Gary Bauer: Obamacare Is A Disincentive To Work And Central Factor To Slowing Economic Growth And Has Boehner Seen The Light?


Thursday, February 6, 2014

From: Gary L. Bauer

Obamacare: A Disincentive To Work

The White House and its congressional allies are scrambling to respond to this week’s Congressional Budget Office report finding Obamacare will cost more than two million jobs. The best spin they can come up with is that because of Obamacare’s massive taxpayer-funded subsidies, some people will choose to work less. The left-wing New York Times labeled this “a liberating result of the law.”

If you are among the millions who had your previous health insurance cancelled and were forced to buy more expensive policies because of Obamacare, do you feel liberated now? And I wonder if all those workers who have had their hours reduced because of Obamacare feel “liberated.”

Whatever help liberals thought they were going to get from CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf was dashed during yesterday’s hearings before the House Budget Committee. Under questioning from committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Elmendorf offered this damning explanation of the “liberating result” of Obamacare:

“[B]y providing heavily subsidized health insurance to people with very low income and then withdrawing those subsidies as income rises, the act creates a disincentive for people to work…”

Did you get that, folks? Obamacare is a “disincentive for people to work.” And to the left, that’s a good thing. So the American Dream of working hard and saving to get ahead has been replaced by a government handout from Uncle Sam. That really is a fundamental transformation of America!

Not having to work in order to have health insurance no doubt sounds great. But like liberalism generally, it doesn’t work. Somebody has to work in order to pay the taxes that will fund Obamacare’s “heavily subsidized health insurance.” And guess who that is? You — the hard-working American taxpayer.

Obamacare: The Central Factor To Slowing Economic Growth

If liberals thought labeling Obamacare a “disincentive to work” was bad, Elmendorf was just getting started. Let’s think about where this is headed.

The “disincentive to work” really kicks in as people approach the so-called “subsidy cliff” — when earning one extra dollar of income threatens thousands of Obamacare subsidy dollars.

Millions of people dropping out of the work force in order to take advantage of government subsidies will have a big impact on the economy, right? That was essentially the question put to Mr. Elmendorf by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN). Elmendorf’s response:

“It is the central factor in slowing economic growth… later in this decade and beyond, the principal reason why we think the economic growth will be less than it was for most of my lifetime will be a slower rate of growth of the labor force.”

So, Obamacare is a disincentive to work and that disincentive to work will be the “central factor in slowing economic growth.”

Obamacare is a mortal wound to the American economy, and further evidence of why we must repeal this “disincentive to work.” We need economic growth to create jobs. Jobs generate tax revenues to fund vital programs. How are we supposed to fund Social Security and Medicare if the government is providing disincentives for people to work and pay taxes?

Oh, I’m sure the left will demand higher taxes on the rich again, but that’s a dead end. Go ahead — take it all. Confiscating the wealth of the top 1% would fund the government for about five months. Eventually they will come for the middle class too, many of whom are finding that Obamacare is already taxing them by forcing them to pay higher premiums.

As Margaret Thatcher famously said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Has Boehner Seen The Light?

For weeks, House Republican leaders have insisted that they were going to push forward with some version of immigration reform. Last week the leadership unveiled its principles for reform to much Obama White House said it was interested.

But there was pushback too from leading conservative publications, the grass roots and even within the House GOP caucus. In fact, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) warned in an on-the-record interview that pushing immigration reform to the House floor “should cost [Boehner] his speakership.”

At a press conference today, Speaker Boehner seemed to acknowledge reality when he said:

“As you all know, for the last 15 months, I’ve talked about the need to get immigration reform done.  …But I’ve never underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year.  …And frankly, one of the biggest obstacles we face is the one of trust. The American people, including many of our members, don’t trust that the reform we’re talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be.

“The president seems to change the health care law on a whim, whenever he likes. Now, he is running around the country telling everyone he’s going to keep acting on his own.  He keeps talking about his phone and his pen. And he’s feeding more distrust about whether he is committed to the rule of law.

“Listen, there’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. It’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

I had the honor of attending the National Prayer Breakfast this morning. The National Prayer Breakfast is a long-standing Washington tradition and a great bi-partisan event where members of both parties come together to honor the importance of faith and America’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

While listening to Barack Obama, I couldn’t help but think that today is Ronald Reagan’s birthday.

As many of our readers know, I had the great privilege of working all eight years in the Reagan Administration, serving as Under Secretary of Education with Bill Bennett and as President Reagan’s chief domestic policy advisor.

Watch this brief video of Ronald Reagan talking about the importance of faith. Obama may have been speaking at the podium today, but Reagan’s words echoed in my heart.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

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