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How do you know when Mitch McConnell is lying? The open mouth.
That whole rebranding thing just isn't working out for the GOP, so they're going to be going back to the reliable base in 2014, the well of teabagger hatred of Obamacare. The spokesman for the Republican Senate campaign committee promises, “It’s going to be an issue that’s front and center for voters even in a more tangible way than it was in 2010.”
Cue Mitch McConnell, who said this on the Senate floor Tuesday, calling for—what else—repeal.
“According to data just released by the Labor Department, retailers appear to be cutting worker hours at a rate unseen in more than 30 years.
“Investor’s Business Daily had this to say of the decline:
“’[It] doesn't appear related to the economy, which has been consistently mediocre. Instead, all evidence points to the coming launch of Obamacare, which the retail industry has warned would cause just such a result.’
“So this is just the latest in a string of bad news related to the rollout of Obamacare. Just the latest reason the law needs to be repealed.
Note that McConnell is quoting not the Department of Labor, but Investor's Business Daily when he says cutting worker hours is all about Obamacare. But that's not really the whole story. Here's WonkBlog's health care expert, Sarah Kliff.
We haven’t seen many employers move forward with such a change. A recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that 4 percent of companies it surveyed had moved to a larger, part-time workforce in response to the Affordable Care Act.
If part-time workers offer an easy way to dodge an expensive mandate, why haven’t more employers jumped on board? I asked Christopher Ryan, a vice president of strategic services at ADP, to help explain. He spends a lot of time talking to companies about this issue and says it mostly boils down to a trade-off between having a skilled workforce and reducing benefit costs.
He uses the example of a restaurant, where having skilled full-time staff that doesn't have to leave mid-shift of busy nights is a smart business move. There's also the fact that having to hire more part-time employees creates real hassles for business owners; it's a burden on the administrative end with a lot more paperwork and supervisory demands, more training, more forms to fill out, more people to manage. That's a trade-off that business owners who aren't just trying to make a political statement about Obamacare are carefully weighing. That and the fact that keeping the best employees around by giving them good benefits, including health insurance, has always been good business.
So is Mitch McConnell once again full of shit? Of course he is. But that's not going to stop him or any other Republican from twisting the facts on Obamacare. Why would he stop doing that now? But what has to happen this time around, however, is that Democrats have to start forcefully countering those lies.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:09 AM PDT.