Feeling . . . weak. Starvation from lack of nonessential government services imminent. Goodbye, cruel world. Tell my wife I love her.
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I leave you with a quote from Zombie, courtesy of Hot Air Headlines. This follows up on my post from last night about the sudden cliff that people fall off of once their income exceeds 400% of the “poverty” line:
The author, Kathleen Pender, correctly points out that there is now a huge and abrupt “cliff” in health care costs for many Americans: earn $1 more than the prescribed limit for being on the federal health-subsidy dole, and you’ll have to pay many thousands — even tens of thousands — of dollars more next year for health insurance than you would otherwise. So obviously the smart thing to do would be to find ways to “lower your income.”
After recommending a few accounting tricks (but also noting that most standard tricks won’t work), on page 2 of the article Pender gets to the point:
“You can also consider reducing your 2014 income by working just a bit less.”
This, right here, is the toxic essence of the Welfare State. It’s already been proven over and over that for the lower classes welfare incentivizes permanent dependence: Since one gets more money receiving a raft of federal entitlements than one would get earning a salary at a low-level job, it’s a rational economic decision to remain unemployed, on purpose. Which millions of Americans do, generation after generation, creating a permanent underclass that only consumes the common treasury without ever contributing anything to it.
Again: pay people more to work less, and you should not be shocked when people work less. Penalize businesses for expanding and employing people full time, and you should not be shocked when businesses stay small and make more people part time.
These are such obvious “unintended” consequences that it’s hard to believe they are truly unintended. One cannot be blamed for suspecting that this system was designed, specifically, to create a class of dependents who will always vote for the party of giveaways.
UPDATE: daleyrocks writes:
Patterico – I think there is a serious problem with this notion of a “sudden cliff” regarding Obamacare subsidies which you referenced in your Day 13 and Day 14 Shutdown posts. It is true that eligibility for a subsidy disappears above certain income level, the problem is that below that income level the subsidy is not an all or nothing proposition, it is phased out based on income, just as deductions are in the tax code, as you reach the threshold income level – say 400%.
At 399% of poverty you are basically eligible for squat in terms of a subsidy. At 200%, your subsidy may represent a significant chunk of the premium.
Thanks to daleyrocks. I am not in the business of distorting facts, and if the articles I have trusted on this point got it wrong, let’s get it right.
But the truth is, no matter how you slice it, offering goodies for having lower income encourages . . . lower income.
UPDATE x2: daleyrocks adds:
Actually, just reading the SFgate article that was linked in a post linked by gary gulrud on Ace. Phase out is greater at younger ages apparently. Just tested it again using 62 married couple and difference in Calif. between 413% and 400% living in Sacramento was $12,000 per year. I did it earlier with 40 year old in my own zip code and effect was nada. Big dollars are for older folks apparently because that’s where big dollar premiums are – but phase out point is still valid.
Sounds like the numbers in the original article I linked last night were valid, at least for 62 year olds.