Senator Roger Marshall, Republican of Kansas, understands Thomas Sowell’s aphorism that “if you subsidize something, you get more of it.”

With increased unemployment benefits, it literally pays people more money not to work than they would make if they were employed. So what is happening? People aren’t working.

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Marshall: In a midsized warehouse along the Kansas-Missouri border, a hard reality hit home. There, workers, exhausted after working 10- to 12-hour shifts six days a week, said to me, “We need help. Why are you paying people so much to stay at home? It’s not fair. It’s not what this country is about.”

This message was as profound as it was saddening. As someone who has long railed against the burden of government taxes and regulation, it was these workers who exposed the danger of federal spending.

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With the government giving people the same money they used to get from a job, people don’t have to work to get things they used to get. Not only do the rest have to work harder, but their hard-earned money no longer works as hard for them.

Americans recall in early 2020; our economy was enjoying record low unemployment rates and poverty along with record highs in wages and household incomes. But when COVID hit, a 3.5% February unemployment rate hit 14.8% in April while GDP in Q2 dropped by 31.2%. To sustain the purchasing power of Americans during the shutdown, Congress passed bipartisan targeted legislation.

Our nation rose, churning out masks, protective gear, ventilators, and plastic shields while pharmaceutical firms worked to produce vaccines in record time. This response slowed the pandemic, the economy surged 33.8% in Q3, and unemployment dropped to 6.7% by year’s end.

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As vaccinations began, the economy reopened, and jobs came back – but workers didn’t. By spring 2021, businesses had 9.3 million job openings, but 9.8 million Americans remained unemployed. Every businessman across America knows why they couldn’t get workers: their paychecks for working simply couldn’t compete with bigger government checks for not working.

Nationally, some 60% of all workers could earn more in unemployment and extra cash bonuses than a job. While Democrats continually deny the role of overspending, workers know exactly what happened. Most people work because of things you can buy with a paycheck. You might take a job to raise children, but now, you don’t need a job with the $15,600 monthly child credit.

You take a job to pay rent or a mortgage, but with the government giving enough to cover that and banning evictions, no one needs a job to keep a roof over their head. And now, the administration announced a 27% increase in food stamp benefits – more than the typical family’s food budget – so you no longer need a job to feed your family. The looming socialist budget will make most of this permanent.

As politicians try to put everyone on the easy street of government dependency, those who work for a living pay the price. They carry the load of multiple workers, endure overtime and weekend work, and train the willing but untrained, placing a tremendous strain on them…

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FDR once warned of government dependency, “continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.”

As we’ve seen from their resolve, the character of the American worker hasn’t yet been debased – but that doesn’t mean Democrats will give up trying.

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This piece was written by David Kamioner on September 11, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used with permission.

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