This interview originally appeared on YAF.org on April 13, 2020.
YAF: First, how are you and your family doing during the coronavirus pandemic?
Puzder: We’re doing fine. We’re blessed that this crisis happened now instead of 10 years ago because we have all of these online delivery services available. You can get anything you want on Amazon and other places as long as they have enough supplies. My wife and I have been taking advantage of that.
YAF: This crisis is hurting the U.S. economy. What are the biggest economic challenges you see?
Puzder: This is not a natural disaster. Rather, it is a national disaster. Like in any national disaster, the federal government is doing everything it can within its power to protect Americans and the economy.
The biggest challenge will be for the federal government to back off once the crisis is over. As President Reagan said, “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.” The government is going to need to do exactly that if we’re going to recover once the crisis ends—and the crisis will end.
Another challenge is to get people back into the economy. We need stores, hotels, and restaurants back open. We need manufacturers to manufacture and consumers to consume.
That requires incentivizing investors to invest, businesses to hire, and workers to work. It requires that we do not have policies in place that discourage work and investment. We need free market policies.
We don’t need to undergo what we went through following the Great Recession under President Obama, when we ended up with laws and regulations that actually restricted economic growth.
We need to do what President Trump did when he took office—reduce taxes and regulations, develop domestic energy resources, and get out of the way so businesses hire people.
Then, of course, there is the medical challenge. People need to feel safe. If people don’t feel safe, they’re not going to do the things they were doing in December and January, before the crisis began.
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