Fox Business host Charles Payne told the American people what many in the media wouldn’t dare say: Giving people money to not work doesn’t incentivize them to find a job.
Payne scorched the haphazard predictions by economists and the media that the U.S. economy would add 1 million new jobs in April. He called the predictions a massive “swing and a miss” during the May 7 edition of Making Money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) clocked the increase in April at an embarrassing 266,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1 percent. Payne lambasted how “the narrative this year is that America was going to go on this string of million job months as our jobs openings created a whole bunch of opportunity. And well, so far that’s not happening.” In Payne’s estimation, “[S]omething is obviously terribly wrong.”
Payne then told his guest, First Trust Advisors Chief Economist Brian Wesbury, that “a lot of this, honestly, has to do with paying people not to work.” Payne continued: “Even though more people did come back to the labor force, participation is at 61.7 [percent] from 63.4 [percent] last January. There’s 7.6 million fewer workers than last February.”
Wesbury agreed with Payne. He specifically said forecasts missing the mark by over 700,000 was “maybe the biggest miss in Wall Street history.” Wesbury then took a sledgehammer to President Joe Biden’s free lunch agenda: “I have to blame it on these unemployment payments. It’s keeping people out of the labor force. It’s keeping people from going back to work. Every small business owner that I talk to can’t get workers to come back.”
Wesbury put the BLS numbers into historical context to illustrate the nonsense behind free money: “If you go back to Henry Ford, he increased the pay for his workers to five dollars a day, so that they could afford the cars that they produced.” He concluded: “Well, today, we’re increasing the pay for people who aren’t working and not producing anything, so they can buy things that they don’t produce. And what this does is it creates shortages. It creates higher prices, and the whole thing is just a really vicious cycle.”
In Wesbury’s estimation, “[W]e have to get rid of these unemployment benefits to get back to normal.”
Payne chimed in and took a jab at Biden’s policies: “[I]t feels like every member of the [Biden] administration’s been out today in front of a camera trying to, you know, explain this whole thing.” He continued: “Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is now calling for the federal government to stop. Stop these $300 extra monthly benefit boosts.”
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