Perhaps you’ve read the stories about businesses reducing to 29 or fewer the number of hours employees work. This weekend, the employees in those stories developed faces.
We went to our favorite restaurant for dinner. Being repeat customers, we knew most of the wait staff. But this time we didn’t know anyone. Not the hostess who showed us to our table, or the waiter who took our orders, or the bartender. When we were getting ready to pay our bill, a waitress we knew finally came by. We asked her what was going on.
She replied that everyone’s hours had been cut, even those who had worked for the company, as she had, for several years. She said she is now working two part-time jobs and still cannot earn what she made working full-time. She had developed a following over the years. Customers asked to be seated in her section and they tipped well.
Restaurants are particularly vulnerable to the depredation whose unaffectionate nickname is Obama Care. Their profit margins are slim. If they offer a health care benefit, it is unlikely to pass the “essential benefits” test imposed by Obama Care. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, complying with the mandate will likely be more expensive.
So the solution is both simple and devastating to those affected. Cut employee hours to part-time status. That is what large chain restaurants, those that provide tens of thousands of jobs, are doing. Obama Care is pushing these workers out of the middle class. First by diminishing income and then by the Individual Mandate which imposes a cash penalty for non-compliance.
So, the people President Obama claims to care about, like our waitress friend who works hard but has few career options, are the ones being hurt the most by his noxious (Un)Affordable Health Care Act and his administration’s other economically punitive policies.
Among these count the recent announcement that the IRS is targeting small businesses. The ones even the White House says are the “engine of job creation in America.” Thousands of small business owners have received “when did you stop beating your wife” letters. The letters begin with an assumption of guilt: “Your gross receipts may have been underreported.” Since these are form letters it appears the IRS has no specific proof of illegality. It is a fishing expedition of the worst sort, forcing businesses to hire accountants and lawyers to defend themselves. It is a case of guilty until they can prove their innocence to the IRS. Good luck with that.
Meanwhile the American economy continues to drag.
Business Insider reports,
“In June, the government’s Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000 – but there are jobs and then there are “jobs.” No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The June survey reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000 – three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007…This development is very troubling, because it primarily affects young people and those with fewer skills.”
People like our waitress friend.
But Obama Care is only one jobs’ deterrent. Because of the president’s refusal to permit the building of the Keystone Pipeline, the jobs it would have created won’t be. Then there is the swarm of new regulations about to be unleashed on businesses of all sizes. According to Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, there are 4,062 of them at the cost of an estimated $1.8 trillion annually. He also notes that the costs for small businesses are 36% higher per employee than they are for bigger firms. Of course, big companies can escape the regulatory storm by leaving the country and taking their jobs with them.
But the president says he wants to help the middle class, increase employment, provide everyone with health insurance and turn water into wine. Just listen to his speeches. And ignore reality.