New Democratic Platform: Taxpayer Subsidized Non-Productivity

pelosiLast week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office announced that the Affordable Care Act would likely reduce the number of full-time workers in the United States by the equivalent of 2.3 million.

What’s their reasoning? Simply put, the law’s taxpayer-subsidies will give workers less of a reason to work. Under Obamacare, Americans who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty level qualify for government-assistance to buy health insurance. Thus, there’s a clear incentive for people to keep their work-hours down in order to meet that income qualification.

I was interested to see how the Obama administration and the Democratic Party would respond to the bad news. My assumption was that they would do what they normally do: Outright deny the math or prop up some irrelevant, unrelated number to try and minimize its significance.

After all, we see this routinely in the way Democratic politicians boast of a dropping unemployment rate while shrugging off the staggeringly low labor-force participation rate that made it possible. We see it in the way they brag about reducing the annual deficit by 33% without acknowledging the facts that they first increased it by 200%, and that the sequester-cuts they fought hard against were significantly responsible for the reduction. Don’t even get me started on a U.S. national debt that was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” six years ago, but is no biggie now that it has been doubled.

I could spend my time writing an entire column on the Democrats’ politically-spun fuzzy math on everything from the U.S. budget, to the jobs created by the Keystone pipeline, to the number of Americans losing their doctors and insurance plans under Obamacare… but I won’t.

Instead, I’ll get back to the CBO’s latest report because the response from the administration and the DNC has been pretty extraordinary.

They’ve decided to take the unique route of insisting that in a weak economy, taxpayer-subsidization of non-productivity is actually a good thing. They’re actually arguing that Americans who don’t like their jobs, and would rather spend their time pursuing other interests, should be able to do so and have other Americans pay for that chosen lifestyle.

House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, responded to the CBO report saying that “this was one of the goals. To give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked but to follow their passion.”

“People shouldn’t have job-lock,” Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid said. “We live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want.”

“Opportunity created by affordable, quality health insurance allows families in America to make a decision about how they will work, or if they will work,” White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney said.

Democratic Congressman, Keith Ellison said that with people working fewer hours, they’ll be able to look at their “work-life balance” and have more “opportunity” to do other things.

What ever happened to the notion that the cure for a job-lock and limited opportunity is a healthy job market? What ever happened to the notion that liberty and people doing what they want come from being independent of government, and not reliant on it? What ever happened to the notion that the American Dream was about succeeding, and not receding?

Listening to our liberal leaders pridefully tout taxpayer-funded non-productivity as a “quality of living” or a “personal freedom” issue, I can’t help but conclude that this country has crossed some new threshold in a steady march toward European-style socialism.

For readers who are familiar with my work, you may have noticed that I don’t loosely throw around the “socialist” charge like many of my fellow, right-leaning commentators. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever accused our president or anyone in the Democratic party of outright embracing socialism, even though the leadership has pulled this country closer to that failed system than we’ve probably ever been.

At what point, however, can we no longer reject the conclusion that socialism is the unspoken goal of this administration and the modern-day liberal movement in this country? I think it’s a fair question to ask. From a Dead Sleep by John A. Daly

I would imagine that the answer would come when our liberal leaders finally outright admit that government-entitlements shouldn’t only be afforded to those who need help, but also to those who simply don’t want to be bothered with the responsibility of having to provide for themselves.

Isn’t that exactly what the Democrats I quoted above are saying? If not, please tell me where I’m wrong.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems), and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. He is the author of the Sean Coleman Thriller series. His first novel, "From a Dead Sleep," is available at all major retailers. His second novel, "Blood Trade" is available for pre-order and will be released in Sept. 2015. John lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
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  • Vance P. Frickey

    We are Dobbin. Dobbin was the horse in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” who worked harder than anyone else, just from the joy of working for the new farm run by the animals, and really believed in the cause. The political leaders of the Farm worked him hard, didn’t feed him right, and he died with his ribs showing through his hide – and the politicians sold his carcass to the rendering plant.

    Under ObamaCare, those of us who CAN’T pull out of the full-time workforce – perhaps because the new, much more expensive healthcare we owe to ObamaCare requires we earn more to pay for those several thousand-dollar deductibles in the “bronze” plans which are all we can afford, in order to save the life of someone we love… we’re Dobbin. We’re too damned principled to just become welfare clients, and the Democratic Party is cynically relying on us to pay for what the rich couldn’t pay for, were their entire wealth confiscated.

    Taxing the rich is a non-issue, unless, under Obama’s divisive rhetoric, we redefine the term to mean “those who have more than we do” – not millionaires, just people who’ve worked hard and set money aside without the government handing it to them from someone else’s pocket. That’s where Obama’s “You didn’t do that” to the middle class who have successful businesses comes from – because what’s his is his and what’s ours must be his, too. It’s been shown that we wouldn’t even balance a year’s Federal budget by completely dispossessing the rich.

    But we’re not the rich, and we don’t have tax shelters and other things available to us to shield our wealth from taxation. So the middle class in this country Obama makes such sympathetic noises about will bear the major burden for paying for his malformed schemes. Until we can’t work because we can’t afford to treat the cancers, heart disease, whatever, that will eventually knock us out of the workforce, because the deductibles in this wonderful “par” insurance of Obama make us unable to pay for it – while half the country gets the same coverage for free or a much lower price. Then we die. Because we’re Dobbin.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      “From each according to his ability, to each according to their need”, Marx’s fasinating collectivist credo. And so beloved is it, that western civilization is in a headlong rush to get there. Why? Think about a factory run like this. 50 men, all having to demonstrate how needy they are for their pay? For them the needier they are, the better off they get. What corrupt Government, (and America’s Governments are now in that category) doesn’t appreciate needy people? The needier the better. An unvirtuous cycle of enslavement, disguised as morality. The solution is simple, “a days pay for a days work” and “if you don’t work, you don’t eat”.

    • John Daly

      Insightful post! Thanks.

  • Paul Courtney

    John: Indeed. As I put in a post to Bernie last week, how easily these folks glide from lie to lie. Nancy P. is on record that ACA will create jobs, “400k right away” (hey, when did “right away” happen, Oct 1, 2013? Or Nov.? Or Dec.? Surely by Jan. ’14? Guess “right away” was…delayed?), and the ACA was sold as helping the working class poor uninsured, plenty of footage on that. She now says reducing hrs worked was a goal, showing she knew it was a lie all along. What truly puzzles me, why some network news doesn’t recognize a great story and ratings bonanza if they simply put up video of Nancy, Harry etc. (to avoid racism, they could leave Barry out) before and after, selling the ACA from ’09-Jan. ’14 as helping poor, then their current line.

    • Vance P. Frickey

      Who says the MAINSTREAM network news wants to AVOID racism? So far, failing to hold Barack Obama just as accountable as they have George W. Bush is just as racist as holding minstrel shows in blackface.

      • Jeff Webb

        Vance, maybe he’s done it a lot and it just never registered, but I don’t see BO as a major race-carder. I remember a couple, like the obvious “…did I mention he’s black?” and the subtle “bitter clingers” line, but can you name more examples?

  • Wheels55

    This is Obama and Pelosi’s answer to slow job creation. At first, it was we will create jobs – Obamacare will create jobs – jobs jobs jobs. Now that they see they can’t create jobs, they just say we don’t need so many. Can they ruin this country anymore than they already have?

  • VermontAmerican

    John, you’re wrong in not having “ever accused our president or anyone in the Democratic party of outright embracing socialism.” They’ve been tilting that way for decades. It’s how they keep the masses voting for them.

  • therealguyfaux

    What has me scratching the old noggin is how someone like Rachel Mad Cow could, last year sometime, poke fun at people on the Right who had said quite forthrightly that they might want to “go Galt” a little and not work hard enough to earn more than $250K, for whatever tax reason it was. Rae-Rae tells them, superciliously, “You DO know the Government is not going to confiscate everything you make over the quarter-mill, right? You DO know that deductions phase out and are not abruptly cut off, right?” Her point was that it was a cutting off of the nose to spite the face for someone to willingly and willfully earn less just so as not to cross a tax threshold.

    Fast-forward to Winter 2014, as we now hear that people may decide not to work as many hours, this to maintain eligibility for subsidized health care. However you slice it, workers, jobs, whatever, a certain number of work hours will not be worked, and presumably a fall-off of the GNP will ensue. Less productivity, unless there was much too much featherbedding and loafing to start with (possible?).

    Somehow, the idea that it ISN’T a good idea to dial it back when it means the Government will TAKE something from you, but it’s a good idea to do so to get some “Gubmint Cheese,” is rather odd, to put it mildly. Unless the idea is that by shaming the potential $250K+’ers into making more and paying more tax, so that those making nowhere near that amount can afford to work less and earn less so as to be able to stay in a government program. Yeah, right. I definitely want to bust my hump so someone else doesn’t need to. But I’M the one who’s selfish, see?

    I fully realize that the whole thing as far as the meaning of the fewer hours worked aggregate figure and what that portends is being spun so fast it’ll drill a hole in the floor. My suspicion is that the Administration is looking to make virtue out of necessity, or as my Mom would say, “chicken salad out of chicken $#!t”, but it IS telling that the smarm and snark of Ms Mad Cow’s delivery in her mock-address to high earners (like herself, presumably), meant for the ears of her usual audience, is meant to put the ambitious hard-working Joe and Josie on the moral back foot, in a complete 180 to what the real stry is.

    • John Daly

      Excellent point!

  • veeper

    Hey…it’s obamacare…..

    just make up some excuses…any excuses…..

    it’s the media’s job to make the ‘folks” believe it….

    • John Daly

      And they’re definitely doing it.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    An old Soviet expression in reference to state employement (which was everybody) “They pretend to pay, so we pretend to work”. Now perhaps, it is a shame, that folks won’t work simply to reward their fellowmen. But it being a shame, and a notion that’s false, are two different things. By definition, incentive means the possibility of unequal outcomes. English speaking peoples throughout the world, have a couple of words to describe this incenting of outcomes. We call it “the American way”. Like a bright light in a dim room, it’s lifted humanity out of lives that were barbaric, brutish and short, into an era of unprecedented promise. A promise that’s being squandered by the fast downhill race to mediocrity. The only equality to be found by eschewing the “American way” is the equality of poverty. Unhappily, it seems a lot folks would find this eminently acceptable.

    • John Daly

      Well said.

    • exaag

      Let us not forget that the progressive USSR eventually enacted “anti-parasite laws” as fewer and fewer people worked to support the lotus-eaters.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        Speaking of anti parasite laws, while the left screams their heads off about folks NOT cheating welfare, not needing ID to vote, not abusing entitlements, they want union memberships (in union shops) mandatory to protect themselves from “free riders”?

  • DanB_Tiffin

    Nothing new about that, really, already plenty of taxpayer Subsidized Non-Productivity
    Welfare cash for families
    Section 8 housing vouchers for house/apartment rent
    EBT cards (formerly Food Stamps) for food and other non-food free stuff!
    Head Start
    WIC Extra food for Women With Infant Children
    Medicaid for medical coverage
    HEAP Emergency Heating payments (and air conditioning!)
    Reduced price or free school lunches (and breakfasts) for the kids
    Refundable child income tax credits for people who pay no income tax anyway.

    And Now Obamacare!

    This below from Walter Williams:
    helping your fellow man in need by reaching into your own pocket is praiseworthy and noble.
    helping your fellow man by reaching into someone else’s pocket is worthy of condemnation.

    • John Daly

      I understand what you’re saying. The point I’m making is that the Democrats are actually campaigning on using taxpayer money to subsidize laid-back lifestyles – not their usual mantra about helping people who can’t make it on their own.

      • DanB_Tiffin

        That is different, I agree. The new mantra works just fine with other liberals, I see.

      • tarmac 492

        Once I am forced on Obamacare, I guess I will be free to quit my job and hang around at the local tavern all day watching pretty girls stroll by on the way to the beach? I will then write the Great American Novel.I can finally have the life Duchovny has in Californication!! Ahh, sounds very French. Good article John. I agree with you. Harry Reid has it completely backwards in his thinking behind his quote, as he usually does. Job Free Agency is only achieved by a healthy economy which will allow employees to look for work with competing companies.

    • Bob Olden

      Hey, I love lists like this. Did you research this list or just pull it off the top of your head? I suspect that it could be quite a bit longer ( you didn’t even mention unemployment benefits). Besides the federal subsidies, there seem to be overlapping programs in state and local government that are also competing to give stuff away. There are programs for homeless, and addicts, and battered wives and children, and all kinds of disabilities, real or imagined. There are tons of programs to feed the poor, to subsidize education, to treat people with crippling diseases. Many of these programs are privately funded, yet the government still has to pile on with more benefits, and even pays for people to go out and find people to tell them they qualify! All made possible by generations of hard working entrepreneurs, business leaders, and skilled and unskilled laborers. Soon to dry up as our economy grinds to a halt because of “progressive” policies.