The White House thinks Americans are idiots.
Why else would the White House press secretary try to pass off a disastrous report from the Congressional Budget Office that says Obamacare will destroy 2.5 million jobs as good news? Say good-bye to the days when personal responsibility and economic self-sufficiency are considered good qualities! Now you can just quit your job and let other tax-payers support you.
Yesterday, Washington’s official non-partisan bean-counter, the Congressional Budget Office, dropped a bomb. By 2024, says the CBO, Obamacare will reduce the size of the U.S. labor force by 2.5 million full-time-equivalent workers. That’s roughly triple what the CBO had estimated three years ago. Such a sizeable decline in the labor force will have substantial detrimental effects on the U.S. economic and fiscal picture. But the CBO wasn’t responsible for the most amazing thing that happened yesterday. That title belongs to the Obama White House, where Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed that 2.5 million Americans leaving the workforce was a good thing, because they would no longer be “trapped in a job.”
How Obamacare shrinks the labor market
Here’s what happened. In its annual, 182-page Budget and Economic Outlook, the CBO undertook an overhaul of the way it analyzes the effect of Obamacare on the job market. The new, larger estimate of the law’s negative impact on the labor force derives from three factors: (1) Obamacare’s employer mandate, which will discourage hiring and reduce wages offered by employers; (2) Obamacare’s $1 trillion in tax increases, which will discourage work and depress economic growth; and (3) the law’s $2 trillion in subsidies for low-income individuals, which will discourage many from remaining in the labor force.
Let’s focus on that last point, because it’s the one that has been the least-discussed in the media. In the past twelve months, a spate of research from academic economists has concluded that the health law, by offering economic benefits to low-income individuals, will disincentivize some of these individuals from continuing to work.