Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Intellectual Dishonesty of the Left

* No, I am not referring to all the obvious lies. Lies such as: "If you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance. Period. No one will take it away from you." Or: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period." Or even that Obamacare will save the average American $2500. per year in insurance premiums. The $2500. number may be correct - but in the opposite direction. No, I want to discuss how those on the left never understand that the actions that they take have real world, often negative, consequences. When challenged on it...well, there's the blog.

* When the Congressional Budget Office just came out with their estimate of the Affordable Care Act costing the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs lost (based upon a reduction in work hours) in the next decade, it was hard for the Democrats to ignore. Again, I am not referring to the obvious lie of the Dems who claimed that 4 million new jobs would be created. We know that the Dems told one lie after the next to get the ACA passed. After all, the ends justify the means; and truth as an ultimate end is not particularly valued.

* How were the Dems to explain such awful job numbers - 6 1/2 million less jobs than they projected. How to deal with the head of the CBO stating that the ACA's disincentives for work are "the central factor in slowing economic growth...later in this decade and beyond." (Quote from the 2/6/14 Investor's Business Daily.) No fear - never underestimate the intellectual dishonesty of the left.

* Jason Furman is the chief economist for the White House. He explained that it was not the ACA causing the reduction in work hours and jobs. After all, the law does not force people to work less. No, it was "a choice on the part of workers." You see, workers will make their own rational decision as to whether to cut their hours (and still qualify for the ACA subsidy), or drop out of the labor market altogether (no longer needing an employer to provide health insurance). Such decisions, per Furman, "might be a better choice and a better option than what they had before." Don't bother asking him about people who want MORE hours to work so they can earn more to support their family and get ahead.

* What if the government passed a law saying that everyone would be paid $3000. per month by the Feds - whether or not you worked; and, if you did work, you could not earn more than the same $3000. When tens of millions of people stopped working it would not be because the law forced them to stop working. No, it would just be people making their own rational decisions about what option is best for them. See? No real world negative consequences.

* Think we should extend unemployment benefits for another three months (or ad infinitum)? Why? Many of those people made their own rational decision to give up on looking for work, did they not? Almost every business owner will tell you that Obama's constant threats to raise taxes, along with all the increasing regulations (15,000 to 20,000 pages from Obamacare alone) have discouraged them from expanding their businesses and increasing hiring. So people gave up looking. And some decided that it was not worth the effort. No one forced them to stop working.

* I have asserted for years that the left never understands that their actions and laws have negative consequences. When forced to face those consequences they engage in intellectual dishonesty. After all, if you have no problem with outright lies, what is the problem with some disingenuousness? So when California raises taxes and increases regulations causing businesses and people to move to Texas (no income tax and low regulations) the reaction was: "Who needs them here anyway?" The Dems in California would never blame themselves or their policies for the exodus of people. It was not the unfriendly business climate responsible for lost jobs. No one forced those people to move. It was just people deciding that they did not want to live in California anymore.

* When Democrat controlled cities declared themselves to be "sanctuary" cities for illegal aliens, and states awarded welfare benefits and free medical care at hospital ERs, and even gave driver's licenses to illegals, none of that forced them to move here. They were just leaving a poor country. Obviously, that's true, but who created the climate to make the choice of coming here both attractive and available? Not the Dems, because their policies do not have negative consequences.

* When the Dems raise income taxes and LESS money flows into the Treasury, it is because of those evil millionaires and billionaires. But why? They just make rational decisions to lower their tax liability by taking advantage of every legal deduction and tax-exempt investment that they can. When Dems say every student gets a free lunch at school, guess what? Parents stop giving their kids lunches. No one forces them to stop sending their kids to school without a lunch. It's not the fault of the policy.

* It was just two weeks ago that Obama gave his state of the union address. He spoke about everyone having a shot, an opportunity to succeed. And the best path to that success, to that American Dream? A good job. Said Obama: "The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by - let alone get ahead." So, Mr. President, how does a reduction in hours equivalent to 2.5 million jobs help those struggling to get by. When your law penalizes employers with more than 50 employees, or who have employees working more than 30 hours per week, what rational decisions do you expect those employers to make? Want to raise the minimum wage to make up for those lost hours? What rational decisions will employers make about coping with that burden?

* The most intellectually dishonest comment about the negative effects on jobs from the ACA came, not surprisingly, from the White House: "Individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods." No they won't! The choice will be made for them. They will not be able to get that full time job. They will continue to be lucky to get any job. If you buy into the 6.6% unemployment rate, let me put that in perspective for you. They do not count the long term unemployed. The actual labor participation rate is the lowest it has been since 1978. But maybe we do have a new breed of Americans - ones that choose not to work. Or maybe Obama's policies are in fact creating the lowest labor participation rate in over 35 years.

* If you actually buy into the liberal argument about giving people "choices," ask yourself this question. Is society healthier when it creates incentives for businesses to grow and hire people, or when it creates disincentives for work?