White House Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow has announced that President Donald Trump is considering a "back to work" bonus to incentivize unemployed Americans to return to work. Several other measures are being considered by the White House currently, though the work bonus measure seems to have the most traction currently.
The proposed "back to work" benefit is being presented as an alternative to extending the federal $600 a week unemployment benefit currently offered by the Federal government in addition to state-level benefits. Concerns have mounted that some Americans may not want to return to work as they currently make more on Unemployment benefits than they had at work; the return-to-work benefit is meant to counter this by offering American workers a limited time $450 weekly bonus to Americans who return to work.
The measure, which was initially proposed by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, could not only possibly incentivize unemployed Americans to return to work, but could also save the Federal Government and State Governments money by reducing the money spent on unemployment, the cost of which has risen significantly amid the pandemic. The measure would run through the end of July, much like the existing $600-a-week provision to support unemployed workers.
The Trump Administration is considering other measures as alternatives to extending unemployment benefits. Among the proposals is increased stimulus spending, which may or may not include additional $1,200 checks to American citizens. Other proposals include a payroll tax holiday; under this proposal, a temporary "holiday" period would see payroll taxes paid by both employers and employees waived, which would lower labor costs for companies while additionally increasing the wages of workers. Another proposal is the "Skills Renewal Act," a bipartisan proposal that seeks to award a $4,000 tax credit to Americans who attain advanced skills training, such as college education, apprenticeships, or professional certifications.