“The Obama administration’s announcement that the employer mandate will be delayed yet another year for employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers will clobber taxpayers because fewer people getting coverage on the job means more people needing coverage at the public’s expense.
“The sudden change also trashes the rule of law. Presidents lack the constitutional authority to make such changes. Their job is to see that the law is faithfully executed, not improvised.
“The upside for the president and his party is that Democrats seeking re-election this fall will face fewer angry constituents complaining about the impact of ObamaCare on hiring. The mandate delay is a political act. Rule of law and taxpayers be damned.” ―Betsy McCaughey, Americans Are Biggest Losers in Obama’s Changes to the Law
“Obama’s central command policies are inevitably crashing into each other. The [employer mandate] waiver may provide some relief to endangered Democrats, but it also gives employers an incentive to lay off employees in order to get under 100 and qualify for the illegal waiver. So Obama has unilaterally legislated illegal conditions on the illegal waiver. To wit, employers will be required to certify to the IRS, under penalty of perjury, that the waiver was not a motivating factor in the company’s hiring and firing decisions. As Fox News’s Chris Stirewalt quips, ‘To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs.’
“So now Obama, like a standard-issue leftist dictator, is complementing lawlessness with socialist irrationality. Think about how lunatic this is. There is nothing even faintly illegal about businesses – indeed, all economic actors – making financial decisions based on tax consequences. (And remember, notwithstanding Obama’s misrepresentations to the contrary, Obamacare mandates are taxes – as Obama’s Justice Department argued and as Chief Justice Roberts & Co. concluded.) The tax consequences of Obamacare are profound – that is precisely the reason that Obama is ‘waiving’ them. No responsible officers in a corporation of relevant size would fail to take them into account in making the decision to staff at over or under 100 employees; in determining whether some full-time employees should be terminated or shifted to part-time; or in making any number of the decisions Obamacare’s mind-numbing complexity requires.
“The officers’ responsibility is to the owners of the company, the shareholders. The business exists to create value, not to provide employment – employing workers is a function of the value added to the enterprise, not the need to create a more favorable election environment for the statist political party. Corporate officers who overlooked material tax consequences would be unfit to be corporate officers.
“What is illegal and irrational is not a company’s commonsense deliberation over its costs, it is Obama’s edict. And look what attends this one: criminal prosecution if Obama’s Justice Department decides the business has falsely certified that its staffing decision was not motivated by Obamacare.” ―Andrew McCarthy, Obama Adds Irrationality to Lawlessness — While Threatening Prosecution
“The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to make laws. Obama is usurping that power and Congress is letting him – just as it let him usurp its power over authorizing military force when he unilaterally ordered the U.S. military to intervene in Libya’s civil war.
“Yet more profound than Obama’s disrespect for the law and the Constitution is his disrespect for the inalienable God-given rights of individuals. As a state senator, he famously led the effort to defeat a bill that would have simply declared a born baby a person. Today, he is fighting cases in multiple federal courts, including the Supreme Court, arguing that his administration has the right, through a regulation issued by the Health and Human Services Department, to force Christians to act against their faith in providing insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.
“The question is not whether Obama will violate the law, overstep the Constitution, and obliterate the most sacred rights of individuals, including the right to life and the freedom of conscience. He already has done all these things. The question is whether this Congress, or the next, will do anything about it.” ―Terence Jeffrey, How Much Power Will Congress Let Obama Seize?
“Obamacare’s text clearly instructs that the employer mandate is to come into effect on January 1 of this year, and, as [Jonathan] Adler adroitly demonstrates, the established rule is that if Congress explicitly enacts a deadline without including the means by which that deadline may be changed, the president is required to enforce the law as written. ‘The Executive Branch is supposed to faithfully execute the laws Congress enacts, not rewrite them,”’Adler concludes — a sentiment that should surprise nobody who has even a rudimentary grasp of American civics. Obamacare contains no exception to that rule.
“Still, with his signature legislation on the line and the ghastly prospect of a fully Republican Congress presiding over his final two years, this is all proving a touch restrictive for our intrepid, transforming hero. Thus have we been treated to an intriguing paradox: When Congress wishes to delay or amend Obamacare, it risks upsetting the entire American settlement — nullifying a law that was apparently set in aspic, never to be touched; but when Obama wishes to delay or amend Obamacare, he is merely ensuring that it works properly. Indeed, if Congress so much as hints that it would be willing to pass an alteration to the law, the administration takes it as read that it has been granted the moral permission to act on its own; but if Congress wouldn’t be willing to pass a change, then the president is forced to act in order to counter what we are reliably informed is unprecedented obstruction. It’s awfully clever.
“This approach seems to have convinced the press corps, even in such cases as it is patently obvious that the government’s changes have nothing to do with the government and everything to do with politics. Almost every media outlet openly acknowledged that the newest delay was the product of electoral expedience — ‘in a midterm election year, the WH simply did not need any more healthcare headaches,’ CBS’s Major Garrett averred, his eyebrows remaining level — and yet in not a single case did anybody ask the next question, ‘how is this remotely acceptable?’” Charles C. W. Cooke, Obama Frees America from the Tyranny of Law
“In the ongoing saga of the Affordable Care Act, oddly referred to by Democrats as the law of the land even as it is amended at will by presidential fiat, we are beginning to understand the extent of its war on jobs.
“First, the Congressional Budget Office triples its estimate of the drop in the workforce resulting from the disincentive introduced by Obamacare’s insurance subsidies: 2 million by 2017, 2.3 million by 2021.
“Democratic talking points gamely defend this as a good thing because these jobs are being given up voluntarily. Nancy Pelosi spoke lyrically about how Obamacare subsidies will allow people to leave unfulfilling jobs to pursue their passions: ‘Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.’ …
“In the reductio ad absurdum of entitlement liberalism, Jay Carney was similarly enthusiastic about this Obamacare-induced job loss. Why, Obamacare creates the ‘opportunity’ that ‘allows families in America to make a decision about how they will work, and if they will work.’
“If they will work? Pre-Obama, people always had the right to quit work to tend full time to the study of butterflies. It’s a free country. The twist in the new liberal dispensation is that the butterfly guy is to be subsidized by the taxes of people who actually work.
“In the traditional opportunity society, government provides the tools – education, training and various incentives – to achieve the dignity of work and its promise of self-improvement and social mobility. In the new opportunity society, you are given the opportunity for idleness while living parasitically off everyone else. Why those everyone elses should remain at their jobs – hey! I wanna dance, too! – is a puzzle Carney has yet to explain.” ―Charles Krauthammer, ObamaCare’s War on Jobs
“Casey Mulligan studies how government choices influence the incentives and rewards for work—and many more people may recognize the University of Chicago professor as a serious economist after this week. That’s because, more than anyone, Mr. Mulligan is responsible for the still-raging furor over the Congressional Budget Office’s conclusion that ObamaCare will, in fact, harm growth and jobs.
“Rarely are political tempers so raw over an 11-page appendix to a dense budget projection for the next decade. But then the CBO—Congress’s official fiscal scorekeeper, widely revered by Democrats and Republicans alike as the gold standard of economic analysis—reported that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million Americans who were otherwise willing and able to work before ObamaCare will work less or not at all as a result of ObamaCare. …
“The CBO’s intellectual conversion is all the more notable for accepting Mr. Mulligan’s premise, which is that what economists call ‘implicit marginal tax rates’ in ObamaCare make work less financially valuable for lower-income Americans. Because the insurance subsidies are tied to income and phase out as cash wages rise, some people will have the incentive to remain poorer in order to continue capturing higher benefits. Another way of putting it is that taking away benefits has the same effect as a direct tax, so lower-income workers are discouraged from climbing the income ladder by working harder, logging extra hours, taking a promotion or investing in their future earnings through job training or education.” ―Joseph Rago, The Economist Who Exposed ObamaCare
“The big new Democrat brainstorm for surviving the 2014 elections is to run on a platform of ‘fixing’ ObamaCare. They’re hoping this rhetoric can be made to sound more constructive, and therefore more appealing to voters, than Republican calls for repeal. The velvet glove of ‘fix’ rhetoric will fit neatly around the iron fist of despair that is the true Democrat Party message to America: It’s the ‘settled law of the land,’ you can never be free of it no matter how much you hate it, people we like more than you will suffer if the law is repealed, you really don’t want to manage your own health care anyway because it’s scary, there are no refunds when ‘progressives’ take a chunk of your liberty because making government smaller is ‘regressive.’
The big problem with this Democrat strategy is that they don’t really have any ideas for ‘fixing’ ObamaCare. That’s because it cannot be fixed. The president’s failed health-care law is fundamentally flawed. It’s a massive income-redistribution scheme, with the customary 90 cents on the dollar skimmed off for Big Government overhead, and those schemes are only politically viable when the Takers outnumber the Makers. That’s not the case with ObamaCare, which hurts far more people than it helps, in just about every income bracket and demographic.” ―John Hayward, There Is No Fix for ObamaCare
“So far the campaign blitz encouraging America’s youth to sign up for Obamacare has been insulting, demoralizing, and generally ineffective. The ads have focused primarily on booze, sex, and the lowest common denominator of younger generations. (Then again, maybe the ad creators know their target audience…) It’s almost as if a bunch of old guys with twitter accounts are sitting in a smoke filled room saying: ‘You know what I hear those young kids like nowadays?’
“The truth is, Millennials won’t be won over by a few morons doing keg-stands, or a couple of well-intentioned pub crawlers. Obama might have won that demographic in the election, but that is largely due to the fact that liberalism looks good to young, invincible, college students that have yet to bear the burden of liberalism’s price tag. Isn’t it strange how their enthusiasm tends to dwindle when they’re asked to flip the bill for progressivism’s ideas? ‘Hooray for Obamacare!’ they shouted in 2012. ‘Wait, I have to pay how much for healthcare? OMG!’ they tweet after learning that their current insurance has been forced to up their premiums.
“Unlike welfare, social security, food stamps, housing assistance, or any other number of liberal social programs, healthcare is a very visible (and very painful) cost. Especially to the generation least likely to be able to afford rising premiums. Unlike the other initiatives that liberals sell to young and impressionable college students, Obamacare is asking them to pay for reform with their own money rather than someone else’s wealth.” ―Michael Schaus, ObamaCare’s Sales Pitch to Millennials: Booze, Sex, and Healthcare
“Growing up can certainly be a tough proposition, even without the government forcing young adults to buy comprehensive health insurance that they’ll never use. Paying thousands in premiums while having deductibles that all but guarantee they won’t see any benefits at all from those plans is just part of the maturation process, Barack Obama explained to Charles Barkley in an interview for the cable channel TNT. After all, we older folk have lots of aches and pains — and you can’t expect us to cover the cost of our own risk, can you?” ―Ed Morrissey, Obama: Growing Up Means Grossly Overpaying for Health Insurance, or Something
“What the Democrats are so excitedly celebrating here is a new type of job lock, one that applies, not to people with preexisting health conditions but, instead, one that applies to people with preexisting low-paying jobs. Why? Because thanks to Obamacare, a large cadre of people suddenly cannot afford to move up professionally. They cannot afford to look for a better paying job. Heck! They can’t even afford to get a pay raise. After all, if they’re one of the unlucky ones, moving up by the wrong dollar will cost them $20,000.00.
“Thinking about it, rather than saying that people are ‘job locked’ under Obamacare, it’s more accurate to say that they’re ‘poverty locked.’ While they can’t move up economically thanks to the $20,000 penalty for doing so, they can move down: they can take a series of low-paying jobs or, if they really want to, just leave the work force entirely. After all, that’s already what several million people have done in the Age of Obama.
“The other Democrat lie is the implication that this thrilling ‘no job-lock status quo’ can last indefinitely. In fact, the subsidies that allow people to have health insurance while holding low-paying jobs or being unemployed come about because other people are generating wealth that the government can take and redistribute. However, as more and more people find that creating taxable wealth for themselves is a counterproductive proposition (earn a dollar more in pay, pay $20,000 more for insurance), fewer people will be earning the kind of salaries that will fund all the subsidies. This is the perfect illustration of the Thatcher dictum — i.e., that socialism is wonderful until you run out of other people’s money.
“The Democrats can spin the CBO’s prediction as much as they like, but the sorry fact is that it creates poverty-lock or job-loss, and that’s both personally demoralizing and economically unsustainable. In the end, people will find that they’ve gotten more than they bargained for. Not only will they be poverty-locked and job-lost, they’ll also be uninsured.”―Bookworm, Democrats Gloating About the End of “Job Lock” Hide the Reality of “Poverty Lock” and “Job Loss”
For further enlightenment:
ObamaCare’s Never-Ending Dance of Delays, by Jim Geraghty
Congressman Joe Wilson Was Right — Obama Lied, by Robert Elliott
The Lawless Presidency, by Arnold Ahlert
Obamacare and Work Ethic, by Michael Reagan
ObamaCare Lawlessness Is All Political, by David Harsanyi
28 Delays, and Counting, to Health Reform, by Elizabeth MacDonald