Andy Puzder, the former CEO of CKE Restaurants and the author of “Getting America Back to Work” sounded off on the Biden administration’s “stupid” economic policy this week.
“All they had to to get this incredible labor market reignited was to do nothing stupid. That was the entire request. And they just couldn’t resist,” he told journalist Trish Regan on her “Trish Regan Intel” show Tuesday evening.
Puzder, who used to run Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s as part of CKE’s portfolio and is credited with saving the fast-food brand Hardee’s from bankruptcy, said the Biden stimulus plan–including $300 unemployment checks–is having a “terrible impact on America’s workforce.”
The service industry is particularly affected by the labor shortage, he explained. And, that makes sense to him. “If you can make $33000 to $35000 a year sitting home on the couch, a lot of people aren’t going to go to work,” said Puzder.
Sonic in Albuquerque says “No one wants to work anymore.” pic.twitter.com/CR128n60mM
— Patrick Hayes (@KOBPatrickHayes) April 14, 2021
Puzder told Regan that he has a suggestion for Joe Biden:
“He should get out of the bubble in Washington and go to a restaurant, go to a grocery store, go to a barbershop, go anywhere and the people that are working there whether or not people are staying home because of these unemployment benefits.”
“All They Had To Do Was To ‘Do Nothing Stupid'”
Puzder cited the incredibly low numbers of jobs added in April 266,000, compared to the expectations of 1 million new jobs, despite the “incredible” amount of job openings saying, “I think that’s the largest miss ever. I’ve never heard of a miss of 750,000 jobs.”
Puzder also said he believed that the recovery was underway in October, with the economy heading in the right direction. However, he believes that Biden’s economic policy is putting that at risk.
“All they had to to get this incredible labor market reignited was to do nothing stupid. That was the entire request. And they just couldn’t resist,” said Puzder, adding that he never used the word “stupid” in an interview before.
“But paying people not to work, there isn’t a better word to describe it,” said Puzder.
A Repeat of the Obama recession?
Asked about the potential motivations behind Biden’s policy, including that of creating an environment in which more people are dependent on the government, Puzder stated that that was a possibility.
“I don’t think they rationally you can conclude that they think this is good economic policy,” he stated.
He cited the Obama stimulus that was, according to the Democrats, supposed to keep unemployment below 8% at all times and even help the GDP.
“They passed the stimulus, unemployment went to 8% that month, went to 10% and didn’t dip below 8% for 43 months. They were predicting GDP growth of 4% plus, and it never even hit 3%!”
During the Obama administration, said Puzder, unemployment went down because labor participation went down, not because there were more jobs.
That’s in stark contrast with the Trump era when labor participation went up, and unemployment went down.
In 2019, he added, unemployment was below the “full-employment” rate for every month.
“We know what works, and we know what doesn’t work. To conclude we should be doing more of what doesn’t work, you really just have to not be very bright,” said Puzder.
Watch the entire exclusive interview here, beginning 13 minutes into the clip at 13:00.