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.

What Obamacare does, as demonstrated by this eye-opening article, is bring the same economic disincentive to the middle class: It is now a rational economic decision for the average American to earn less money. And to earn less you must work less, and when you work less, you contribute less to the common good.

With people intentionally contributing less to the common good, there will be less federal money available to finance the subsidies (which are fiscally unaffordable even without this problem), leading to an unavoidable downward economic spiral for the entire nation.

Giving a poor man a hand to help him back on his feet is a kind act of charity. But creating a permanent welfare culture for the poor in general is corrosive to families and destructive to society. And when that corrosive system is forced on the middle class, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The government is now (through Obamacare rules) encouraging its citizens to stop earning their own money, and instead live off the largesse of their neighbors. If everyone takes that advice, our entire economic system will collapse.

Obamacare may not bring about this collapse all on its own, but it’s a big first step in that direction. And for that reason alone it must be opposed at all costs.