‘Obamacare’s big lies’ uncloaked

Only now are Obamacare’s deceptions coming into full relief. Jonathan Gruber, one of Obamacare’s prime architects, is now revealing how President Obama and his lieutenants counted on the “stupidity” of average voters and took advantage of their trust in Obama to foist the program on America. With unsettling honesty, Gruber’s insights show what liberals really think of the American people.

GruberIn several old videotaped speeches, Gruber admitted Obamacare was loaded with new taxes and was deliberately deceptive in not telling healthy young people they would be overpaying to subsidize those in poorer health. Gruber also revealed that Obama’s administration knew Americans would not agree to tax themselves, so the program was contrived as a tax on insurance companies, which would pass on the costs to individuals. It was all a “mislabeled” ruse to keep Obama pristine — a “basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said, according to CNN. In other words, the Obama administration fooled Americans to get the Affordable Care Act through Congress.

But that’s not the worst of it. The more profound deception is that Obamacare caused what economists call “tax distortions,” an economic term for a policy designed to create changes in behavior by taxpayers or businesses in order to reduce their taxes or increase government handouts to them. The tax distortions caused by Obamacare show that the costs exceed the benefits by a wide margin.

The first distortion came in the creation of the mandate on the employer to provide health insurance to full-time workers, or pay financial penalties. The second distortion came in the health care exchanges, where big-time government subsidies are provided to those who buy insurance through a government-sanctioned program. The subsidies from an exchange, combined with the employer penalty, create a tax on full-time employment. But that tax is not paid if people aren’t hired or if people only work part-time.

See the shenanigans going on here? We all know what happens when you tax something: You get less of it. If you tax labor, the result is less jobs, on average, because employers want to avoid paying the tax. Obamacare requires big companies to either provide insurance to full-time workers or pay a penalty, which rises over time because it is indexed to healthcare costs. But companies owe no penalties for part-time workers who are not afforded health benefits. So Obamacare essentially discourages employers from hiring full-time workers or from growing to more than 50 employees, the Obamacare cutoff point, stifling economic growth and job creation. Job opportunities do not materialize because small employers will often choose to not become large employers, to avoid paying taxes and penalties.

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Photo: Lady Liberty

Obamacare is getting away with deceptively imposing a tax on full-time employment on most U.S. workers, and it’s a big tax. Fewer people will find work, and many full-time workers will have their jobs reduced to part-time work. University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan estimated that Obamacare will cause a 3 percent decline in employment, that Gross Domestic Product will drop by 2 percent, and “productivity problems [will cause a] permanent effect on the economy.”
“If you like your weak economy, you can keep your weak economy,” Mulligan told Imprimis.

Even the Congressional Budget Office estimated earlier this year that Obamacare’s impact will cause a loss of 2 million full-time jobs in coming years, starting in 2016.

Obamacare, built on deceit, is a failure, and it’s coming home to roost as an economic crippler. It is a punitive entitlement for redistributing wealth. We have read Obama’s false promises about Obamacare, which show he has committed a serious breach of trust with Americans. It also raises concerns that Obama is incompetent to govern and was never prepared to become president. A Wall Street Journal editorial said it best: “Given Obamacare’s complexity, a seasoned executive would have bird-dogged every stage of its creation and rollout.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a now-famous comment about Obamacare: “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” At the time, a physician called into a radio show and said, “That’s the definition of a stool sample.” Fitting.

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John R. Smith

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.
John R. Smith

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