This Is Why You Are Underemployed

If you can’t find full-time work, blame Obamacare.

obamacare

One reason the Middle Class has shriveled and wages shrunk over the the past four years is underemployment. People want full time work, but settle for anything. And anything is usually part time.

Most of the fantastic new jobs created since the 2009 have been part-time jobs.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14.6% of Americans want a full-time job but settle for part-time. The problem is far worse in states like Illinois, at 16.3%. Meanwhile, Gallup shows underemployment at 16% nationally.

Obamacare Discourages Full-Time Jobs

The Wall Street Journal knows why people can’t find full-time work, and it’s Obamacare:

Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul’s requirements that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee.

This is typical of government intervention. Government central planning usually hurts the people it tries to help.

(Stick “Central Planning” into your vocabulary. It’s the reason the economy sucks.)

When a government program fails, the government has only one recourse: demand even more power and more control.

Here’s How To Fix Healthcare

If you want to promote health and discourage sickness, turn “the insured” into the “the market.”  Turn patients into healthcare consumers.  Let people make market decisions about their healthcare.

By exposing consumers to the real costs of healthcare, two things will happen:

  1. Healthcare decisions, including lifestyle, will improve.
  2. Healthcare costs will fall under market pressure.
  3. Quality of outcomes will increase, because poor performers and low-percentage treatments will exit the market.

SCOTUS Reality Tour

 

By now you’ve seen the sensational headlines:

And so it goes.

Before we start dancing in the streets, let’s face a little reality. One man, it seems, holds the fate of ObamaCare in his hands.  And that man does not necessarily believe the Constitution to be law, but guiding principle. 

That one justice, Anthony Kennedy, seems to be looking for a reason to uphold ObamaCare and the individual mandate. Here’s what Orin Kerr at Volokh Conspiracy observed:Anthony Kennedy

Reading the tea leaves, it sounds like Justice Kennedy accepts the basic framework of the challengers that mandates are different and especially troubling. Instead of saying that mandates are therefore banned, however, Justice Kennedy would require the government to show some special circumstances justifying the mandate in each case. The answered question in this case is whether the special economics of the health care market justifies the mandate here.

What’s disturbing to me and other written-constitution types, is this: If the Constitution means anything, “special circumstances” don’t exist.  If we are a nation of laws, heavy justification goes out the window. 

I hope I’m wrong—not about what Kennedy’s looking for, but what Kennedy believes.  Earlier in today’s arguments, Kennedy seemed to put the Constitution’s plain language before the “special circumstances” he considered later:

I understand that we must presume laws are constitutional, but, even so, when you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution? [emphasis mine] 

Key here is that Kennedy’s demanding that the government show “authorization under the Constitution.” Later, he seemed to be demanding only a good argument for circumventing the Constitution.

If Kennedy believes, as any reasonable person would, that the Constitution prohibits the Federal government from forcing citizens to engage in commerce, then he must vote to strike down the individual mandate. 

But I’m not convinced he will.

Obama’s War on Catholics Has Nothing To Do With Healthcare

Obama’s dictate that Catholic organizations must participate in contraception and abortion has nothing to do with healthcare or rights or contraception or anything of the sort. Not at all. Modern dictatorships don’t operate that way.

Obama just destroyed the free practice clause of the First Amendment, and that’s exactly what he intended.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Obama declared jihad on Christianity.

crusadersObama exercised absolute power—the power he warned us about at the State of the Union address.

Notice his “compromise” on the matter. Today, Obama ordered insurance companies to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to employees of the Catholic church  . . . for free!

Obama has told us that he despises the Constitution because it “reflected fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.” 

Subordinating the Catholic church to his despotic rule is just one step in his perverted mission to fix those flaws.

Time to open up a can of crusade on this potentate.

What Are We For?

A few weeks back, the Christian Science Monitor asked me to write an op-ed. The subject was, “If the Tea Party ran America, how would things change; and why do you think you’ll win?” The call was my opportunity to break from the easy, unassailable position that things are bad and getting worse. It meant coming up with a solution or two.  And solutions already find disagreement somewhere.

For over a year I’ve said that the Tea Party movement, begun out of anger, must shift its energy over time from anger to solutions.  Now, I have no idea the exact shape of these slopes, but I’ve always pictured a graph something like this:

image

By November 2010, when our candidates accept the honor of serving in Congress or state capitols, we better have armed them with solutions to the problems developed over the past decades.

On May 23, the Washington Post carried an op-ed by Senator Bob Bennett. Bennett recently lost his bid to stand for re-election when Utah Tea Partyers targeted him for retirement.  In his op-ed, Senator Bennett correctly challenges Tea Partyers to move beyond negative slogans and to adopt positive reforms.

Their two strongest slogans are "Send a message to Washington" and "Take back America." I know both very well because they were the main tools used to defeat me in Utah's Republican convention two weeks ago. They also worked in Kentucky on Tuesday. They are more powerful than most pundits inside the Beltway realize.

More importantly, he points out that, by November or next year, Americans will be ready for sunny optimism again.

We can advance positive ideas, recognize today’s problems, and point to that brighter future all at the same time.  Honestly, that’s what leaders do every day.

No fool would believe that the incoming batch of legislators can solve all the problems generated over fifty years. But we must tackle a few.  I outlined some of the areas for consideration in the CS Monitor piece, but I’d propose just three reforms for the first term: Repeal the healthcare takeover, overhaul the tax code, and set an expiration date on one entitlement program.

Repeal Healthcare Takeover

The first step toward getting out of debt is to stop borrowing money. The easiest way for Washington to stop borrowing money is to stop creating new entitlement programs.

Now, Barack Obama will veto the repeal.  Do it anyway.  The left will claim we have no solution. Let them.  The American people have already decided this, and they came down on our side. The debate is over: ObamaCare lost everywhere except Washington, DC.

The replacement will be to unshackles states from crafting experiments to determine the best solution.  Other states will follow the successful models and shun the failures.  When done at the state level, experimentation works. When Washington experiments, the whole nation is in danger.

Overhaul the Tax Code

The income tax system in the United States is a sham designed to perpetuate itself by breeding succeeding generations of accountants, lawyers, and tax experts who will lobby to sustain an industry.

No more.

We need to begin this overhaul by implementing the system Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp wanted in the 1970s: A flat tax on earnings above a certain threshold.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but I see the new tax form looking like this:

1040F

As I said, the exempt amount and the percentage are probably not perfect, but the formula works. The exempted amount would be indexed to inflation to that the government has no incentive to allow inflation to raise your taxes.

This is a formula everyone can understand, with the exception of Washington bureaucrats and politicians.

I know many in the Tea Party movement are fans of the Fair Tax, but I am not, and I’ll explain why: the Fair Tax is impossible to explain and easy to attack.

In Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District race to fill Jack Murtha’s term, the Tea Party candidate, Tim Burns, was portrayed as supporting the Fair Tax.

Most voters didn’t  “get” the Fair Tax idea until Tim’s opponent, Mark Critz, and the DCCC explained it this way: “Tim Burns wants to impose a 25 percent national sales tax on everything you buy.”

Burns lost, and it wasn’t close.

The Fair Tax might represent a much better solution, both economically and Constitutionally, than the Flat Tax.  But if the Fair Tax gets our best candidates defeated and cannot get through Congress, what good is it?  At present, the Fair Tax is simply too complicated to win broad national support.  It involves too many formulas and rebates and repealing the 16th Amendment.

When we get the votes in Congress to repeal the 16th Amendment, I’ll jump onboard the Fair Tax. But let’s do this one step at a time, okay?  Let’s make things better now, then make them best later.  Let’s not make things worse by demanding perfection on day one.

Under the Flat Tax, taxes will go up for some, down for others.  No one will be punished for achieving more.  The deduction of your first $30,000 is more generous than most combined deductions today.

Additionally, there is not marriage penalty because there are no filing statuses other than “Me.”  You worked or didn’t.  You earned or you didn’t.  I don’t care how many kids you have or whether your home is also your office.

Expire One Entitlement

I don’t care which one, but set a formula for eliminating one of the three big entitlements.  I would start with Social Security, which has not only jeopardized our economic future, it encourages otherwise good people to whine and beg for government handouts.

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme that works only if the next generation is much larger than the current one.  When Americans stopped having 4.5 kids per couple, the cookie began to crumble.

There’s a formula for ending Social Security, but it requires we all pay taxes to fund it until its dead. That’s because Congresses have spent all of the Social Security trust fund—and then some.  The SSA hold numerous notes that must be paid out of general revenue.

That’s okay.  If you borrow money, you have to pay it back sometime. And we’re the ones who borrowed this money by refusing to face this monster earlier.  Fine. Let’s get on with it.

First, anyone drawing Social Security or who’s within 15 years of eligibility will receive payments according to the rules in place today.  So I don’t want to hear from Big Old People that I’m stealing their entitlement.  I am not.

Second, those who have already begun paying into Social Security will have a choice: they can receive a tax-free,  lump sum payment equal to their lifetime contribution without interest, or they can leave the money in the SSA until age 65, then receive a lump sum payment including interest equal to the rate of inflation.  Either way, the FICA withholding—the individual’s and the employer’s—stops.

Third, those fortunate souls who are too young to have opened an SSA account never will.  They simply pocket the 16 percent that currently goes to fund a failing system.

States may want to create their own voluntary or even mandatory retirement scheme.  Fine.  That’s how the federalist system works.  I wouldn’t support a mandated state system, but there’s nothing in the Constitution that would prevent a state from adopting such.  The people of the state could always vote out the legislators who created it.

Solutions

My solutions may not solve all of our problems.  But they will advance four goals of the Tea Party movement:  smaller government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, and federalism.

By adopting this list of goals, candidates will move to the right of my chart above, providing solutions instead of just pointing out problems.  Yes, our enemies will throw mud at these ideas: there’s no idea that won’t find critics.

In the end, our mission from day one has been to make America’s future brighter than its brilliant past. We can do that only by moving toward the future we want, not away from the unknowns we’re afraid of.

Please take this poll:

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