Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Biggest Lie

Last week, every idiot was declaring Obamacare to be a job killer. The Congressional Budget Office said so! At least all those articles referencing one single part of this recent CBO report said so!

The pertinent section in the CBO report actually states "CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive. Because the largest declines in labor supply will probably occur among lower-wage workers, the reduction in aggregate co mpensation (wages, salaries, and fringe benefits) and the impact on the overall econ- omy will be proportionally smaller than the reduction in hours worked." Or, as Dean Baker explained, "older workers with serious health conditions who are working now because this is the only way to get health insurance. And (one for the family-values crowd) many young mothers who return to work earlier than they would like because they need health insurance. This is a huge plus."

The only possible way Obamacare can be a "job-killer" is the same corporate malfeasance nobody ever bothers to hide: employers will downsize to avoid paying new taxes. Remember how Papa John himself bragged that he would do just that a few years ago? And the official line was oh, the poor put upon billionaire? Seriously, if you people fall for the "Obamacare Kills Jobs!" meme, then you deserve to get shafted like this.
The only reason I can see for this nonsense persisting is that we love the Lie. That very American Lie that, if not for the evils of law and order, we are capable of consciously steering our course in life. That we can be the absolute masters of our own destiny. We don't work more and more overstressed hours every week because of the price of living or stealth charges always bleeding our bank accounts or because that's the only way to appease the increasingly autocratic corporate managers who - at least until the ACA - determined if we get healthcare or not.

No, we choose to live in such a Hell. It's either the biggest Lie a nation has ever told itself or we're all just really fucking stupid.

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