By Brad Wenstrup
America is facing a dangerous prospect: a smaller portion of the population is working than at any time since Jimmy Carter was president.
The labor force participation rate, a number used by economists to measure what percentage of Americans are working or seeking work, now sits at 63 percent. This rate is projected to fall even further over the next 10 years.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office announced last month that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will cost the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. The reason for this drop, as explained by the CBO Director, is that Obamacare “creates a disincentive for people to work.”
This is precisely the opposite of what the government should be doing. Yet, with Obamacare, the government has introduced a program that makes it easier and more attractive for 2.5 million people not to work. That’s not healthy for our economy or our country.
Upon the announcement, defenders of the health care law declared that it is successfully “liberating” people from their jobs. The argument goes that people are no longer dependent on their job. Left out is the second line of that reasoning: we will now have 2.5 million more Americans directly dependent on the government.
The out-of-work Ohioans I talk to have never described their situation as “liberating.”
Ronald Reagan guided our nation with the fundamental principle that the best social program is a job. I agree.
Creative activity in the form of work allows men and women to respond to their human instinct of providing for themselves and their families. Deep within our human nature is the desire to work and to be thankful for the “fruits” that follow.
In the State of the Union, just weeks ago, President Obama talked about working hard and taking responsibility, so you can get ahead in America. Now, the administration says to pursue your dreams, work less – less than full-time! Is that the new American Dream?
Approving the Keystone XL pipeline would create 20,000 shovel-ready jobs tomorrow, but President Obama blocks this environmentally safe project. Our small businesses want to expand and hire, but Obamacare regulations are pushing employers to cut jobs and cut hours. In the House of Representatives, we’re working to get America working, and you can read how at www.Wenstrup.house.gov/jobs.
The government should not be in the business of lowering expectations. With less government intrusion, our nation was built by the drive and courage of pioneers and entrepreneurs. Our nation has excelled in the world because of common, everyday people that knew success and the American Dream comes from the fruits of their labor, not a monthly check from the government.
Work has value. I can’t always say the same for the federal government.
Brad Wenstrup represents Ohio’s Second District.