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EDITORIAL: Obamacare’s casualties: 800,000 jobs

Unemployment will rise if health care takeover isn’t stopped

- The Washington Times - Friday, February 11, 2011

Repeal of Obamacare ought to be a priority not only on constitutional grounds, but also as a move essential to pulling our economy out of its malaise. The head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) let slip the reason why in testimony Thursday before the House Budget Committee. Over the course of a decade, the tax hikes and increased costs of government's health care takeover would take a big toll on the job market. "If the reduction in the labor used was workers working the average number of hours in the economy and earning the average wage, there would be a reduction of 800,000 workers," CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf predicted.

That estimate only holds true if the most favorable scenarios play out. The actual reduction in employment could be far worse if the economy continues to struggle as it has done so far under President Obama's statist policies. Nobody knows better than Mr. Obama's second-in-command that things don't always work out as well as expected.

In a March video interview with Yahoo! Finance, Vice President Joe Biden answered a second grader's question about the future with a prediction of massive job growth within six months. "By the time you go back to school in September, honey, you're going to be seeing 200,000 jobs created," he promised. Recovery summer, of course, turned out to be a bust. By the time young Davida hit the books last year, 280,000 jobs were lost - not gained.

It's no accident. This administration has turned America into a disproving ground for the failed economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, who taught that government investment was the key to growth. According to our Keynesian president, the endless supply of government money was supposed to serve as the fuel for productivity during the slump.

This ideology rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of how markets function in the real world. Every dollar that Mr. Obama spent with his "Recovery Act" was pilfered from the pockets of families and entrepreneurs across the country. Many of these businesses are expert at preparing for tomorrow. They see the looming debt and realize they have a target on their backs painted by the class warriors running the country. As a result, they didn't hire and didn't grow. The economy has ground to a near halt as a result.

After more than a trillion dollars spent in so-called stimulus funds, the best the Obama administration can do is lamely assert that things would have been much worse had the money not been spent. In fact, they see the current economic sputtering as evidence that a lot more taxpayer funds need to be blown on phony stimulation.

In many respects, this outcome fits neatly into Mr. Obama's anti-industrial policy that seeks to roll back the advances and conveniences of the modern era, replacing them with relics of the past. He wants more trains and bicycles, not cars and airplanes. He prefers windmills to modern, clean-energy nuclear plants. His primary goal has been to cut off cheap sources of energy, which are the lifeblood of any industrial society that seeks to create wealth.

Mr. Obama obviously isn't interested in wealth creation; he wants to be the guy who redistributes it. This, too, is the central concept behind Obamacare. It will take the modern marvel of American medicine and hand it to bureaucrats to decide how it might be distributed. That's why Obamacare must be defeated.

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