Three data points explain what happens when government gets bigger, and job creators get smaller.
First from Investors Business Daily, Obama’s failure to reduce health insurance premiums with his big government takeover of health care.
The average employer-provided family health insurance premiums have climbed $2,976 since 2009, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this week. They’re up $3,671 compared with the year before President Obama took office. That’s despite Obama’s repeated promises that the health care reform law he championed would cut premiums by $2,500 in his first term.
And while annual premium increases have moderated over the past two years, that’s due to trends in the insurance market largely unrelated to ObamaCare, and trends the law could actually reverse.
The Kaiser survey found that the average family premium this year is $16,351, up 4% over last year, and up 22% since 2009. After adjusting for inflation, premiums climbed an average 3.2% a year in Obama’s first term, higher than the 2.7% average during President Bush’s last four years in office.
During his first campaign for president, Obama repeatedly claimed that his health reform plan would, as he said at a Virginia rally in 2008 “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.”
Now, let’s take a look the second failure, as reported by the Weekly Standard.
President Obama likes to talk about income inequality, but what matters far more is the actual income of the typical American. And how has the typical American household income fared on Obama’s watch? Well, the economic “recovery” has now spanned an Olympiad, and during that time the typical American household income has not only dropped—it has dropped more than twice as much as it did during the recession.
New estimates derived from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey by Sentier Research indicate that the real (inflation-adjusted) median annual household income in America has fallen by 4.4 percent during the “recovery,” after having fallen by 1.8 during the recession. During the recession, the median American household income fell by $1,002 (from $55,480 to $54,478). During the recovery—that is, from the officially defined end of the recession (in June 2009) to the most recent month for which figures are available (June 2013)—the median American household income has fallen by $2,380 (from $54,478 to $52,098). So the typical American household is making almost $2,400 less per year (in constant 2013 dollars) than it was four years ago, when the Obama “recovery” began.
Importantly, these income tallies include government payouts such as unemployment compensation and cash welfare. So Obama’s method of funneling ever-more money and power to Washington, and then selectively divvying some of it back out, clearly isn’t working for the typical American family.
And finally, the third example, from the Daily Caller.
In 35 states, welfare benefits pay more than a minimum wage job, according to a new study by the libertarian Cato Institute, and in 13 states welfare pays more than $15 per hour.
“One of the single best ways to climb out of poverty is taking a job, but as long as welfare provides a better standard of living than an entry-level job, recipients will continue to choose it over work,” said Michael Tanner, senior policy analyst and co-author of the study.
The study is an updated version of one Tanner put out in 1995 that estimated the full value of welfare benefits packages across the states. The 1995 study found that such tax-free welfare benefits greatly exceeded the poverty level and “their dollar value was greater than the amount of take-home income a worker would receive from an entry-level job.”
Despite efforts to curb welfare spending, many welfare programs and benefits have continued to outpace the income that many workers can receive for working an entry-level job, which disincentivizes work, according to the study.
“The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work,” reads the study. “Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour.”
According to the study, the federal government funds 126 separate programs designed to support low-income earners. Seventy-two of these programs provide cash or in-kind benefits to recipients. This is on top of additional welfare programs operated by state and local governments.
Welfare recipients in Hawaii get the most benefits, according to Tanner, at $29.13 per hour — or $60,590 pre-tax income annually. However, the state’s minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour, according to the Labor Department. Hawaiians on welfare also earn 167 percent of the median salary in the state, which is only $36,275.
What if a fireman showed up in front of your house on your birthday and claimed that he wanted to put out the candles on your birthday cake because they were a fire hazard? What if he read out a long, passionate, prepared speech about how much he wanted to put out fires? What if he then dumped a bucket of gasoline on your cake? What if your house caught fire and he claimed that you should let him keep throwing gas on the fire to put it out? What if you found out that this person was a lawyer and a community organizer, and knew nothing at all about putting fires out? Obama was not prepared to run the economy, and, as expected, he spent a ton of money without getting the results he said he was going to get. He gave speeches about jobs and poverty and everything he’s done has been to increase unemployment and increase poverty – and now we are $17 trillion dollars in debt. Speeches about achieving objective X during a campaign don’t necessarily translate into achieving objective X. You actually have to know what you are doing in order to achieve objectives, preferably because you’ve done it before in real life.