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The Party of True Economic Populism


In the wake of a disappointing jobs report, more Republican governors are seeking to cut unemployment assistance. Because reasons.

An unexpected slowdown in hiring nationwide has prompted some Republican governors to start slashing jobless benefits in their states, hoping that the loss of generous federal aid might force more people to try to return to work.

The new GOP cuts chiefly target the extra $300 in weekly payments that millions of Americans have received for months in addition to their usual unemployment checks. Arkansas on Friday became the latest to announce plans to cancel the extra benefits, joining Montana and South Carolina earlier in the week, in a move that signals a new effort on the part of Republicans to try to combat what they see as a national worker shortage.

Remember when pro-cyclical tax cuts were awesome because putting money in the hands of rich people would stimulate an economy nearing full employment?

… Republicans counter that the consequences of that spending are starting to show, threatening to raise prices for consumers and overheat the economy before it has fully recovered. In a sign of the fight to come, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday said the president’s agenda already had caused inflation and spawned a national worker shortage, which he said is “directly related to this recent bill that just passed.”

I’m stating to think we should be skeptical of GOP arguments concerning macroeconomic policy.

“It’s a lot faster to lay off workers than it is to hire them back,” said Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co. “While we are seeing some workers come back into the labor force it just isn’t fast enough.” …. “April payrolls fell dramatically short of expectations, as a clumsy reopening of the economy appears rife with frictions, such as skills-mismatches, parents unable to return to the workforce amid a significant share of schools not yet open, and far from complete vaccination efforts.”

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