With all the issues confronting our national security and foreign policy, it’s easy to forget were facing serious domestic policy issues as well. Namely, we are stuck in the worst economic recovery in quite some time and many Americans feel we’re still in a recession — Main Street is suffering.
This past Monday evening I spoke to the Marquette University Campus Republicans on the issue of “Growth, Opportunity and Promise for the Next Generation.” The purpose of my comments was to outline the government policies that are affecting their future hopes to find gainful employment in America upon graduation.
One of the policies that I stressed as being an immense anchor weighing down our economy and its growth is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – aka Obamacare. It just might be the reason these graduates won’t be able to find a fulltime job.
Fox News says “Businesses are cutting jobs due to ObamaCare, according to surveys by several regional Federal Reserve Banks. Health economist John Goodman noted that “three Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta have surveyed the folks in their area and roughly one fifth of the employers are saying they cut back on employment. “Roughly one fifth are saying they’re moving from full time to part time,” Goodman added. “More than one in ten are saying they’re doing more outsourcing – all this because of the new health care reform.”
Regardless of the delay of the employer mandate, it’s still a looming threat to our economy, especially small business owners. There’s also the looming specter of the 50-employee threshold which is preventing business expansion due to the increased fines for providing healthcare.All this is occurring in an environment where small business owners are having to contend with increased regulatory costs and higher tax rates — remember small businesses operate as S-Corps/LLCs using personal income tax rates. So when we hear the incessant ranting of progressive socialists regarding spreading the wealth, paying your fair share, and economic fairness, the message is simple: we don’t support small business growth.
And when you have a president whose business acumen is nonexistent and a philosophy centered on the statement, “you didn’t build that” — you can just imagine his care and concern about individual American entrepreneurial investment, innovation, and ingenuity.
I sat on the House Committee on Small Business and heard constantly how the policies emanating from the Obama administration are negatively impacting that which represents almost 75 percent of our economy.
As Fox News says, “according to Doug Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, said “for the smaller employers — those that have between 20 and 49 employees — you get a negative impact on jobs, you get a negative impact on wages in those jobs. What this means for small business as a whole is over $22 billion of earnings gone for their workers and 350,000 jobs.”
And with the loss of earnings and jobs, so goes the loss of opportunity for Americans — but hey, they can be added to the growing number on food stamps and fitting into Yankee Stadium 925 times. And just so you know, since Obama’s reign began, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 31 million to over 46 million — it topped out at 47 million.
All this sounds rather purposeful to me and part of the “fundamental transformation” of America — the expansion of the welfare nanny-state and the decimation of our private sector economy, which is being replaced by a government spending economy.
Another aspect of Obamacare that is killing our economic recovery is the 30-hour work week maxim, which is also part of the employer mandate — resulting in more part-time positions and the loss of FTE (full time equivalent).
Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation noted, “you have a kind of a natural cliff there, that keeping your employees under that magic number” relieves employers of the mandate to provide insurance. “The 30-hour cutoff is how the administration determines whether you’re full time or part time,” Goodman explained. “And so we see this everywhere that people are restricted, they’re pushed below 30 hours, they count as part time and when they’re part time, the employer doesn’t have to provide health insurance.”
The Obama administration has effectively raised operating costs on employers and is making it harder for them to survive, let alone grow. “Yes we are going to see increased cost to employers who are trying to provide health care for their employees, but employers don’t just take that lying down,” said Tevi Troy of the American Health Policy Institute. Goodman added, “Even among full-time workers, their take home pay is going to go down because one thing that almost all the employers are doing in response to Obamacare is raising the deductibles, raising the co-payments and making the employee pay more of the premium.”
So in order for these struggling businesses to remain viable they have two options — shift new costs to consumers or shift the new burdens to the employees. There however is another option — shut down — and then we have more on unemployment who in turn must seek the assistance of the welfare nanny-state and the dependency society expands.
So I just have to ask, is the goal of Barack Hussein Obama and his progressive socialist disciples one of economic empowerment or economic enslavement? Do they want to encourage and incentivize the indomitable American entrepreneurial spirit or crush the will and determination of producers to build, hire and grow? Does Obama believe in individual sovereignty or collective subjugation?
Yes, these are rhetorical questions, but the answers are evident — to many, but sadly enough not to all — and still this truth is rejected by those drunk on Obama’s kool-aid.