Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that states and localities had already laid off 1.5 million government workers as a result of COVID-19-related budget woes. One might think that would have moved Congress to expedite much-needed relief to states and municipalities. After all, the layoffs epitomized the propensity for economic crises to turn government from a source of stability into one of added trauma.
However, because those disconcerting numbers were overshadowed by a positive jobs bounce in May, the plight of states and localities went overlooked. The broader, “feel good” employment numbers licensed a burst of complacency regarding the pandemic’s economic impact, at least among Republicans.
But that was then. Now, with COVID-19 cases surging in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, the “feel good” moment of three weeks