Mitch McConnell unveils his plan for the economy: More suffering


Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., floated a head-scratching solution to jolt the economy on Tuesday: more human suffering.

Throughout the pandemic, worker shortages have plagued several industries. Many people have left low-paying or unsafe jobs in search of things like better wages and more schedule flexibility.

The octogenarian senator seems to be having some trouble remembering how far a dollar takes you in modern-day America.

McConnell’s solution for this ongoing problem? Starve Americans of their savings and watch them crawl back to the jobs they left.

“You’ve got a whole lot of people sitting on the sidelines because, frankly, they’re flush for the moment,” the Kentucky Republican said. “What we’ve got to hope is once they run out of money, they’ll start concluding it’s better to work than not to work.”

Putting cruelty aside for a moment, the octogenarian senator seems to be having some trouble remembering how far a dollar takes you in modern-day America. There’s little evidence, for example, that most Americans are “flush” with cash.

The last stimulus checks were distributed last March and totaled — at the most — a mere $1,400 per person (and $2,800 for married couples).

And although some Middle-class and wealthy Americans had managed to keep some of their stimulus money in savings by the end of 2021, reports showed many Americans, including most low-income Americans, saw those savings evaporate by the end of the year. Conservatives displaced those financial woes by refusing to extend the child tax credit, which may have pushed millions of Americans into poverty. And global inflation isn’t helping.

So, no, Mitch. Americans aren’t “flush” with the cash they received more than a year ago. This isn’t the 1950s, when you could purchase a stick of gum, a car and your college tuition for, like, 20 bucks.

McConnell could have proposed any number of worker-centered solutions to help fix the labor shortage. He could have suggested employers increase their wages, or improve their workplace conditions, or — here’s an idea — provide workers with better benefits, like improved health coverage. Instead, he relied on rote Republicanism: framing would-be workers as lazy for refusing to serve industries that undervalue them.

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