A total of 18 Republican Governors and one Democratic Governor have moved to end the Biden administration’s enhanced unemployment insurance as federally subsidized benefits are apparently hurting the job market, a connection proven by the government’s horrible jobs report announced earlier this month.
The government cluelessness about the labor market effects of the enhanced portion of $300 a week has been underscored by Biden’s own conflicting statements on the issue.
At first, he declared enhanced UI wouldn’t be a factor in preventing people from returning to work.
Then he said it was in fact a major factor to that end.
Pretty bipolar thinking if you ask me…
He eventually went all out on admitting that enhanced unemployment benefits were part of the problem and demanded that people on benefits have to take a job offered to them, otherwise, they would lose the right to benefits.
Biden has thus prolonged a scheme in which the US government is paying people to remain at home instead of going out and taking a job.
Enough is enough
A total of 18 Republican governors have moved decisively to get rid of the enhanced UI of $300 per week in their states.
While their timetables differ, all 18 of those plan to put an end to it by September.
The states in question are Georgia, Utah, Arizona, New Hampshire, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, West Virginia, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee, Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, and Idaho.
Mississippi Gov. Reeves in particular has tweeted that without filling the thousands of jobs that are up for grabs in the state there could be no full-fledged economic recovery.
Three states, Alaska, Arizona, and North Dakota, have decided to retain the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits with respect to independent contractors and gig workers.
Several others, including Montana and Ohio, are offering bonuses of up to $2,000 for those returning to work in order to stimulate reemployment.
Arizona stands out for also deciding to offer funding for three months’ worth of childcare costs to people who become reemployed but make less than USD 25.00 an hour at a new job.
The decisiveness of the Republican governors to cushion the job market blow of enhanced unemployment makes perfect sense considering the fact that such policies shouldn’t be set by the federal government but by the states.
They are simply much better suited to so with their detailed knowledge of their own population and job market.
One Democrat joined the party
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, also announced that he was ending enhanced job benefits, a program giving 13 weeks of benefits beyond traditional unemployment benefits.
Wolf declared the decision had been made since the state’s unemployment rate fell below 5%.
A major problem caused by enhanced UI, which has been overlooked by both the federal government and the states, has been the effect enhanced unemployment benefits have had on special needs and disabled people who experienced a shortage of workers for essential services.
The problem in question has been caused precisely by government subsidizing.
The basic wage for home care workers set by Medicaid amounts somewhere in the $9.50 – $12.00 an hour range, with states having to fund on their own anything beyond that.
Those jobs are with no paid sick time, and no health insurance, leading many in the sector to hold more than one job, including one providing health insurance.
Retention has been an enormous issue for home care agencies now exacerbated by enhanced UI.
Motions by state governors to end the enhanced benefits are a crucial step in the right direction to stop the siphoning of government money, or better say - taxpayer money.
That is also against the backdrop of the Biden administration and the Democrats’ efforts to push the PRO Act and the Worker Flexibility and Small Business Protection Act, and with the Labor Department’s abolition of the Independent Contractor rule.
The federal government really must end its overregulation, overreach, and Big Labor’s encroachments against citizen’s freedom to work as they choose.