It’s like getting soaked in a downpour and blaming it on the rain, not on the fact that you brought no umbrella or rain hat. So now, somehow low wage workers, make that lazy low wage workers, are the reason that certain businesses can’t fill openings — not the wages that are not livable, not the worry about close conditions with unvaccinated coworkers and certainly not the lack of childcare necessary so they could take a job.

Nope, Republicans say the only reason there is a shortage of workers is because people receiving enhanced federal unemployment benefits would rather sit home than get back to work. The lawmakers do admit that unemployed workers may be getting more than they would if they were working. But they don’t seem to grasp that shameful fact is more evidence that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is long overdue.

There has been plenty of not-so-low-level grumbling about these imagined workers who don’t want to work. But the recent jobs report ratcheted up the partisan suspicion and outrage. The highly anticipated report is one of the most critical indicators of the economy’s recovery. Many experts predicted one million new jobs would be added and were surprised when the actual number was much lower, only 266,000 additional jobs — a drop that also reflects the impact of millions of women workers who’ve left the workforce (lack of childcare is a huge problem). No matter, three GOP governors have gone so far as to slash $300 of the $600- weekly payments, a move they say will force people back to work. The governors of Arkansas, South Carolina and Montana took the lead, though other Republican state leaders are planning to take the same action. Montana’s Gov. Greg Gianforte tweeted the stimulus benefits were “no-work bonuses.”

I am sick of the disdain aimed at the supposed legions of unemployed layabouts who are watching Netflix all day while blowing their checks on steak or artisan vegetables — a complete lack of compassion for people who lost jobs through no fault of their own, hung on through months of political bickering desperate for housing, and food, many only surviving because of the financial lifeline from the federal government. Did the cruel critics forget that the unemployed are eligible for the benefits because before the pandemic they held jobs?

Biden administration officials pointed out there is simply no “measurable" evidence of the unemployed not working because they’re receiving benefits. And nobody seems to be outraged about the very real story of a huckster who made up a company so he could misuse $5 million of stimulus funds. Last week the feds arrested the Southern California man after he bought three luxury cars — a Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini — with money he applied for through the CARES Act. I think we can all agree that he didn’t want to work. By the way, he stole from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was supposed to help employers hold onto employees — like the ones now receiving unemployment — when their businesses shut down.

In addition to slashing benefits, more than three dozen states have reinstated the rule that those receiving unemployment benefits must also look for work. President Joe Biden assuaged his critics saying he didn’t disagree and, in fact, his Labor Department would reiterate that unemployed workers can’t refuse an offer of a comparable job. The Washington Post’s financial columnist told NPR that Biden was not announcing new action, only describing the longstanding federal policy.

Laughing, Michelle Singletary explained “That’s like saying I’m going to demand that you breathe when you’re already breathing.”

I’d like the fomenting lawmakers to take a cleansing breath, focus on the Bentley-driving real fraudsters and maybe find some empathy in the process.