U.S. Sen. Rick Scott fulminated this weekend about the latest lackluster job numbers, contending that part of the problem is “able-bodied adults” aren’t working because of unemployment benefits.
“Are you surprised if people don’t go to work when you pay them more not to work? Are you surprised if you give people free food, free health care, free housing, that able-bodied people don’t go to work? Are you surprised?”
The Senator posed these seemingly rhetorical questions in a tweet Saturday afternoon, amplifying messaging Friday from both the official and the political side.
“The Democrats’ plan to pay people not to work, well, it’s working. It’s workin’ really well. Give able-bodied adults, give ’em free health care, free food, free housing, and they don’t work: Shocking,” Scott Scott said Friday on a radio hit in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Scott was in the Hoosier State in support of the reelection of Sen. Todd Young, who is from the state, in his capacity as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The messaging was similar in a Friday statement from his Senate office also.
“Is anyone surprised that when you spend months paying able bodied adults more to stay home than go back to work that folks aren’t getting back on the job? NO. Is anyone shocked that when Biden pushes billions and billions of ‘free’ money to able-bodied adults that folks aren’t getting back to work? NO,” Scott said in a statement from his Senate office.
Scott’s series of statements came as Friday’s September jobs numbers showed the creation of just 194,000 new jobs.
Yet Scott’s position is nothing new. Dating back almost to the infancy of the COVID-19 pandemic, Scott warned that people not working and still getting paid represented a “big problem” for the economy and policy makers.
“If given the chance to make more on a government program than in a job, some will make the rational and reasonable decision to delay going back to work, hampering our economic recovery,” Scott tweeted in April 2020.
He objected then to federal unemployment payments to supplement those from the state, contending that such programs mean “workers could make more money by not working than they would make if they had a job,” Scott wrote for Fox News.
While Scott blames government intervention for slowing job growth, President Joe Biden takes a different tack, saying that COVID-19 and not the response itself is the issue with the still-lagging jobs market.
“Today’s report has the unemployment rate down to 4.8%, a significant improvement from when I took office and a sign that our recovery is moving forward even in the face of a (COVID-19) pandemic,” Biden said Friday at The White House.
Joe Biden’s radical, socialist agenda is pushing America off a cliff. Yesterday’s job numbers prove it. Are we surprised? No. But every American should be furious. pic.twitter.com/bVOQZrMJuc
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) October 9, 2021