Profits Up, Earnings Down

ObamaCare's employer mandate was supposed to kick in on January 1 of 2014, now delayed by executive fiat for one year. But the IRS will start looking back to January 1 of this year at employment practices, to determine how tightly to apply ObamaCare's screws to each employer. Since that "look back" kicked in, part-time jobs creation has outpaced full-time job creation by three to one.

Between temp work and part-time work, America's workers are feeling the squeeze. Insurance-premium increases will squeeze them further. That's why earnings are down — under ObamaCare's many unintended consequences, we just can't spend as much money.

Those record profits? Businesses have done what they must do: They've cut all the fat. However, those kinds of cuts aren't typical for a recovery. The U.S. economy enjoyed a hiring surge in the second half of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, adding 250,000 or 300,000 jobs a month. Then ObamaCare became law and hiring slowed to a trickle, despite our economic recovery. Come the next downturn, employers will be forced to cut deep into the meat and bone right at the start.

And when that happens, it's going to make this quarters' missed earnings figures look like the good old days.

(Artwork created using elements from