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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) listens to testimony during a hearing on
Paul Ryan thinking about how wrong it is for workers to have the freedom and security to work less than he thinks they should.
Unbelievable. Here's Paul Ryan (R-WI) on the new report from the Congressional Budget Office on Obamacare, which found that gaining access to health insurance would lead to the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers choosing not to seek employment:
"It's adding insult to injury," he said. "As the welfare state expands, the incentive to work declines -- meaning grow the government, you shrink the economy."
Ryan also claimed that this means Obamacare is really a "poverty trap" because it will lead fewer people "to get on the ladder of life, to begin working, getting the dignity of work, getting more opportunities, rising their income, joining the middle class." Such a claim reflects the larger conservative argument encapsulated in the statement Ryan made in 2012 that the lack of a strong safety net will, wait for it, be good for poor people:
"We don't want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives."
Please read below the fold for more of Ryan's brilliance.

So, Ryan opposes Obamacare because low-income people don't need subsidies to purchase health care. They just need a swift kick in the rear to get them off their lazy, teat-sucking behinds. Or—if they're already out there hopping—the threat of such a kick to keep them from backsliding into undignified idleness.

Remember the whole kerfuffle over Ann Romney, and her choice to be a stay-at-home mom? 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. Conservatives love to praise "family values" and the importance to society of having a full-time mom (yes, they always want it to be mom) at home with the children. Well, except that regular people need that whole dignity of work thing. Dizzy yet?

In other words, it's good for Mrs. Romney to stay home with the kids, but not the many hundreds of thousands of mothers or fathers in two-income families who—thanks to Obamacare—will decide to cut back on their work and spend more time with their families. Never mind that the cost of child care made the second job a wash in terms of many families' income, but was necessary to preserve access to health insurance.

For conservatives like Ryan, there's only one right choice for the 99 percent: work more. Never mind that health care security offers regular people the freedom and the choice—although apparently not the kind of freedom Republicans value—to prioritize family over more money. The hypocrisy is rich. When Ann Romney stays home with her kids, she isn't depriving herself of Paul Ryan's "dignity of work." That's for the little people.

Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:16 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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