Workers will just sit home on unemployment aid, Steve Mnuchin complains

Workers will just sit home on unemployment aid, Steve Mnuchin complains

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attacked continuing enhanced benefits for unemployed Americans by complaining that workers will sit home collecting the money.

It wouldn’t be fair to use taxpayer dollars to pay more people to sit home than they would get working and get a job, Mnuchin told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

Critics erupted and blasted Steve Mnuchin as an out-of-touch, ultra-wealthy multimillionaire who was grilled at his nomination hearing for shortchanging the same U.S. taxpayers with offshore tax havens sheltering his money.

Many on Twitter pointed out that workers sidelined by the pandemic are taxpayers who expect some protection now from their government.

This son of a Goldman Sachs banker, literally born sliding into the home plate is calling you lazy, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) tweeted to unemployed American workers.

The weekly $600 in enhanced federal funds on top of standard state unemployment benefits was intended to help workers cover basic costs like food, rent, and mortgage payments amid a current unemployment rate of 11.1%. It is set to expire at the end of the week.

Steve Mnuchin signaled that the White House is open to providing some enhancement of benefits, and another round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday that the Trump administration plans to lengthen – the current eviction moratorium that’s set to expire Friday, but he provided no details.

The Republican-controlled Senate will finally introduce its next package of coronavirus aid on Monday, Mnuchin told Wallace.

Mnuchin’s stinginess with wage earners is in marked contrast to his overwhelming support for taxpayer-funded payments to business owners, who can also use some of the nearly $600 billion paid out in the federal Paycheck Protection Program to sit home.

Those loans can be forgiven entirely, turning them into grants if the money is used on certain expenses, such as rent, utilities, and payroll including for business owners.

Steve Mnuchin last week indicated that a portion of those loans should automatically be forgiven to streamline the process without tracking compliance. He has refused even to provide the identity of those who have been given PPP loans under $150,000.

Critics blasted Mnuchin’s demeaning attitude about unemployed workers. They pointed out that Mnuchin was a player who raked in profits from the U.S. subprime mortgage debacle that brought the world economy to its knees. He was paid $11 million in severance by CIT Group in 2017 when he left to become Treasury secretary.

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