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Saturday, Dec 20, 2014

The Right Stuff

A politics blog by Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson's baseball card - if he had one - would report he throws left, writes right. In his columns and blog, "The Right Stuff," southpaw Jackson provides insight into the evolving human condition from a distinctly conservative point of view.

Obamacare: Idling workers on your dime

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The increasingly hilarious Affordable Care Act (you have to laugh, or you’d be reduced to tears) drops banana peels on the national sidewalk at every turn, but Tuesday, at least, the Congressional Budget Office was there to point them out.

The headline: By 2024, Obamacare’s perverse incentives will reduce employment by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. Well. If you thought there’s no way that news could be anything but bad, you have misunderestimated the capacity of the White House to whip meringue out of rotten eggs.

Those dropping out of the workforce (as if we didn’t have a labor-force participation problem already), said Council of Economic Advisors chairman Jason Furman, will just be an indicator of people “making choices.” Yeah. Between bad and worse.

What the administration also isn’t telling you is those who choose to sideline themselves, or who work less to avoid having their subsidies reduced (a perfectly logical response) will be doing so on the dimes of others who choose (heaven knows why) to keep working.

Yep. Your taxes will go to support those who have rationally calculated that it makes more sense to be idle than to punch The Man’s time clock. I mean, really. All that getting out of bed and showering and commuting and being on time, then doing the job only to go home at the end of the day and wait to do it all over again tomorrow. Who needs that?

Indeed, your taxes will encourage folks who are on the sidelines to stay there, and still others — 2½ million over 10 years, the CBO says now, after low-balling (by two-thirds!) the figure once already — to wander over to join them. And the White House wants our congratulations.

OK. Heck of a job, Obamacare.

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