The Corner

Politics & Policy

Ben Sasse: Coronavirus Bill Would Promote Unemployment Over Full Paychecks

Sen. Ben Sasse on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018 (Andrew Harnik/Reuters)

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has hailed the unemployment-benefits provision in the coronavirus economic relief bill as paying furloughed and unemployed workers their full salaries for four months, but several GOP senators are sounding the alarm that in some cases unemployment benefits would exceed full salaries of workers and therefore encourage unemployment.

“It appears that when you look at the interaction of different programs in this bill, there are multiple cases where folks would get more money, and in some cases significantly more money by being unemployed than if the employer-employee relationship were maintained,” Nebraska GOP senator Ben Sasse tells National Review. “It’s perverse. It’s against the purposes of the legislation, and it could exacerbate life-threatening shortages in a number of critical sectors.”

The bill is designed to encourage employers to keep their workers on payroll by providing small-business loans that will be forgiven if employers don’t lay off their employees. “The amount of the loan eligible for forgiveness will be reduced proportionally by the number of employees laid off during this period relative to the borrower’s prior employment levels,” according to a background document.

But Sasse says the bill provides for $600 weekly unemployment benefits in addition to the standard amount a person would receive in unemployment in addition to standard amount of unemployment. The total amount of unemployment benefits could thus exceed a worker’s full salary.

“You can’t have the perverse disincentive to uncouple employers and employees,” says Sasse.  He cites the example of home health aides potentially receiving more money from unemployment than full employment as an example of the bill creating a “life-threatening shortage” of workers in a critical sector.

Sasse, along with Senators Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Scott, are introducing an amendment to cap unemployment benefits at a worker’s full salary.

Most Popular

Education

The Shame of the Teachers’ Unions

No other group has shown as much contempt for its own work during the coronavirus crisis as teachers. Their unions are actively fighting to keep kids out of the classroom and also to limit remote instruction, lest it require too much time and attention from people who are supposed to be wholly devoted to ... Read More
Education

The Shame of the Teachers’ Unions

No other group has shown as much contempt for its own work during the coronavirus crisis as teachers. Their unions are actively fighting to keep kids out of the classroom and also to limit remote instruction, lest it require too much time and attention from people who are supposed to be wholly devoted to ... Read More
World

Massive Explosions Devastate Beirut

A series of massive explosions detonated in Beirut on Tuesday, with footage showing a mushroom cloud and shockwave emanating from the city port. [embed]https://twitter.com/air_intel/status/1290676373485490177[/embed] It is still unclear what caused the explosions. Lebanese security forces claimed the ... Read More
World

Massive Explosions Devastate Beirut

A series of massive explosions detonated in Beirut on Tuesday, with footage showing a mushroom cloud and shockwave emanating from the city port. [embed]https://twitter.com/air_intel/status/1290676373485490177[/embed] It is still unclear what caused the explosions. Lebanese security forces claimed the ... Read More

What or Who Decides This Election?

We know where to watch in the next few weeks but have no real idea what we will be watching. Yet pundits, the media, and the Left seem giddy that their polls show a Trump slump, as if they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. But in truth, the news cycle over the next three months may well favor ... Read More

What or Who Decides This Election?

We know where to watch in the next few weeks but have no real idea what we will be watching. Yet pundits, the media, and the Left seem giddy that their polls show a Trump slump, as if they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. But in truth, the news cycle over the next three months may well favor ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World’s Worst Idea

Almost a decade ago, I wrote a little book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism. When Regnery asked me to write the book, I was happy to do it but wondered whether a book on socialism, a brief conspectus of its grotesque failures, would be necessary or useful. I wondered why anybody would be ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World’s Worst Idea

Almost a decade ago, I wrote a little book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism. When Regnery asked me to write the book, I was happy to do it but wondered whether a book on socialism, a brief conspectus of its grotesque failures, would be necessary or useful. I wondered why anybody would be ... Read More
Culture

Monsters Galore

Vanity Fair, that peerless assessor of all things political, has bravely come out with the shocking opinion that the movies, TV, and our much-vaunted national media-industrial complex don’t hate right-wing women as much as they ought to, leading to the unjust and the always unhappy conclusion that people such ... Read More
Culture

Monsters Galore

Vanity Fair, that peerless assessor of all things political, has bravely come out with the shocking opinion that the movies, TV, and our much-vaunted national media-industrial complex don’t hate right-wing women as much as they ought to, leading to the unjust and the always unhappy conclusion that people such ... Read More
U.S.

Our Summer of Cultural Suicide

Cultural suicide used to be a popular diagnosis of why things suddenly just quit. Historians such as Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee cited social cannibalism to explain why once-successful states, institutions, and cultures simply died off. Their common explanation was that the arrogance of success ... Read More
U.S.

Our Summer of Cultural Suicide

Cultural suicide used to be a popular diagnosis of why things suddenly just quit. Historians such as Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee cited social cannibalism to explain why once-successful states, institutions, and cultures simply died off. Their common explanation was that the arrogance of success ... Read More