It turns out for many Americans, sitting at home on the couch can be pretty lucrative. A new study from the Foundation for Government Accountability examines just how much out-of-work Americans received in things like extra unemployment, food stamps, tax credits and other government benefits during the pandemic. "As a result of many of the government programs implemented to respond to the coronavirus, a lot of individuals are actually able to receive more by staying home than by returning to work," says Hayden Dublois, author of the study.
Just how much more? "We found that when you add up regular state unemployment, the $300 weekly unemployment bonus, the new child tax credit program, food stamps and more...we're talking about thousands of dollars per month, up to as much as $52,000 a year," says Dublois.
That kind of money for nothing is very difficult for companies to compete with, at a time they are struggling to hire. "This actually is creating somewhat of a disincentive to work, at a time when we have a record number of more than 9 million open jobs in this country," Dublois tells KTRH.
With the pandemic now dragging on past a year-and-a-half, this problem will only persist as these 'temporary' programs are extended. The Biden administration just renewed the moratorium on evictions for another two months, while many Democrats are calling for making things like the extra child tax credit permanent. "These were all supposed to be temporary measures, but now we're seeing more and more---just like with the eviction moratorium---pressure for these to become permanent fixtures of government policy," says Dublois. "And that should be concerning."