In an op-ed published Friday, Washington Examiner columnist Tiana Lowe suggested that Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are trying to sabotage the economy in order to win the 2020 presidential election.
“Everyone wants the economy to do well, but Republicans need it to do well as we head into the fall,” Lowe wrote. And Democrats seem to be doing everything in their power to stop that from happening.
“An extra $600”
According to Lowe, Democrats are seeking to extend the expanded unemployment benefits that were first put in place to help ease the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on American workers. The CARES Act, passed in late March, established “an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits for those who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic,” CNBC reported.
The expanded benefits were originally set to expire at the end of July. But now, Lowe says Democrats want to guarantee the extra payments through January 2021.
“Republicans rebuked the proposal,” she reported. “They argued that the expanded benefit had been temporary on purpose, intended to cover the period when we really didn’t want people to work.
“To expand it until the next calendar year would create a perverse incentive whereby many workers find it financially more advantageous not to go back to work,” Lowe added.
“A bad idea”
To support her contention, Lowe cited numbers from a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study that said “roughly five of every six recipients would receive benefits that exceeded the weekly amounts they could expect to earn from work during those six months.”
“That’s not the way things are supposed to work,” Lowe complained. “Normally, unemployment insurance replaces 30% to 50% of normal earnings. It is only meant to ease the pain of a layoff temporarily, and it is set low enough that recipients are better off finding and taking a job.”
But under the Dems’ new plan — outlined in the so-called HEROES Act, which, according to CBS News, was passed by the House last month — that simply wouldn’t be the case.
“It’s a bad idea to depress employment and economic output through 2021, to say nothing of the young taxpayers who will someday have to pay for additional spending that actually makes the economy worse for them now,” Lowe noted in her Friday op-ed.
For their part, GOP leaders seem to be thinking along the same lines. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled that he isn’t on board with the Democrats’ plan for expanded benefits.
“What I thought was a mistake was the bonus we added that small businesses all over the country are saying make it more lucrative to not work than to work,” the majority leader said late last month, according to Politico. “That’s exactly the opposite of what we want to do.”