By paying Americans more to stay home than to return to work, the overly generous unemployment insurance has artificially slowed the economic recovery, created yet another demoralizing benefit cliff, and cost American taxpayers . And even though the $15 an hour benefit is more than some people make, in other cases, it doesn’t adequately cover the lost wages of skilled hourly laborers.
While the President, through his executive orders, has limited this additional federal benefit to $300 a week (or $7.50 per hour), a more reasonable course of action would cap this benefit at 75% of income so that government programs don’t stymie the recovery our economy so desperately needs.
Here in southwest Ohio, people know that government spending is untenable. Before the coronavirus hit the U.S., Congress was already spending money faster than it could find new things to tax. State and local budgets are already being slashed to account for the loss of business and income tax revenue. Ohio is fortunate to have both a balanced budget and a rainy-day fund. Persistent federal budget deficits, on the other hand, accelerate America’s path toward national bankruptcy.
Granted, for emergencies—such as this—people look to the federal government, but years and years of gross negligence on fiscal policy have put the United States in a situation where the only way to provide a safety net is to print money. And that’s what the Federal Reserve and the Treasury are currently doing. There is no lender, this money is simply being printed.
It may not be noticeable yet, but this path will undermine one of our nation’s great strengths: the U.S. dollar. A strong dollar means that other countries invest in the U.S. and that Americans enjoy the buying power of a strong and stable currency. By printing money and diluting our currency through different powers, the Federal Reserve is threatening the value of Americans’ hard-earned savings, undermining the buying power of current earnings, and weakening the U.S. dollar globally. Americans instinctively know printing money is not sustainable.
My final observation: Ohioans are proud of America, and lose respect for those who don’t respect America. Pundits and columnists sell ads and get clicks with articles and stories that boast of their disdain for the United States, its past sins, and those working to form “a more perfect union.” But as I’ve traveled Ohio, the constant refrain is: “we love our country.” Certainly, there are reforms we can make and improvements we should consider, but everyone I’ve spoken to shares ideas about how to improve everything from education, to commerce, to the criminal justice system, because they love America – not because the want to tear down and fundamentally remake America.
I agree with these patriotic Americans. I love this country with a soldier’s passion, having served then and now to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. America is the greatest nation on Earth and while we aren’t perfect, America is worth defending, respecting, and improving.
I look forward to more visits in the 8th District so that I can take this feedback with me to Washington when Congress reconvenes. Congress needs more of these Ohio values in Washington, so that we can move forward with hope and confidence toward a more perfect Union.
Warren Davidson is a U.S. Representative from the 8th Congressional District in Ohio.