A small commercial painting contractor told me this week that her nine-person company's 1st quarter UI bill has gone from $1,000 to more than $6,500 over the past three years. "It's killing us!" she told me. "How can we hire additional employees? This is a big increase in addition to the health insurance annual increases, etc. We had to reduce our employees' wages by 10 percent this year, and who knows when we will be able to bump them back up?"
Lon Gibson, owner of Legalpool, Inc., told me how perverse unemployment insurance incentives led him to shut down his business in Philadelphia:
"We placed legal staff, especially temporary secretaries and paralegals. Part of our business was to place a secretary at a law firm for a short period of time. ... Invariably, however, the temp would apply for unemployment benefits after the assignment. The agency would make a profit of $6 to $10 an hour from the assignment. Later, the bill would come in from unemployment for the temp and thus eliminate the profit we made from the temp! Ultimately, unless the temp didn't file, the money we made on the temp was completely subtracted by required unemployment payments. It was exactly like, to use a football analogy, making a 10-yard gain and consistently having it eliminated by a holding penalty. ... I can only imagine what other agencies are going through now with this administration."
__John S., president of Vinyl Headlights Inc., shared his plight:
"We are a variety rock band that travels up and down the East Coast. Yes, everyone thinks we're lefty rockers, but that could not be further from the truth. We're all businessmen, and we provide a service. Since Obama's term, I have been watching our cost of business going up (UI, fuel, licenses, etc.), and we've had to modify our rates lower to keep us profitable. ... We have let an employee go to further reduce costs. The last resort is to dissolve the company and send every man for himself. More than likely, all employees would take unemployment. If the government just got out of the way, I could employ people and provide the government revenue, but I am better off employing no one to keep from paying UI and the taxes. If a musician can get it, why can't (Obama)? Oh, wait: He's never had to make a payroll, and private enterprise is the enemy."
These unsung Obama jobs death toll stories are amassing across the nation. Alas, the victims of government wealth redistribution never earn as much of Washington's attention as the beneficiaries.