In case you missed it, the Biden administration saved you 16 cents. In a recent tweet, the White House cited a Farm Bureau report and declared the cost of an Independence Day BBQ was down 16 cents from one year ago—proof, they say, “the Biden economic plan is working.”
If you buy groceries, pump your own gas, or spend money at all these days, it’s not lost on you how misleading this statement is. Prices have increased and continue to rise. While the administration celebrated the price of sliced cheese decreasing by one percentage point from last year, more relevant numbers tell quite a different story about how the administration’s policies are affecting American families.
In the month of May alone, consumer prices increased 5%—the largest jump since 2008. Gas prices are up an average of 95 cents a gallon from one year ago. A record 9.3 million jobs remain open, yet the federal government continues to pay people not to work.
Given these realities, it’s not surprising that many Americans aren’t buying it when the administration celebrates saving 2% on center-cut pork chops. So far, Biden’s economic plan has resulted in outrageous spending, rewarded those who choose welfare over work, and stifled already struggling small businesses.
If the White House really wants to ease the economic burden on American families, it’ll start pursuing policies that help Americans return to work and kick-start small businesses. A solid beginning would be to encourage states to opt out of the federal unemployment bonus. While 26 states have already ended or plan to end the $300/week federal unemployment bonus, 24 states continue to opt in.
The effects are not surprising: In states that have ended the bonus, unemployment claims are decreasing. Just last week, the Department of Labor’s report showed that unemployment claims dropped nearly 40% in states that announced they’re ending the bonus—meanwhile, states that continue to opt in saw an increase in unemployment claims.
Ending pandemic-era bonus programs will in turn help small businesses that are feeling the strain of a labor shortage. Meanwhile, pandemic-related unemployment benefits encourage able-bodied Americans to stay home.
The net effect is that businesses struggle to find enough employees to keep their doors open. Whether experiencing longer wait times at a local restaurant or reading unusually desperate “now hiring” signs around town, we have the unemployment bonus to thank. Kiki Cyrus, owner of Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles in Charleston, S.C., is one of many business owners who are competing against their own tax dollars for employees. The Biden administration could help the American taxpayer out just by being a little more responsible with those tax dollars.
While the unemployment system was designed to provide temporary help to unemployed Americans, pandemic-era programs have made it an alternative to work that, in addition to hurting businesses, is costing the taxpayer millions in fraudulent and improper payments. Foundation for Government Accountability research shows unemployment fraud skyrocketed in the wake of 2020’s expansion of programs, with resulting investigations increasing in many states by more than 1,000%. This means more wasted tax dollars, and fewer resources available to the truly needy.
Common-sense policies that promote work are the key to real economic rebound as we emerge from the pandemic and its related restrictions.
Americans feel the effects of poor economic policies every time they go to the grocery store, fill up their gas tank, or see their favorite local business shuttered because it can’t find employees. They know better than to feel optimistic over a tone-deaf tweet that reveals little more than how much the White House misunderstands the struggles of the average American family.
If the Biden administration really wants to promote independence, it’ll get serious about promoting policies that promote work.