While the Fox & Friends hosts earn cushy salaries working from home, they suggested to viewers that the GOP plan to reduce unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $200 is a generous package for out-of-work Americans.
As Raw Story, noted, host Steve Doocy suggested that Republicans are being generous in cutting the aid because it’s “in addition” to other state benefits.
Super Duper Christian Ainsley Earhardt – who is reportedly shacking up with her multi-millionaire paramour, Sean Hannity - helped with the messaging:
EARHARDT: If you’re single, you make less than [$75,000 a year], you’re getting a $1,200 check if this passes and then if you’re a couple, you’re getting $2,400.
DOOCY: And then also in addition to that, you know, the Republicans are trying to do their best to address the issue because politically it’s not good for them because the supplemental federal payment, which right now is 600 bucks for people who have lost their jobs, it’s supposed to go away.
So, what they’ve done is, they’ve come up with a new figure and the figure is $200. Now, when people hear it goes from $600 to $200, remember that is in addition to whatever state benefits you are getting. So, you get your state unemployment and then for the last number of months, you’ve been getting 600 bucks but now it’s going to be reduced to 200 through September. When then the calculation is, you combine your state benefit with a federal benefit and it will come up to 70[%] of what you were making.
What nobody mentioned is that the drop in benefits will likely harm not only many American families but the economy. From the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:
Both cutting the supplement from $600 to $200 and the “70 percent” formula would result in sharp and sudden income losses. A low-paid worker employed full time at $10 per hour before the crisis — above the federal minimum wage — would receive a benefit under the 70 percent formula of just $280 per week in total from federal and state unemployment benefits combined. With job opportunities scarce, many workers could be forced to live on sharply reduced benefits for a number of months and face financial distress as their modest savings are exhausted.
Cutting unemployed workers’ incomes — and hence their spending — before it’s safe to go back to work on a large scale and while job openings remain scarce will make the recession more severe, rather than less so. Cutting unemployment benefits sharply also will almost certainly increase further the number of households facing eviction and the number of children not getting enough to eat.
I’d love to see these three live on $280 a week. Heck, they’d probably whine if their own generous pay packages were cut to 70%.
You can watch the three Trump lapdogs look out for their Republican cronies at the expense of any unemployed viewers below, from the July 28, 2020 Fox & Friends, via Raw Story.
(H/T Eric J.)
It’s also clear that Mitch McConnell has no intention of trying to pass any relief legislation, other than a demand that schools reopen right away and a setup for a new round of Trump checks for individuals who regularly make under 75K per year, likely timed to be delivered in October, just before the election.
When it comes to the Unemployment Insurance boost, the approach is to get rid of it, demand that everyone just go find a job somewhere, and to present a false option for restructured state benefits that isn’t physically possible so the Right Wing can try to blame the Dems for not doing it. That 70% idea has a cap on it that really means a major reduction across the board, and would only happen if a state suddenly put all their resources into trying to rebuild their UI system. The simpler and more appropriate way to deal with the current pandemic is to just continue the benefit they’ve already established – which is why the Right Wing opposes that. Because they don’t want to continue any benefit.
I note that McConnell does not even have enough GOP support in the Senate to pass ANYTHING unless it’s just a liability shield. So for him to pass a bill will mean he needs Schumer and the Dems to support it – and they’ll never support this idea. He appears to be trying to blackmail the Dems and it’s not working. The Dems in the House had a full bill passed 2 1/2 months ago and McConnell publicly stated there was no need to deal with it. Now he’s trying to play the card that somehow it’s the Dems who are allowing the current relief to expire.
I also note that the House is scheduled to recess this Friday and the Senate is scheduled to recess next Friday for their August break until after Labor Day. Pelosi has stated that the House will stay in session but McConnell has made no such pledge. He has instead stated that it will take “some weeks” to get anything done. Meaning that he’s thinking he’ll let this drag out into September.
And the UI boost actually already expired, so as of now, those millions of unemployed people are now facing rent and other payments without the assistance boost. McConnell is clearly hoping he can make them desperate enough to accept the non-offer he made and just give him the liability shield.