During an interview with ABC news, Mnuchin said that Republicans are pushing back against the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit because it is more than many people received from their jobs.
“Unemployment is supposed to be wage replacement,” the Treasury secretary told ABC’s Martha Raddatz. “So it should be tied to some percentage of wages.”
There is “a Yale study which found that there is no evidence that the $600 weekly payment is a disincentive to return to work.”
The actual disincentive, which Republicons continue to fail on and avoid dealing with, is fear of illness and death or disability in unsafe workplaces.
Workers in general under Republicons are facing recent exacerbated disasters beyond disgraceful minimum wages and concerted, litigious attacks against unions.
Wages and full-time employment are dropping precipitously even for those who keep employment.
Losses of employer health insurance are catastrophic, and simultaneously Republicons are suing to overturn the ACA entirely. There is also a massive upswing in covid testing and treatment super-charged as “out of network” pricing, even for those who do keep their insurance.
Destruction of OSHA workplace safety protections, with the added threat of indemnity shields for negligent businesses which will also inevitably break down Worker’s Compensation, are a terrible threat to workers during and beyond this current pandemic.
There is a core and crucial point Republicons dismiss regarding these $600 unemployment add-ons, even as Mnuchin admits unemployment benefits are supposed to be wage replacement during a limited period to allow for job searching…when there are any jobs.
The $600 add-on would not be necessary, except that in every state unemployment benefits are inadequate, and they are severely inadequate in red states.
➡ Minimal unemployment benefits are yet another subsidy windfall for businesses.
In Florida, wretched unemployment benefits were deliberately inflicted on workers to please business interests, in what is now a politically damaging and damning scandal which no Republicons are learning from.
Not all unemployed people get unemployment benefits; in some states, very few do
“Of the 10 states where fewer than 15% of unemployed people received benefits in March, seven were in the South, while nine of the 12 states where over 40% of jobless people collected benefits in March were in the Northeast or Midwest.
…"Seven of the 10 states with the lowest maximum weekly benefits ($350 or less) are in the Southeast.”
Workers won’t quit their jobs just to get unemployment insurance.
Florida’s disaster was no accident:
Florida GOP Realizes Deliberately Impoverishing the Unemployed Has Downsides
‘It’s a sh– sandwich’: Republicans rage as Florida becomes a nightmare for Trump
Laid off? Bad news: Florida’s unemployment system was set up to hose you | Commentary