Not even six months into its existence ObamaCare has had its share of problems. Perhaps the most troubling is the one that the law itself is creating by wreaking havoc on an already shaky employment landscape.
More specifically, stunning job loss.
The Congressional Budget Office reported last week that the combination of taxes and subsidies in the law “creates a disincentive for people to work.” The report predicted the mix would lead to fewer hours worked, costing the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.
In the report, the non-partisan CBO says workers will scale back their productivity after taking into consideration the subsidies available from the federal government to make insurance more affordable for low- and middle-income people. The more money people make, the lower their subsidies. Thus, why bust your bum in a job you don’t like when you can get more financial assistance for doing less?
But work isn’t supposed to be fun. That’s why they call it work. Democrats, on the other hand, see this situation as freeing.
“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,” Jay Carney said.
There it is, America. The new dirty word in Democratic circles: work. The war against it has officially begun.
The new option to the oppressive, unfun reality of work is “don’t work,” because the government has got your back. Of course, when Democrats talk about this newfound freedom, they won’t tell you that it comes at a cost.
For whom? For people who choose to work and who will be forced to pay for people who opt out of the labor market altogether. You know, those artists and musicians who are emancipated from what Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid call “job lock.”
“We see it as an entrepreneurial bill,” Pelosi famously said in 2010, “a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”
If you think she’s going after the artist vote, think again. What people need to realize is that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and most liberals in office who gave us ObamaCare don’t care about the success of the economy.
They don’t care about the unemployment rate or even higher underemployment rate.
They don’t care about growth. And they don’t care about this CBO report. People will go into the exchanges where health plans are de facto government plans, and years from now they will be actual government plans.
Plainly put, their primary goal is to make people dependent on the government. So, by liberal standards, this reduction in work is a blessing, not a curse.
Tell that to women. According to the Wall Street Journal, "More than one in six men ages 25 to 54, prime working years, don't have jobs—a total of 10.4 million. Some are looking for jobs; many aren't."
And the problem is not just a lack of jobs. "Many of the available jobs don't pay enough to get men to take them, particularly if securing a job requires moving, long commutes or surrendering government benefits."
The direct casualties of able-bodied men dropping out of the workforce are women. If men aren’t working, they won’t be inclined to date or marry.
Men link their happiness to professional success and stability. With more men out of work, they will be less likely to marry, want to start families and be providers. And women will be left footing the bill or without stable mates, which will have a direct effect on women’s happiness. The societal effects of this will be hugely transformative for the sexes.
This Washington war on work is actually a war on women—and the men they love.
But if you listen to a Democrat, we work too hard anyway.
"If you look at international comparisons country by country, Americans work way more that the average of industrialized countries around the world," said Rep. Keith Ellison, (D-Minn.).
He said the report showing fewer work hours gives us the chance "to look at our work/life balance," which he described as "a great opportunity” to stay home and cook dinner. Great news for Stouffer’s. Bad news for the rest of us.
Perhaps the biggest question remains: if work is so bad, then why not enforce the employer mandate?
Just this week the administration delayed the mandate yet again fearing that employers will let go of staff, not hire or move employees to part time status because of the law. If ObamaCare liberates them from the strangling ball and chain of gainful employment, why continue to delay a mandate that will keep more people in these jobs?
Isn’t delaying the mandate a tacit admission that ObamaCare is a war on work and workers? And isn’t, according to Democrats’ logic of last week, less work a good thing?
Seems like even they don’t believe their own hype.
America is the greatest nation in the world because it works, literally and figuratively. We shouldn’t strive to be like other countries by launching a full frontal assault on work. In fact, we should be empowered to do everything we can to create more jobs and more workers, not go to war with them.
Who knew, when Joe Biden boasted that ObamaCare was a “big bleeping deal,” he was right?
Andrea Tantaros currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five (weekdays 5-6 PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros or on Facebook.com/andreatantaros. Click here for more information on Andrea Tantaros.