This isn’t just theory. Northeastern University’s Rand Ghayad sent out 4,800 fake resumes to job postings. Some of the resumes were from the new unemployed. Others showed longer spells of unemployment. The callback rate for the long-term unemployed was just 1 to 3 percent. For the newly unemployed, it was 9 to 16 percent.

The problem for the long-term unemployed isn’t that their lavish government checks keep them from wanting jobs. It’s that they can’t get jobs — in part because they’re unemployed. And that makes them even less likely to get jobs in the future. The long-term unemployed are slowly becoming unemployable.

The federal government could move aggressively to put them back to work. It could hire them directly as teacher’s aides and park rangers. It could pass a large tax cut for employers who hire new workers and and an even larger one for employers who hire the unemployed. It could invest hundreds of billions in infrastructure repair. Paul could be a powerful advocate if he took up the cause of getting them jobs now so they could get jobs later.