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A husband and father to three children, Dan Allen has been receiving a vast array of city, state, and federal unemployment benefits since being furloughed from his job when the COVID-19 crisis struck last March. Nevertheless, Mr. Allen and millions of Americans just like him are learning the hard way that government largesse just isn’t enough. Shortly after the initial lockdown last spring, Allen decided to swallow his pride and return to work.
“I’m not proud of it. But my wife and I sat down and crunched the numbers and there was no way around it: I was going to have to begin earning again,” he said.
Policymakers in Washington are struggling to deal with a problem that has perplexed public officials since the New Deal: how to keep people from relying on work to support themselves?