Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that unemployed people need to get back to work and that the extra $600/week in unemployment benefits is disrupting the economy.
Transcript of Mnuchin on ABC’s This Week:
RADDATZ: So — so you do think it is a disincentive to find a job if you have that extra $600?
MNUCHIN: There’s no question in certain cases where we’re paying people more to work — stay home than to work. That’s created issues in the entire economy.
But let me just say, you have to look at all these things —
RADDATZ: I want to — I want to interrupt you there for just one second. You — it’s not all the evidence. A Yale study from this month refutes that, saying many economists who have studied the benefits said that so far they don’t see any evidence in labor market data that the payments are affecting at which people are returning to work during the pandemic.
MNUCHIN: Well, let me just say, I went to Yale.
RADDATZ: I know that.
MNUCHIN: I agree on certain things. I don’t always agree. There’s a Chicago study that goes through all the people that are overpaid.
But — but let’s just face it, we know factually, OK, there are cases where people are overpaid, there are cases where people are underpaid. The issue is, we need to come up with an agreement to extend this. We need to get kids into school. And we’re going to work every day until we reach a reasonable agreement that’s good for the American public.
Trump's billionaire Treasury Secretary Mnuchin basically tells the unemployed that they don't need an extra $600/week during the pandemic. They should go back to work. pic.twitter.com/pTXDgCyeda
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 2, 2020
Mnuchin is claiming that it is too economically disruptive to give unemployed people an extra $600 a week during the pandemic because those people should be working. The problem is that millions of unemployed people don’t have jobs to go back to, and due to the coronavirus, the economy isn’t growing.
Unemployed people have been using the extra $600 a week to pay their bills. The money is going back into the economy. Without those funds people are going to lose their homes, go hungry, and the economy is going to shrink even more.
The incentive argument has been a part of conservative mythology for decades. It is the argument that Republicans make when they want to cut a program that helps people.
A billionaire telling unemployed people to stop being disruptive and go back to work sums up everything that is wrong with the Trump’s administration’s economic response to the pandemic.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association