Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I've been saying for the past five years that America, fractured by an economic shock and a follow-up crisis not seen since the late 1970s has focused on blame, rather than recovery and has settled with mediocrity as greatness. Last week the media and White House bragged about the idea that the new healthcare law will seduce 2.5 million Americans out of the workforce, because they'll make more money from taxpayer funded programs and from special subsidies associated with Obamacare.
There were already 126 public assistance programs before the so-called "Affordable Care Act," which might be the cherry on top for those that feel the role of government is to provide economic justice by any means necessary.
The problem with an agenda so narrowly focused on redistribution, not only of wealth, but of accountability as the broader nation gets mired in a slow slog of a recovery kept alive, only because there are still millions of Americans willing to start at the bottom and work their way to the top; along the way this positively impacts mankind with jobs, innovation and inspiration. After the Congressional Budget Office pointed out how many people would bail on the American Dream for a modern welfare state, President Obama's team went to work to remove any stigma.
"At the beginning of this year, we noted that as part of this new day in health care, Americans would no longer be trapped in a job just to provide coverage for their families, and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. This CBO report bears that out, and the Republican plan to repeal the ACA would strip those hard-working Americans of that opportunity."
The White House
-Office of the Press Secretary
When the healthcare law was being pitched (before it was rammed) I don't recall any proponents saying people earnings up to 400% of poverty would be rewarded with subsidies. I heard you could keep your doctor if you wanted to, but it turns out the real pitch should have been; you can keep your job if you want to or you can quit, or work part-time, because the others who are dumb enough to punch a clock will pay your bills.
Or I should say, passionate enough to work, even as their paychecks are relentlessly being siphoned to reward people for not working. These people are being described by the White House, news outlets, and the New York Times as "liberated."
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