Work Ethic Challenged Republicans Now Claim the ACA Threatens America’s Work Ethic

GOP work ethic

Now that their Obamacare kills jobs lie was discredited by the CBO’s report and again in testimony to Congress, Republicans in the House of Representatives are seeking another way to call “you people” lazy freeloaders.

According to Talking Points Memo, now Paul Ryan is upset because the ACA gives people working in low income jobs some of that freedom Republicans say they believe in.

He said he was “troubled” by the report because it suggested that Obamacare was encouraging Americans “not to get on the ladder of life, to begin working, getting the dignity of work, getting more opportunities, rising the income, joining the middle class.”

People can reduce the amount of labor they supply for minimal wages and spend that time raising their families, furthering their education so that they seek better paying jobs.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, some people will have the freedom to become entrepreneurs, or what Republicans call “job creators.”

National Review‘s Charles Cooke comes right out and claims that the ACA is an attack on the work ethic.  It’s a rather puzzling claim that freeing people to start a business, spend more time at home raising their children or improving their skills becomes an attack on the work ethic.  But then, Republican world is a very strange place.

In Republican world,  people having options is a bad thing.  What good is freedom if it means just anybody can have choices? 

No one questions the value of a good work ethic nor does anyone question the dignity that comes with working for a living.  The problem comes with working several part-time, low income jobs that still isn’t enough to provide a family with the bare essentials.

While Republicans claim that a policy which makes it possible for low wage workers to have choices AKA freedom threatens the work ethic, that’s not their real concern.  “Job creators” benefit from a high unemployment rate because when there are a lot more people seeking work than there are available jobs, employers are in a position to keep everyone’s wages low.

If more people have the flexibility to reduce their work hours, for whatever reason, it means that “job creators” will have to increase wages to make those jobs attractive. Ironically, if people earn enough to provide for their families, it means fewer people would need to rely on SNAP and other programs to provide for their family.

Lower unemployment, lower demand for food stamps and other programs currently needed to reduce poverty are good things in the sane world. In Republican world, it means their only real constituents will be forced out of the culture of depending on taxpayers to subsidize wages. It means workers will have the dignity that comes with knowing that the income that comes from their labor is enough to provide for their families.  Worst of all, Republicans will lose their ability to claim that unemployment is a life style choice.

It’s also ironic that Republicans in the House of Representatives say they are concerned that restoring freedom and options to low income workers somehow threatens the American work ethic. It’s true that with the restoration of that freedom some people will drop that second or third job in favor of raising their children, improving their skills so that they can seek better jobs or have the freedom to be, in Republican parlance, “job creators”.

It’s also true that they will continue to work, just shorter hours – unlike the House Republicans who reduced their own work hours, without a reduced income, and brag about doing nothing.

Image: Politico

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