President's Executive Order aimed at extending unemployment benefits could delay money for San Diegans

Donald Trump
Posted at 9:57 PM, Aug 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-09 14:29:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The four executive orders the president signed Saturday aimed at helping both working and unemployed Americans during the ongoing pandemic is not the most efficient way to help the nation, according to a local expert.

Dr. Alan Gin, University of San Diego Professor of Economics at the Economics Research Center, said the national issue needs a national relief package, instead of an order that pulls from multiple pools, like the CARES Act and other emergency funds. Unfortunately, Congress is deadlocked in an ideals crisis.

Dr. Gin said this order could delay funds for unemployed Americans because it complicates the process.

News that frustrates people like Cindy Griffith who has been trying to get her benefits for five months.

Griffith, a new mom to 17-month old Wilder, was laid off in March with her husband. They both worked in restaurants.

"It's been a nightmare," she said. "I spent every day stressing about EDD, calling EDD."

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She made hundreds of phone calls to the Employment Development Department, reached out to every representative she could find and finally went to court. The judge ruled her paperwork was in order and she deserved her unemployment checks.

That was three weeks ago and she hasn't seen a dime.

Thankfully her husband's unemployment funds came through and supported them until they Solterra Winery and Kitchen hired them.

When she heard about the president's Executive Order she didn't have much faith. "Spending five months fighting for my money, yeah it's great that that money will continue on if I do lose my job, yeah $400 a week will help, but I don't know if I'll see that money either so I'm just hoping my restaurant stays open."

Twenty-five percent of the $400 a week for unemployed Americans is supposed to come from the state. In California, Dr. Gin says that's money we don't have, "tax revenues are down considerably with economic activity reduced, both the income tax and the sales tax."

Dr. Gin added California has to have a balanced budget each year by law, but the federal government can borrow.

"Traditional macroeconomic theory says that should have a negative impact, whether on inflation or higher interest rates so far we haven't had either one," Dr. Gin said it could happen further down the road.

The president if he is re-elected he would cut the payroll tax that funds the dwindling Social Security fund and Medicare.

Dr. Gin said that is something Democrats and Republicans have been against, and "there's a question of whether or not the president can do that without congressional authorization."

All of this affecting little Wilder's future, his parents still waiting and hoping for some financial relief.

"It wasn't until I got into my restaurant and could walk with cash every night you know? Besides that I'm just waiting so I'm still months behind. Yeah I'm just really lucky I was able to go back to work," Griffith said.

She gave this advice to anyone suffering the same struggle she's facing, '"stay strong, hang in there and keep fighting for the money you deserve."