Yet within his first three years as our President, we’ve seen the amount of direct federal payments to individual households – both direct payments for specific usages, and for “unrestricted” usages – skyrocket by more than $600 billion. One might argue that these direct payments rose out of necessity because of the recession, although President Obama has slated for another $500 billion worth of annual increases in direct payments between now and 2016. If the trend continues, within the next four years direct payments will account for two-thirds of all annual federal government spending.
But wait, there’s more. A record forty-nine percent of all American homes have somebody living in them who is receiving some sort of federal benefit. And reliance on food stamps has expanded forty-five percent during the Obama presidency, thanks in no small part to the President’s insistence that the expansion of food stamp funding be included in his “economic stimulus bill.”
So what does the expansion of “federal assistance” do to us? President Obama insists that it creates a sense of “fairness” in our society. Yet it’s difficult to argue that it doesn’t create at least some incentive to cease being productive.
And then there’s President Obama’s signature “healthcare reform” law – “Obamacare” if you will. Nearly two years ago the Congressional Budget Office warned that with all the robust entitlements that the law promises, it would most certainly impact the labor market.
Speaking at a little-noted event at the University of Southern California in October of 2010, C.B.O. Director Doug Elmendorf noted that, outside the healthcare sector of our economy, the greatest impact of the Obamacare agenda would be with people’s interest in working.
Furthermore, Mr. Elmendorf stated that, in some cases, Americans would simply choose to no longer work, because their needs for healthcare will be provided by the enhanced Medicaid funding entailed in the Obamacare law.
As Journalist Matt Cover observed at CNSNews.com after the conference (he was one of few journalists that actually reported on this event), this assessment of Obamacare by Mr. Elmendorf coincided with former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s remarks in May of that year, when she claimed that Obamacare would allow “artists” to “quit their day job” and pursue their art, free from the constraints of having to provide for one’s self, because the government would now take care of artists’ healthcare needs.
And now here we are, less than nine months away from another presidential election. After roughly four years of recessionary conditions where millions of us have worried about remaining employed, today it appears that increasing numbers of us have simply lost interest in employment altogether.
Has the script been flipped? That would seem to be the case. What we don’t know is what Americans want for the future – will we choose a land of opportunity, or a President that enables us to not work?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.