On Wednesday, during a Fox News interview, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) argued that it would be problematic if the government did too much to “soften the amount of suffering” from the job losses around the country — because then governors wouldn’t feel an urgency to reopen the economy and would wait for the threat of COVID-19 to subside.
“If you give people money and you make it less painful to be in a recession, we can stay in a recession longer. The recession is created by the government. The government shut the economy,” said Paul, in an interview reported by Axios. “So all of these governors, Democrat and Republican, will not have an incentive to open the economy if you soften the amount of suffering that they have created.”
Paul added that instead, governors needed to be shamed into opening the economy immediately, adding, “What we need to be doing is every day broadcasting that your governors are causing the unemployment.”
Many Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have tried to claim that government policy must choose between public health and the economy. In reality, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has warned that the economy and pandemic are linked, and growth and jobs will suffer even if the economy opens as long as the virus is not under control.