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Ed Driscoll

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October 14th, 2013 - 12:31 pm

“‘Consider Reducing Your Income by Working Less’ to Get Obamacare Subsidy, says SF Chronicle,” as spotted by Zombie at the PJ Tatler:

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article yesterday about how to take advantage of federal Obamacare subsidies, with the ominous headline “Lower 2014 income can net huge health care subsidy.”

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.

But really, why bother working at all? Why bother advancing your interests, or that of your employer, and why bother starting a family, when the world will soon be coming to an end?

Forget the twisty straws, Tootsie rolls and Dora the Explorer plates with matching cups, hats and tablecloth. There are signs that more parents would like to.

Anxious about the economy, global warming and our national image as people who would rent a limo for a kid’s party while a polar bear’s ice floe melts, many are toning down the trappings of that classic annual ritual, the blowout birthday party. They are saying no to plastic toys and water bottles, paper plates, gift wrap and new toys. There is even a modest backlash against the goody bag, the sack of candy and plastic knickknacks usually thrust into each sticky hand at the end of parties.

* * * * * * *

“There is nothing more bacchanalian than a kid’s birthday party,” said Sarah Lane, a founder of Washington state’s Progressive Kid, which has a Web site with suggestions on how to raise kids with good values. “You should see what gets thrown away. It’s disgusting.”

That’s from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008, with its advice on “Throwing less-is-more birthday parties” to save Gaia. And if the paper really does believe that “There is nothing more bacchanalian than a kid’s birthday party,” the Chronicle might want to step up its coverage of its home turf just a bit more. I’m pretty sure that eventually, they just might stumble over something even more “bacchanalian,” perhaps the first time in half a century that word has been considered a pejorative in San Francisco.

Additionally, you might want to consider working less if you’re employed by an industry that’s being targeted for bankruptcy by the president — which either the paper’s management concurs with, or doesn’t think is newsworthy. Or both — none of which reflects positively on the newspaper.

Are there other bits of economic wisdom to be gleaned from the august pages of the San Francisco Chronicle? Feel free to mention any that you’ve spotted in the comments below.

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