Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan recently announced that he is ending the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for all Marylanders. He is ending it on July 3, two months early.
This announcement caught a lot of people off guard. Considering the PUA program is federal and not state, it appeared Larry Hogan was abusing his power as governor. Remember, the PUA program passed both houses of Congress and was then signed into law by the President. Furthermore, money for the PUA program is coming entirely from the federal government. It costs the state of Maryland nothing.
So why would Gov. Larry Hogan want to end these funds coming into Maryland and helping to stimulate the state’s economy?
It’s because Gov. Hogan feels local businesses are having trouble hiring people for low-paying, unappealing jobs because they’re receiving federal PUA benefits.
Too many Marylanders are not desperate
The man has a point. Desperate people will often do desperate things. The problem with the PUA program is it stops people from being desperate during the pandemic. As any economist will tell you, that’s not good. Our economy needs desperation. The more the better.
My only problem with Gov. Hogan’s plan is that it doesn’t go far enough. He forgot about another group of people not working because they receive money from the federal government—the elderly. They too are refusing to take jobs Gov. Hogan is talking about because the federal government pays them money every month under a program called Social Security. If Gov. Larry Hogan can stop elderly Marylanders from receiving Social Security payments, a lot more of them would return to work.
Dogs still have to poop
There’s a lot of good jobs out there. Here’s one I received an email about only yesterday:
Why should our seniors be denied the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise?
I think this is precisely the type of job Gov. Larry Hogan was talking about when he said employers are having a hard time filling positions. The above employer is “urgently hiring.” That sounds bad.
Because people are receiving PUA assistance and Social Security, they’re refusing to take jobs working as backyard poop scoopers or t-shirt sellers at Ocean City.
Gov. Larry Hogan is right. Maryland needs to get back to work. Ending both PUA and Social Security benefits will help do that.