Rep. Thomas Massie: We’re Paying People Not to Work

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after he blocked a unanimous consent vote on a long-awaited $19 billion disaster aid bill in the chamber on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Federal bailouts for states under the auspices of coronavirus relief legislation are “covering up for the killing of our economy that’s been done by the governors,” said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), offering his remarks in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.

Massie warned of moral hazard associated with the federal transfer of monies to states operating under various types of economic restrictions such as shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders.

“By sending money into the states, and into the companies, and into the hands of everybody, we are basically covering up for the killing of the economy that’s been done by the governors,” cautioned Massie.

Massie continued, “The president and I would like to see these governors open their economies back up — and there’s some discussion about who has the power to control that — but if we keep paying for the shutdown, the governors are going to keep it shut down. It’s almost like we’re doing a blood transfusion for the economy, but we haven’t stopped the bleeding.”

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Massie predicted, “We’re going to be back in Congress doing another half-trillion-dollar bill. I can assure you they’re going to ask us to do this in probably four weeks when this money runs out because it’s eventually just going to keep running out.”

Weeks ago, Massie said there is “no lack of demand” for “free money” from the government:

What the government needs to do is allow people to go back to work. I’m against the bill, but the main thing that I’m against is letting Nancy Pelosi do it in the House on her own without members being accountable. The Constitution requires at least half of them vote on this. So, let’s enable remote voting.

“People are staying home instead of coming back to work” to get “extra money … from the government,” stated Massie. He said small businesses in his district have told him of increased difficulties in hiring people due to the amount they make through unemployment.

Federal money transfers to states without reducing or ending coronavirus-related restrictions is counterproductive, determined Massie.

“The other problem with this fourth coronavirus bill — it’s the second tranche of money that went to the Paycheck Protection Program — is we’ve got our foot on the brake and our foot on the gas at the same time,” Massie concluded.

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