As part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the federal government covers the cost of providing an additional $300 per week in unemployment through September of this year, but that program is administered by states and some states are choosing not use the money.
A growing list of Republican-controlled states are ending the enhanced benefits for their own residents because, in their own words, businesses are having trouble hiring people who are too lazy to work.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte started the domino effect on May 4.
Since then, at least 10 others have announced they will exit the federal unemployment programs, which have been in place since March 2020.
They include Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming. More may soon follow. [...]
“My decision is based on a fundamental conservative principle — we do not want people on unemployment,” Idaho Gov. Brad Little said Tuesday. “We want people working."
It's based on principle, the governor of Idaho says, not economics.
If $300 per week is all it takes to keep people at home then businesses obviously aren't paying enough in wages, but there are other concerns.
The list of states turning down enhanced unemployment benefits aligns with a list of states that have some of the lowest rates of vaccination against the coronavirus, the lowest wages in the country, and states that chose not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. The virus is dissipating but not dead and accumulating medical debt or dying for a poverty wage is still a concern for millions of people.
It's not as if turning down enhanced benefits will save states money while the cost is covered by the federal government. They're doing this for ideological reasons.
It's bewildering to me that any official would choose to bankrupt more of their own constituents when choosing not to wouldn't cost them anything at all. It's cruel for cruelty's sake.
Don't vote for people who want you broke and dead.