Economist schools CNN’s Harlow: Paying people more to not work ‘doesn’t add up’
08/07/2020 / By News Editors / Comments
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Economist schools CNN’s Harlow: Paying people more to not work ‘doesn’t add up’

CNN anchor Poppy Harlow acted as a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party on Tuesday’s CNN Newsroom, blaming Republicans for “failing” Americans by not caving to Democratic demands that $600/week additional unemployment checks should continue till at least next January.

(Article by Kristine Marsh republished from NewsBusters.org)

Defying common sense, Harlow badgered former Trump senior adviser, economist Kevin Hassett for saying Americans wouldn’t want to go back to work if they continue to get paid much more money by the government for not working.

After playing a clip of White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows admitting Republicans and Democrats were far apart on negotiating how to continue expanded unemployment aid under another coronavirus relief package, Harlow fumed this was “unacceptable” and a “failure”…for the White House and Republicans:

The bottom line is it’s totally unacceptable that Congress has still not reached a deal after the additional $600 in unemployment benefits per week for millions of Americans ended on Friday…. I wish it were on a better note, but this is a failure. It’s a failure to address something that Congress knew, the White House knew this was coming for months. They knew the additional aid would end. If you were still the senior adviser to the president what would you tell him to urge Republicans in Congress to do? 

While pinning all the blame on Republicans, Harlow didn’t mention that it was Democrats who rejected the White House’s request for a temporary extension on the additional unemployment aid that ended last week. Or that Nancy Pelosi bragged to CNN just yesterday that she was unwilling to negotiate a number below the extra $600 extra a week.

As Hassett expressed confidence that a deal would be reached soon, Harlow grew frustrated and rolled her eyes at him for not indulging in her fear-mongering. She then scolded the former Trump adviser for being unsympathetic: “You and I don’t rely on $600 in additional aid a week to pay our rent or feed our family. That’s not our situation, but for millions of Americans it is.”

As if she hadn’t done enough to spout Pelosi talking points, the CNN anchor then touted a dire prediction by Hillary Clinton donor and Nancy Pelosi supporting economist Mark Zandi: “You saw Moody’s analysis if the additional aid were brought down to $200 per week for unemployed people, nearly a million jobs could be lost at the end of the year and the unemployment could be .6% higher.”

Hassett quickly called out her biased sources before pointing out how people would have no incentive to get jobs if they get paid much much more money for not working at all:

Look I don’t think–the Moody’s analysis–So Mark Zandi’s team, you know, Mark is a big supporter of Nancy Pelosi. They put out analysis that I don’t really trust, sometimes they put out great stuff. But on this if you pay people a lot more to stay at home than to go to work, the idea that there are going to be more people going to work it just doesn’t add up. 

Defying common sense, Harlow insisted that’s “not true.” She continued arguing with Hassett by citing a Yale Study which allegedly found “generous” unemployment benefits didn’t deter people from returning to work. Hassett then schooled the CNN anchor on how this is illogical and “doesn’t add up:”

Yes, it is wrong. When we get the full data that result will most surely be reversed. Just think about it Poppy, think about the logic of it. If you take a typical median family say in Tennessee, that if they don’t go to work under the $600 plan, then they get about $90,000 a year and if they do go to work, they get about $50,000 a year. So the assertion that staying at home and getting $90,000 or going to work it’s $50,000, that that’s not going to have an effect on your decisions — that just doesn’t add up. It’s not economics. And so, I wonder– I haven’t played with their data yet, but I really really don’t believe that study.

Harlow ended this argument by doubling down on the liberal talking point and not giving Hassett a chance to respond:

“I believe and I have heard from so many Americans that they want to go back to work and they want to go back to work and they want to feel safe. Even the University of Chicago numbers shows it’s about one in five that are doing what you’re saying. But let’s move on,” she huffed.

These Democrat talking points disguised as journalism was sponsored by E-trade and Dell.

Read the transcript, below:

CNN Newsroom

08/04/2020

9:28am EST

POPPY HARLOW: When asked about the White House’s willingness to reach a deal that would surpass $1 trillion, White House chief of staff Mark Madows said this, quote, “We are so far apart right now that it’s not even a valid question.” The bottom line is it’s totally unacceptable that Congress has still not reached a deal after the additional $600 in unemployment benefits per week for millions of Americans ended on Friday. Here’s some evidence to why that is unacceptable. As many as 23 million American renters, they’re at risk of losing their home and look at this. A line outside an L.A. food bank, as almost 30 million Americans said they did not have enough to eat on the week ending July 21. Joining me now for his first interview since leaving the White House a few weeks ago where he served as a senior adviser to the president, Kevin Hassett, former chairman of the chairman of economic advisers. Good morning Kevin welcome back.

KEVIN HASSETT:  Good morning Poppy, Great to be here.

HARLOW: I wish it were on a better note, but this is a failure. It’s a failure to address something that Congress knew, the White House knew this was coming for months. They knew the additional aid would end. If you were still the senior adviser to the president what would you tell him to urge Republicans in Congress to do?

HASSETT: Well, I think you’re calling it a failure is a little bit incorrect, Poppy in the following sense. What’s going on is there’s a game of chicken which is regrettable between the two political parties. But, you know, I don’t think that anybody is really going home until they have a bill. And I think if we look back at the history of the legislation, you know, phases one, two and three, that it was really surprisingly swift and surprisingly targeted with the PPP, the $1,200 checks, the UI extension and so on. So people actually because of the emergency they worked together very well. I think it was an undercovered story. So right now–

HARLOW: Kevin, I’m talking about now.

HASSETT: I’m saying they’re arguing which ornaments go on the Christmas tree, but they’re going to have a bill, I mean absolutely they’re going to have a bill and it is going to address the problems you’re talking about.

HARLOW: But Kevin —

HASSETT: I agree the stuff expired —

HARLOW: You and I don’t rely on $600 in additional aid a week to pay our rent or feed our family. That’s not our situation, but for millions of Americans it is. And they stopped getting those checks on Friday and that’s why I don’t think it’s too far to say that it’s a failure because for — it was back in May that the House proposed legislation. I get that the Republican-led Senate doesn’t agree with it, but they have known that Friday was coming for months and negotiation didn’t really start until it was about to run out. 

HASSETT: Right. You know, it’s — the negotiation that’s been going on and on and on. When I was still in the White House, Secretary Scalia and I were working with every state’s UI program to try to think of a way to fix the thing so we weren’t paying people a lot more not to go to work than to go to work and the thing is something that the White House worked on throughout. They have a very strong position about how they want to do it. The House has their strong position and what ‘s going as always happens with legislation is they’re arguing up to the very end. But when the bill passed the people who didn’t get their checks –and they need that money– I think they can fully expect the money will be backfilled and this week that they’re not covered, it will be filled in when the bill happens. 

HARLOW:  Let’s hope so. Let’s hope so.

HASSETT: It will be.

HARLOW: The moratorium on evictions also  lapsing so the question is what happens to those folks? What would you advise Kevin? Because you saw Moody’s analysis if the additional aid were brought down to $200 per week for unemployed people, nearly a million jobs could be lost at the end of the year and the unemployment could be .6% higher. Do you think that will happen? 

HASSETT: Look I don’t think–the Moodys analysis–So Mark Zandi’s team, you know, Mark is a big supporter of Nancy Pelosi. They put out analysis that I don’t really trust, sometimes they put out great stuff. But on this if you pay people a lot more to stay at home than to go to work, the idea that there are going to be more people going to work it just doesn’t add up. 

HARLOW: That’s not true. You saw the Yale study from July. You saw the Yale Study from just a few weeks ago– can I quote from it? Quote, ‘we find no evidence that more generous benefits disincentivize work either at the onset or the expansion as firms look to return their business over time.’ Wrong? 

HASSETT: Yes, it is wrong. When we get the full data that result will most surely be reversed. Just think about it Poppy, think about the logic of it. If you take a typical median family say in Tennessee, that if they don’t go to work under the $600 plan, then they get about $90,000 a year and if they do go to work, they get about $50,000 a year. So the assertion that staying at home and getting $90,000 or going to work it’s $50,000, that that’s not going to have an effect on your decisions — that just doesn’t add up. It’s not economics. And so, I wonder– I haven’t played with their data yet, but I really really don’t believe that study. 

HARLOW:  All right. I believe and I have heard from so many Americans that they want to go back to work and they want to go back to work and they want to feel safe. Even the University of Chicago numbers shows it’s about one in five that are doing what you’re saying. But let’s move on.

Read more at: NewsBusters.org

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