Gov. Holcomb “Wrong” on COVID-19 Worker Relief, INGOP’s “Work More for Less” Economy Diminishes Indiana’s Future


IndyStar Column: “We can now say with certainty that Gov. Eric Holcomb was wrong to opt Indiana out of the generous unemployment benefits approved by Congress” 

ICYMI: More than 892,000 Hoosiers make less than $15.00/hr, thanks to the Indiana Republicans’ “A State that Works” economy

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today criticized the Indiana Republican Party for how their extreme partisanship is crippling the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19. A weekend column in the IndyStar called out Governor Eric Holcomb for being “wrong” about how the state cut critical pandemic relief programs – like unemployment insurance – just as workers began recovering from the coronavirus and the economic impact it brought on Indiana. 

Further, the column also exposed Indiana Republicans for developing an economic record that created an “F”-rated workforce across the state. Since 2012, Indiana’s so-called “right to work” laws have plunged wages for its workers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, about 30-percent of Indiana workers make minimum wage or low-wage jobs. This means more than 892,000 Hoosiers earn less than $15.00 an hour. 

Indiana Democrats have a solution to fix this problem for Hoosiers, and it’s through President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Under Biden’s American Jobs Plan, its once-in-a-generation investments in infrastructure will create good-paying jobs and dismantle the state’s “right to work” laws via the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Democrats are ready to deliver for Hoosiers and fix the mess the INGOP created. 

IndyStar Column: Indiana’s labor shortage isn’t about moochers

Holcomb was wrong

We can now say with certainty that Gov. Eric Holcomb was wrong to opt Indiana out of the generous unemployment benefits approved by Congress earlier this year. Holcomb announced his decision in May, citing “help wanted signs posted all over Indiana.” […]

Holcomb’s characterization of the job market in May is still accurate today — and that’s how you can tell he made the wrong policy decision (the issue ended up being moot because it got tied up in court all summer, but it’s worth examining nonetheless). Holcomb…mistakenly concluded that depriving people of access to unemployment benefits, including an extra $300 per week from the federal government, would force people back into the types of low-wage jobs that companies have been struggling to fill.

The idea that people are being lazy and need to be coerced back to work was always based on dubious logic. Economic data in recent months showed no clear link between unemployment benefits and workforce participation. But, last week, we got the clearest sign yet that something else is going on. […]

If Holcomb had gotten his way and ended the state’s participation in pandemic-related unemployment benefits in June, there is no sign that the state’s businesses would have more workers. The main outcome would have been Indiana losing out on millions of dollars in federal money that went into people’s pockets… […]

Indiana prides itself, perhaps above all else, on having a great business climate. Unfortunately, that means Indiana has a tendency to genuflect to businesses without regard for the best interests of the state as a whole. In addition to helping people survive, the COVID-19 relief money has likely been a net benefit to many of the businesses that complained about competing with the government for workers and pleaded with Holcomb to cut off unemployment. […]

…Blame the weird pandemic economy — not laziness.


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