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WASHINGTON–The economy in the COVID and post-COVID era will be different than it was before. But, Sen. Mike Braun says understanding what was working before the pandemic began and incorporating adaptations, is key to having a successful economic future.

“Now we’ve had a year and a half of government being the driver in the economy, kind of just unconcerned about the fact we’re nearing $30 trillion in debt,” said Braun, appearing on CNBC. “I think it’s clear that government at this point has to get out of the way and look at what was working pre-COVID.”

Braun said one of the major changes that must be dealt with is a change in work ethic.

“Can we recover from what government has done, maybe with good intentions, but crippling the economy in a way that the whole work ethic might be different?” he asked.

Braun pointed out that in Indiana the state already has an unemployment rate around three and a half percent, nearly where it was before the pandemic. But, having enough trained people to do the work is still a problem.

“Workforce was the biggest deal pre-COVID. It’s really been accentuated with government policies.”

He said the pre-COVID economy was something to be desired, with some employment rates and wages among minorities at levels not previously seen and the economy was driven by private competition, with companies competing for workers.

Braun said economic plans now must include some old, whatever was working, and some new, the kinds of adaptations that acknowledge COVID and how it has changed the workforce and attitudes and ethics.

“Conservatives have got to be better at being in on the discussion on the high cost of health care, which disproportionately impacts those at the lower end of the scale,” he said. “We’ve got to be at least credible with the discussion on climate.”