600 a week and I had had the option of making $600 and not breaking my back — the choice is obvious,” he said.

Meanwhile, supply chains have been disrupted, prices are sky-high, and some employers are seriously considering moving their operations back overseas where they can find cheap labor — or, at this point, any labor at all. “It’s insanity that the government is paying people to be idle instead of taking the millions of jobs that are available right now,” Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) fumed. Back in Georgia, he’s hearing from desperate employers, who — like the rest of us — are watching the cost of lumber spike — and wondering how much longer they can hold things together. “How does a business compete with Big Government like that?” he asked. “We can’t.”

Of course, the Biden administration — whose entire agenda rests on government dependence — merely shrugs. People aren’t turning down jobs, the president claimed. In fact, he doubled down on the handouts, insisting that their plan to pay people $15-$25 an hour to do nothing is “working.” Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) says she’s “shocked” to hear statements like that from the president. “We couldn’t be farther from the truth,” she argued on “Washington Watch.” “We’re about 85 percent open in Indiana. We would be 100 percent open if the employers [could hire]… We have got to get people back to work and drop that extension of unemployment. It is literally paralyzing this country.”

In her state, Indiana, kids have been back in school since October. That’s when the state economy started taking off. “Our workforce was zooming back. This administration has not even been in power for six months, and they are destroying this economy.” At the end of the day, Walorski pointed out, this is a family issue. “Their left pocket and their right pocket are going to be picked by the federal government — and between not being able to hire, and the prices that are going through the roof as we see inflation hitting our state in our country by next summer. We’re not going to recognize this place…”

Republicans, fortunately, aren’t going to sit idly by as some American workers and let that happen. Loudermilk and others are frantically introducing bills to cut the federal unemployment checks before the damage is irreparable. Even the increasingly liberal U.S. Chamber of Commerce is chiming in, demanding that Democrats act to get the situation under control. And how are Democratic leaders responding? According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “The disappointing April jobs report highlights the urgent need to pass President Biden’s American Jobs and Families Plan.” In other words, we need more programs, we need more spending, we need more government — which is exactly what created this drag on our economy in the first place.

In more conservative states, governors have decided they aren’t waiting for Washington to flush their labor force down the tubes. In places like Arkansas, Montana, and South Carolina, Republicans are moving quickly to slash millions of dollars in unemployment benefits. Indiana and Arizona are on deck to do the same. “More states are expected to follow,” predicted Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), insisting that the president is in “denial” about the impact of his policies.

“Here we sit,” Walorski said, “with the president crippled, looking at a large loss and it doesn’t even move him to say, ‘Let’s buckle down and get serious about turning this country around.’” There’s danger ahead, she warned. “Republicans are doing as much as we can. We’re filing good bills.” But at some point, she insisted, the country needs to “stand up and start taking this head on.” That means Americans “putting pressure on the House speaker and their own representatives. This is a fight we better be in now to head this off — or it’s going to get out of control.”

Originally published here.

Amid Calls for Cancelation, Promise Keepers Stands Strong

The cancel culture must be getting desperate. After a month of having their lunch handed to them by Georgia, Montana, Arizona, Texas, and the conservative movement in general, the bullies on the Left are frantically trying to prove they’re still relevant. The trouble is, fewer and fewer people are a) intimidated; or b) paying attention. But as Promise Keepers’ Ken Harrison will tell you, that hasn’t stopped the mob from making a stink about the big PK event scheduled for July in Texas.

If you’re looking for woke hot spots, U.S. sports may be the biggest offender outside of government schools. From Major League Baseball to the NCAA, America’s leagues seem intent on driving away fans and profits with its political extremism. USA Today’s Mike Freeman, a columnist for the paper, is the latest to bet that the NFL will back him in his absurd quest to cancel a Christian conference for daring men to act like… men! In today’s world, that’s apparently a shocking enough concept that Freeman thinks Dallas’s AT&T Stadium should call off the event entirely.

“I’m tired,” Freeman declares dramatically. “Just really tired. Tired of ignorance. Tired of fear. Tired of how some use both as weapons, cloaking bigotry as patriotism or religious freedom” — which is what he accuses Promise Keepers’ Harrison of doing. Comments like his, the sports beat writer says, “shouldn’t be anywhere near an NFL team. A company like AT&T shouldn’t be associated with them either.” And what are these outrageous comments that has the Left in such hysterics? Nothing short of biblical worldview on marriage and gender. “Look,” Harrison said, when USA Today contacted him and asked if he regretted his stance, “today’s culture is blurring the lines when it comes to sexual identity.” That’s not hate speech, he insisted. That’s reality.

Freeman disagreed, insisting (as so many radicals before him have) that people who identify as transgender “simply want to exist.” Where have we heard that before? Oh, right. From the domestic partnership debate. From the same-sex adoption and marriage debates. And now from the transgender debate. The far-Left has been lying about this grand compromise for years. “Live and let live,” they promised during “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” bathroom privacy, and school debates. Now, we have drag queens reading to our kids in elementary school, girls running from the half-naked boys in their locker rooms, and teachers getting fired for using the “wrong” pronoun. That’s oppressing. It’s coercing. It is not, as hundreds of victims will tell you, “existing.”

The irony, as Ken explained on “Washington Watch,” is that Christians continue to welcome people they disagree with into the conversation. We may disagree with some people on biblical marriage and sexuality, but “we don’t want to exclude anybody. That’s the source of the attack, is that people aren’t going to be welcome. We’re saying bring everybody who wants to hear the gospel. Anybody who Jesus would appreciate that we want to preach to. So everyone is welcome to come. But we are going to be preaching the gospel clearly and authentically. And I did have one leader call me and say that he wanted us to assure him that nobody would be offended by our event and [that we would] preach the gospel. But if no one is offended, then we didn’t do a very good job.”

And frankly, Ken points out, everyone should be on the same side when it comes to the importance of fathers and solid marriages. The social benefits are too overwhelming to ignore. “I was a policeman in Los Angeles, in south central L.A. back in the 80s and 90s… I saw what happens when boys are not raised by fathers… You had 90 percent who are really good people in a very Christian churchgoing culture of south central L.A., held hostage by 10 percent of violent, angry, driven young men with no discipline. And that’s where we’re heading unless men don’t start to raise their kids and have biblical values and start to be unpopular with their kids every once in a while because they stand for what’s right.”

So far, the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones don’t need convincing. They see the value in tens of thousands of men coming together to try to live a life of purpose. “They’ve been great to us, and I have nothing negative to say about them at all.” And why should any of this be controversial? “We are not teaching misogyny, we’re not teaching chauvinism. We’re teaching men to lay down their lives, to be godly leaders, to their family, to teach their children the word of God, to cherish and love their wives… That’s what Promise Keepers is about. It’s amazing that anybody would be threatened by that.”

At the end of the day, the Left is scared of one thing: our impact. “They don’t want to see us unified and standing strong, because [that’s when we’re] a powerful force for the Lord and our children.” If the church would stick together, Ken believes, there’s no limit to what godly men and women could do.

If you want to be a part of the movement, consider going to the Promise Keepers’ event this July. Details are available on their website.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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