“I think it is a disincentive to go back to work,” Kudlow said of the checks. “We think we can create a much better balance to provide incentives to come back to work.”
But Harlow promptly disputed Kudlow’s interpretation of the study.
“Larry, the University of Chicago survey … doesn’t conclude what you’re arguing,” Harlow said. “I talked to the author of the study last night.”
Harlow noted the study’s authors pushed back on conclusions that the $600 checks discourage returning work, arguing there is no evidence to support that claim.
“You have your professors and I have my professors,” Kudlow fired back, saying he has been seeking guidance from economist Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago. The study was conducted by Peter Gagnon, also of the University of Chicago.
“You brought them up,” Harlow retorted. “I was responding with the study that you cited.”
Harlow noted the study found ending the $600-a-week extension would lead consumer spending to decline 4.3% — a potentially catastrophic economic unforced error.
“Larry, it’s not safe! It’s not safe for a number of people to go back to work,” Harlow responded.
Kudlow said federal guidelines should make workplaces safe, including social distancing, wearing masks, testing and proper hand washing. But he said a federal mask mandate is unnecessary, citing cases leveling off in some coronavirus hotbeds in the South.