Obamacare Attacks the Middle Class
Posted in the Chico Forum
#1 Feb 9, 2014
It’s welfare redux time. Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the Obamacare will cost the country the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs by 2024, as people choose not to work or work less in order to keep their Obamacare subsidy. Meanwhile, the Brookings Institution announced yesterday that Obamacare stands to shift wealth from the top 80 percent on America’s income ladder to the lowest fifth—a cash grab from most of the bottom half. President Obama and his congressional allies have sacrificed the work ethic and growth on the altar of the Democrats’ upstairs-downstairs coalition, with the emphasis on “downstairs.”
That Obama would go gunning for affluent America was no secret. As a candidate, sticking it to the relatively rich was a principle from day one. On the stump, Obama intoned,“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
Well, it now looks like Obama has played us again, just as he did when he “promised” that if we liked our healthcare we could keep it. Yes, Obama was sort of, proximately, true to his word when he raised taxes on Americans earning $250,000 and up. But, here’s where Obama as Pinocchio comes in.
The president hit working and lower middle income America hardest. So while the stock market was setting new highs in 2013, working America was socked with a Social Security tax hike, and has now been told that it will shoulder a larger share of Obamacare’s burden than those closest to the apex of the income pyramid—that is, if they are foolish enough to keep working.
As an apparently punch-drunk but honest Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) phrased it,“We live in a country where we should be free agents. People can do what they want.”
Regardless, Obamacare is looking a lot less about Obama and his vaunted calls for “justice,” and a lot more like Chicago or New Jersey-style vengeance—with a dollop of “whatever” thrown in for kicks. As it is playing out, Obamacare appears increasingly as if it were designed to punish the Republican rank and file, while haphazardly rewarding the Democrats’ core. And if someone gets hurt that shouldn’t have been, so be it, like those someones who earn between $30,000 and $50,000.
Just look at the 2012 exit polls. Two Novembers ago, Americans earning at least $50,000, and those living in small town, rural or suburban America voted for Mitt Romney, while those below the $50,000 line, or residing in America’s larger cities went for Barack Obama. 2008 told a similar story, with urban America and those under the $50,000 mark full-throatedly backing Obama’s bid for the White House, while the rest of the U.S. was more equivocal and more muted in its enthusiasm.
Against this backdrop, the political calculus for punishing the nearly 60 percent of voters with incomes above $50,000 must have stared Obama’s operatives in the face like a bull seeing red. But why tag those who make only between $30,000 and $50,000, and why throw a lead weight around the recovery?
But we do know why, and it’s called redistribution and it’s about demographics, much as the administration may half-heartedly deny it. Just ask William Daley, the former Obama White House Chief of Staff who helped make Obamacare the reality that it is. In Daley’s own words:“Redistribution is a loaded word that conjures up all sorts of unfairness in people’s minds.… It’s a word that, in the political world, you just don’t use.”
Sometimes the truth can be so inconvenient.
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