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View Diary: Paul Ryan says Obamacare robs people of 'the dignity of work.' Why didn't that apply to Ann Romney? (278 comments)

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  •  I don't think that this is a good comparison (0+ / 0-)
    Do you remember any Republicans saying that Mitt Romney's wealth created a "disincentive" for his wife to go out and work, and that this was somehow a bad thing? Of course not.
    Ann's choice to no not work did not put any addition obligaiton on anyone else. But if a person decides to not work as it will allow them to qualify for subsizied healthcare, they are putting a burden on the people who do have to work to pay the taxes that pays the subsidy.
    •  Really? (31+ / 0-)

      Please explain, with proof, who the burden is being put upon.

      Not to mention that the ACA is not only about subsidies; there's also plenty of people out there who simply couldn't get insurance in the individual market because of pre-existing conditions, even if they could afford it.

      And one more thing: Mitt Romney's wealth, as well as the wealth of the rest of the 1%, puts an enormous burden on the rest of us. He made his money by decimating and dismantling perfectly healthy companies that employed thousands of people, and then paying less taxes than you on those ill-begotten gains.

      Romney and people like him put more of a burden on our society than anyone benefiting from ACA, or food stamps, or other forms of assistance. And THAT is a fact.

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:19:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i did (0+ / 0-)

        if some people are getting subsidized healthcare, then others are paying taxes to provide the subsidy.  Exactly who will depend on the mechanism for generating the tax dollars that become the subsidy payments. But a subsidy cannot exist without a subsidizer.

        Just did a quick read up on Bain capital and sounds like they made money by investing in startups and buying companies and making them more profitable.

        •  Username/PostContent Match Of The Day! nt (8+ / 0-)

          On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

          by stevemb on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:58:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Um, we know the mechanism (4+ / 0-)

          Most of the money to fund the ACA comes from raising the Medicare contribution cap on upper incomes.  As you can see, it only applies to the top 20%, and the big one (the Net Investment Tax) is on even higher incomes.

          It's a law now, toxin.  You can look it up and find out.

          Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions

          Net Investment Income Tax

          A new Net Investment Income Tax went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax applies to individuals, estates and trusts that have certain investment income above certain threshold amounts.

          Additional Medicare Tax

          A new Additional Medicare Tax went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax applies to an individual’s wages, Railroad Retirement Tax Act compensation and self-employment income that exceeds a threshold amount based on the individual’s filing status. The threshold amounts are $250,000 for married taxpayers who file jointly, $125,000 for married taxpayers who file separately and $200,000 for all other taxpayers. An employer is responsible for withholding the Additional Medicare Tax from wages or compensation it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year.

          RE: Bain, see my comment below.

          Pay more attention, my friend.  DKos is a good place for you to be - stick around for a while.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:26:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And this: (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, Another Grizzle, gffish, Nodin
          if some people are getting subsidized healthcare, then others are paying taxes to provide the subsidy
          is basically what insurance is.  Let me rephrase:
          if some people are getting subsidized healthcare, then others are paying taxes premiums to provide the subsidy healthcare
          I paid $400 premiums for years, and most certainly didn't use that much in care.  My dad has been diagnosed with a very severe bone marrow cancer.  In addition to chemo and radiation, he received a very advanced and expensive stem cell therapy.  His premiums were less than mine because he had a good job.  I can most definitely tell you that he only paid a tiny fraction of his care.  As well as anyone else who has cancer/heart problems/etc.

          Insurance is nothing more than socialism for profit.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:32:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I know a couple of people (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gffish, carrps, Nodin

          who worked for a company in Massachusetts that Bain took over.
          Bain basically gutted it. Layoffs forced the remaining employees to do the work previously done by three or four others.
          Everyone who survived the layoffs was a wreck--my friends had to find other jobs because the situation was starting to interfere with their health.
          So saying that Bain Capital did us all a favor--and made money--by buying companies and making them profitable makes what they did sound innocuous.
          Presumably some of the people fired by Bain had to avail themselves of public assistance.
          So, in effect, the ultimate profitability of companies taken over by Bain--Bain's own profitability--is accomplished with the help of public subsidies.

      •  Ind market charged us $24,000 year for 3 ppl (10+ / 0-)

        no one with any condition beyond the usual hubby with high blood pressure pills

        so lots of us were in that boat

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:36:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  La Gitane - he actually didn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Do you have any examples of Bain Capital "decimating and dismantling perfectly healthy companies" while Mitt Romney actually worked there?

        I am one of the few people here who has actually seen the data on every investment Bain Capital made since inception. Even in the post Romney era when some companies were dismantled the managers at Bain Capital actually made no money from those investments. Those were the investments that failed. Mitt Romney made his fortune by buying healthy companies, growing them, and selling them for a lot more than Bain Capital paid for them, and not by buying them and selling the pieces.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:18:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, Danali, Another Grizzle, gffish

          Where were you during the election?  Armco, Ampad...

          Bain’s ‘Creative Destruction’ Destroys Lives

          The Bain Job Losses Mitt Romney Doesn’t Want You To Know About

          The two faces of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

          On the flip side, there’s private-equity Romney — the Bain businessman who pursued corporate buyouts that typically secured majority control of mature firms, helped reorganize them, then sold them off a few years later. These were Romney’s business deals that scored the biggest gains during his time at Bain — and those that were significantly more fundamental to building Bain’s industry-leading reputation than the small venture-capital investments that dominated the early part of his business career. Ten of these private-equity deals produced 70 percent of the dollar gains that Bain made during Romney’s tenure from 1984 until 1999 — or about $1.75 billion in total — as the Wall Street Journal points out.

          But these private-equity deals also resulted in some of the most high-profile bankruptcies and job losses that Romney’s political opponents have seized upon. Four of the 10 companies that made Bain the most money under Romney went bankrupt, the Wall Street Journal points out. In 1992, for example, Bain invested about $5.1 million in American Pad and Paper and reaped an estimated $102 million four years later when the company went public. Ultimately, however, AmPad would go bankrupt in 2000—and the Democratic National Committee has highlighted the workers that lost their jobs in the aftermath.

          And this was just two minutes of the googles.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:16:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  La Gitane - I beleive all of those companies (0+ / 0-)

            went bankrupt after Bain Capital was no longer a shareholder. How can anyone be responsible when they are no longer a shareholder or have any control over management? What the new owners and managers did certainly has no bearing on how those companies did when owned by Bain Capital and the managers they selected. As the article notes the ten companies had significant increase in value while under Bain Capital's stewardship. The article also makes the same point I did. It was the companies that did well that drove the gains, and Romney's wealth, not those who failed and were sold in pieces.

            Where was I during the election? I was here trying to help people understand private equity and how private equity mangers make high levels of income. My attempts at educating our fellow bloggers, which I did without supporting Mitt Romney (who I didn't support) was not well received. Most of what was written here, and on nearly all the Internet, about Bain Capital had little to do with the truth and had many errors of fact. I always thought it was humorous that while Mitt Romney was running for POTUS he took a beating about Bain Capital, a company he left twenty years prior. The actual Managing Partner of Bain Capital, Stephen Pagliuca, had run in the Democratic primary for US Senator from Massachusetts in 2009, a fact no one ever mentioned. In particular we had diary authors here and all over the Internet who wanted Mitt Romney to intervene on the move of Sensata to China. Sensata was purchased long after Mitt Romney left Bain and he had no leverage or influence to stop that move. However, Mr. Pagliuca, a high profile Democrat and top Obama fundraiser, had all the authority to stop the move, and was never mentioned in a single diary here or in an article on the Internet.  

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 05:14:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree. (23+ / 0-)

      The people who are working to pay the subsidy are in the top couple of percent (that's how Obamacare works, you can look it up), and so they are already getting a disproportionate benefit from a system skewed to their advantage. Obamacare's subsidies address that imbalance. Plus, someone else will take the job of the person who chooses not to work, so there is a net even exchange in terms of employment/unemployment.

    •  I very much doubt those who will qualify (24+ / 0-)

      for subsidies are the ones who will be quitting working - and if you have any evidence that will be the case, please share it.

      Those who don't work at all won't qualify for subsidies - the expansion of medicaid was supposed to cover them, and so there are no subsidies available for them.

      Those who qualify for subsidies will have to working, at least part-time.  However, if they qualify for subsidies, they aren't earning enough to have a half way decent lifestyle.  I very much doubt they're going to be the ones cutting back on their income.

      The ones who are likely to be quitting work are those who have a spouse who earns enough to support the family but who didn't have access to insurance and the only insurance available was through the first spouse's job (and there are lots and lots and lots of people like that), those who have enough money saved to be able to retire in comfort except for the fear that they'll lose everything to medical expenses because they don't yet qualify for Medicare, and those who can be self employed and support themselves comfortably, except that previously they wouldn't have been able to obtain insurance.

      But go ahead and parrot the Republican babble without thinking things through.  Unfortunately, enough people do that crap that they keep getting voted in.

      •  CBO disagrees (0+ / 0-)

        "The ACA includes a range of provisions that will take full
        effect over the next several years and that will influence
        the supply of and demand for labor through various
        channels. For example, some provisions will raise effective
        tax rates on earnings from labor and thus will reduce the
        amount of labor that some workers choose to supply. In
        particular, the health insurance subsidies that the act provides
        to some people will be phased out as their income
        rises—creating an implicit tax on additional earnings—"

        There will be thresholds that if people make a few more dollars, they will lose subsidy dollars.  So for some people it will make more economic sense to work less to avoid losing the subsidy.

        •  google subsidy cliff (0+ / 0-)

          for articles explaining it

          •  Easy to fix (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Rather than having cut-offs, they could replace one line of the bill as a rider to additional legislation, such as the budget bill, to introduce a scaled subsidy.

            Naturally, Republicans don't want to get rid of the cliff that they are screaming about. They lose their screaming point.

        •  You're excellent at misinterpreting things (15+ / 0-)

          the way you want them to read.  That provision is not referencing the 2 million people they indicate will choose Not To Work.  That provision references a difference of a few hours here and there that a few people who are on the cusp of getting or not getting subsidies might not work.  Just like a few people might not work an extra couple of hours if that will tip them into a different bracket for the earned income credit now.  We're talking a few dollars there - not leaving the workforce.

          But, just like Ryan, you choose to twist the CBO report, taking  its wording completely out of context, to support a right wing talking point.  Doesn't matter if there's any truth to your claim; simply matters whether you can find a phrase somewhere that can be misleadingly seem to support your thesis.

        •  I doubt... (0+ / 0-)

          that it will have much more effect than our progressive tax system. Right now some spouses don't work or workers control income to avoid popping into the next bracket. Doesn't seem to have brought us down yet.

          The real effect of this is that some families will finally have a choice of whether one spouse can stay home with the kids, just like wealthy people. If that costs me (or you) a tiny bit more in taxes or premium cost, so be it. And...before you ask why don't YOU get a say in the matter, you do...or you did. I don't know who you voted for, but either way, its law, get over it.

      •  Yup. Husband is a writer so I had to have the (14+ / 0-)

        corporate job with health insurance that I hate

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:38:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  my neighbor 2 doors down (29+ / 0-)

        Had a conversation during the snow a few days ago.

        For years, my neighbor 2 doors down has been working Starbucks every morning for the health insurance, then knocking off and going to work at their family's restaurant until bedtime.  The family's restaurant has always been decent, but struggling.

        He finally got his ACA coverage late December and quit Starbucks.  He's been working fulltime at the family restaurant and their books are balancing and he's found time to do a couple needed repairs.  And he has mornings free so he has time to shovel the sidewalk for the elderly couple who lives between us.

        So is there economic gain here?  The family restaurant is going to do better from now on.  Someone else will get the Starbucks gig.  And Miss Vi won't slip on the sidewalk and break her back again.

        I dunno.  You can't quantify any of those I think but I believe that society as a whole is going to become better in a lot of subtle ways.

        •  Gain In RealWorld; Loss In CBO-ReportWorld nt (7+ / 0-)

          On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

          by stevemb on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:02:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Neighbor is proof that it's not a zero sum game (10+ / 0-)
          He finally got his ACA coverage late December and quit Starbucks.  He's been working fulltime at the family restaurant and their books are balancing and he's found time to do a couple needed repairs.
          He reduced his part-time labor at Starbucks; quit that work force and then replaced that lost labor with full time work at the restaurant. And as you say, someone else, possibly a long term unemployed young person, will fill that job.

          The CBO sort of bungled it by talking about reduced labor without saying those jobs are likely to be filled by others.

          Associated Press Factcheck summed it up this way:

          The predicted withdrawal from the labor market is no more a killer of jobs than today's surge of retirements by baby boomers entering old age. If anything, it could open job opportunities for people who can't get in the workforce now.

          So the question is, why does Paul Ryan hate families working together, entrepreneurship, full-time employment and worker freedom?

          "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

          by FiredUpInCA on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:54:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe the restaurant will be able to hire another (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz, Cali Scribe, Tonedevil

          cook or waiter.  There you go.  

      •  This is exactly what CBO says WILL happen (0+ / 0-)
        I very much doubt those who will qualify for subsidies are the ones who will be quitting working - and if you have any evidence that will be the case, please share it.
        The evidence is in the CBO report itself (PDF here.) See Specifically Appendix C.

        What the CBO says is that the biggest effect will be from people at or below 400% of FPL -- and they gave as an example someone who reduces work so as not to go above 150% of FPL, because of the decreased subsidy.  They also discuss people who reduce or do not work so as to be able to qualify for Medicaid.  

        Read the report -- Appendix C.

        •  Oh goody! Now I know VClib will be joining us (11+ / 0-)


          No, the CBO does NOT say people will be leaving the workforce to in order to get the subsidy.  It says some people who are on the cusp might work a few less hours in order to not lose the subsidy.  I know you consider yourself a supremely intelligent person, so perhaps you're able to grasp the difference between working a few less hours and leaving the workforce?

          The difference in income for those who make that choice will be pretty infinitesimal.  A few dollars difference. If someone has a chance to earn say $10,000 more, the number of people who will turn that down in order to receive the subsidy instead is very few and far between.  

          Once again, taking a portion of the report out of context and twisting it to make it appear it applies to the portion you're talking about.  You Republicans are great at that.

          •  Thank you for saving others the trouble (7+ / 0-)

            Of responding to our daily dose of Republicans on this site spewing republican talking points. And as you said, get ready for VClib and Pi Li to show up any moment now...

          •  Sigh. I can read -- can you? (0+ / 0-)

            From Appendix C:

            Nonetheless, another subgroup that has employment-based insurance does seem likely to reduce their labor supply somewhat.  Specifically, those people whose income would make them eligible for subsidies through exchanges (or for Medicaid), and who work less than a full year (roughly 10 to 15 percent of workers in that income range through a typical year), would tend to work somewhat less because of the ACA's subsidies.  For those workers, the loss of subsidies upon returning to a job with health insurance is an implicit tax on working (and is equivalent to an average tax rate of roughly 15 percent, CBO estimates. That implicit tax will cause some of those workers to lengthen the time they are out of work -- similar to the effect of unemployment benefits.
            And here:
            Incentives to Change Labor Supply and Groups Affected.
            For some people, the ACA's expansion of Medicaid will reduce the incentive to work -- but among other people, it will increase that incentive.  As with exchange subsidies, access to Medicaid confers financial benefits that are phased out with rising income or (more commonly) eliminated when income exceeds a threshold; some people will thus work fewer hours or withdraw from the labor force to become or remain eligible (the substitution effect).
            •  Your patronizing sighing doesn't impress (6+ / 0-)

              anyone, I assure you.  Nor do your once again essentially inapplicable references.  

              The fact that a SOME of "those" workers will stay out of the workforce a little longer (vs LEAVING the workforce) or that a few other will either work fewer hours OR withdraw from the labor force for MEDICAID (not subsidies) have no relevance to the 2 million the CBO has said will leave the workforce - which is what the discussion in about.  Nor will those few decisions have much impact at all on the cost of the ACA in the long run.

              Once again, you think we're all dumb enough to fall for your game playing attempts to take provisions out of context and claim they apply to a completely different argument.  Once again, you fail.  However, I will give you credit for persistence.  You never fail to make weak arguments, always seeming to believe you've shot off a zinger.  Never gets old for you, does it?

    •  Just like people don't work so they can collect (13+ / 0-)

      welfare...please don't come here with that crap

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:35:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So wealthy people have a right to be stay-at-home (7+ / 0-)

      moms, while poor people do not?

      The Romney children somehow deserved a full-time mom, while poor children only deserve a part-time mom?

      And must the government enact policy to ensure that life is so wretched for poor people that they feel the "incentive" [in other words, are compelled] to work instead of spending time with their kids?

      That is the horrible assumption Paul Ryan is making.  

      And that is why the comparison with Ann Romney in the diary is valid.

      The point is not about where the money comes from--you can argue whether it should come from higher taxes for the 1%, or out of the oil subsidy budget, or a national lottery, or whatever source you prefer.

      The point of the diary is that Ryan wants poor kids to be punished for what is after all an accident of birth.  

      •  I don't think the comparison to Ann Romney (0+ / 0-)

        is valid.

        It would be nice if all families could have a parent who could stay home with the children, if they wanted to. Both my parents worked, my wife worked, and my children and their spouses all work. When I was a child the idea of government provided or sponsored childcare wasn't considered. I was fortunate to be able to pay for childcare, as are my children.  I think the issue is who pays for the childcare? How much of the childcare expenses are funded by the family and how much by taxpayers? Ann Romney wasn't asking anyone else to pay for her childcare. She was free to make an independent decision that had no impact on anyone outside her immediate family, and that makes her a poor comparison.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 02:48:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right. Ann Romney was free to choose. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And I believe with all my heart that your family should have been equally free to make the same choice the Romneys made, had they preferred to.

          I think families should always have the back-up from their "village" to be able to raise their kids the way they think best, and not be forced to wish they could do it differently.

          I think all the children in this country are in a real sense my children, and I'm willing to pay my share to nurture them.

          That's a big reason why I'm a progressive, I guess.

        •  Sure she was. (0+ / 0-)

          In order for the Romneys to become fabulously wealthy, a whole lot of people other than the Romneys had to work hard to produce that wealth.  Do you really think all those people received a fair and decent return on their labor?  Because these days, most people don't.  Which is why many are working longer hours than they want to or is good for them and their families, why the ACA came about, and why we're having this conversation.

    •  You're falling into the same trap (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Danali

      as Ryan, although in his case he was doing it on purpose; I'll grant you the courtesy of just being fooled.

      Leaving the workforce doesn't mean you're not working. Maybe you start your own business but an individual plan would cost way too much -- the exchanges put the power of a group behind you, just like if you worked for an employer and got the benefits of a group plan. Or what if you work for an employer that doesn't offer health benefits? Maybe we should be putting more pressure on employers to offer such benefits to their employees?

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:28:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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