Stephen Moore: Biden's Unemployment Benefits Keep Americans out of Workforce Economist Stephen Moore at CPAC 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
By Solange Reyner | Sunday, 09 May 2021 01:06 PM
Enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping Americans out of the workforce, says Trump economist Steve Moore.
“There are a lot of Americans who … should be working, but they’re not working,” Moore told radio host John Catsimatidis Sunday during an appearance on the “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM.
“The reason … is because we’re providing such high unemployment benefits right now to unemployed workers that it’s just not a good deal for these workers to go back on the job. If I were advising Joe Biden… I would tell him (to) stop with the supplemental unemployment benefits. We don’t need them. The economy is healing on its own. Let’s get back to good economics. … What we do not need right now … is… a big tax increase… It’s a wet blanket on the economy.”
Biden on Friday batted down a question suggesting a link between slow employment numbers in April and expanded unemployment benefits.
“No, nothing measurable,” he told reporters.
“Today’s report is a rebuttal to loose talk that Americans just don’t want to work. I know some employers are having trouble filling jobs. … Our economy still has 8 million fewer jobs than when this pandemic started. The data shows that more workers are looking for jobs, and many can’t find them,” he added.
Extended unemployment benefits include additional payments of $300 per week. Montana and South Carolina governors last week announced they would be ending the extra aid, citing labor shortages.
Friday’s jobs report fell short of analysts’ expectations – the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that only 266,000 were added in April, well below the projected figure of nearly one million.
“We’re seeing employers from coast to coast saying, ‘I’m advertising help wanted. I’m giving bonuses to people to come back to work.… I’m finally getting my business back up and running.’ [But the worker shortage] is just a big problem,” said Moore.
“It’s causing chokeholds in the supply chain. Truckers are saying they can’t get oil to the gas pumps because they don’t have enough drivers. This is a real drag on the economy right now. And it’s so easily solved. … In Montana they just said let’s give people a bonus to go back to work. Not a bonus to stay unemployed.”
According to Moore, Biden, “is basically saying, ‘It’s my way or the highway.’ And that’s … no way to negotiate … to put a gun to your opponents’ head. Republicans feel like they’re under siege. Until Biden changes that … tactic … I think you’re going to see arm-to-arm combat in Washington for the months to come.”