President Ronald Reagan famously said “If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it.” As it turns out, those foundational principles of conservative economic policy have only become more true in the age of COVID. New reports show that the number of people receiving unemployment benefits decreased by more than 13% from mid-May to mid-June, but only in states that announced an early end to Biden’s bonus $300 unemployment benefits. For those states that plan to carry the extra benefits through the program’s termination in September, the unemployment number went down by only 5.7%.
Everyone agrees that we would like to see more people going back to work as COVID-19 comes to a close. If we can all agree on that, why are we taxing the people who are working and giving bonus free money to the people who are not working? Not only does that violate every basic law of economics, but it is also terribly unfair. Have you seen the number of “Help Wanted” signs out recently? No one who wants to get a job in this market will be unable to find one.
Sadly, as long as America remains a land where people are paid to not work, there will always be people who choose to live off of the backs of hardworking taxpayers. We need to accept the facts if we are going to see America recover from the economic devastation of COVID-19. The first order of business should be to get Americans back to work. An essential part of that has to be ending special bonus money to people who refuse to look for a job.
Although the times may change, some basic principles will always remain. Sound conservative fiscal policy is the best way to give Americans the dignity of standing on their own two feet. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear that all are entitled to the pursuit of happiness, but no one should be exempt from the work that comes with the “pursuing” part. That means earning an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.