Monday Brief

Part-Time Nation

Jul. 8, 2013

The Foundation

“[I]t is of the greatest consequence that the debt should … be remoulded into such a shape as will bring the expenditure of the nation to a level with its income. Till this shall be accomplished, the finances of the United States will never wear proper countenance.” –Alexander Hamilton

For the Record

“The economy lost 240,000 full-time workers last month, according to the more volatile household survey, while gaining 360,000 part-time workers. In other words, the entire increase in the household measure of employment was accounted for by persons working part-time for economic reasons. The underemployment rate surged to 14.3% from 13.8%. … There are 28 million part-time workers in US vs. 25 million before the Great Recession. There are 116 million full-time workers in US vs. 122 million before the Great Recession. In other words, 19% of the (smaller) US workforce is part time vs. 17% before the Great Recession. Some context: Even at 195,000 jobs a month, the US would not, according to Brookings, return to pre-Great Recession employment levels until 2021. … Oh, there are some positives. Private-sector jobs were up 202,000. Since the sequester took effect, total nonfarm jobs are up an average of 183,000 per month versus 132,000 for same four months a year ago. … The labor force participation rate, while still low, has risen two months in a row. … Fine. While the labor market may be improving enough for the Fed, for American workers the Long Recession continues.” –columnist James Pethokoukis

Political Futures

“The bombshell that just dropped is not 4th of July fireworks – it was the White House announcing that it was delaying enforcement of the employer-mandate in ObamaCare until 2015. … It will simply be much too busy to penalize those violating the mandate, an executive power grab that is familiar from their playbook on education, climate change, and elsewhere. The policy implications are fairly straightforward. Essentially for calendar 2014 the act of dropping coverage and dumping employees into the exchanges is on sale. Drop and dump, but no penalty. Accelerating the rush of employers to the exits is bad news for taxpayers. At a minimum, the federal revenue from fines is gone. More realistically, the costs of already-bloated insurance subsidies will escalate and the red ink will rise. … Why do it? Politics. Democrats no longer face the immediate specter of running against the fallout from a heavy regulatory imposition on employers across the land. Explaining away the mandate was going to be a big political lift; having the White House airbrush it from the landscape is way better.” –American Action Forum’s Douglas Holtz-Eakin


“[I]t is the political machinations here that are important. Since the individual mandate remains in effect, those employees who would have received insurance through their employers will have to purchase health insurance, or face a fine beginning next year. When 2015 rolls around, many companies that may have been willing to pay their employees’ insurance may decide to pay the fine instead, since their employees will have already had their own insurance for a year. As more and more businesses opt for this solution, the entire concept of employer-sponsored insurance … will begin to unravel. … As an increasing number of individuals who might have originally been covered by their employer begin to flood into the exchanges, even more chaos will be created. Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt explains why such chaos may be exactly what Democrats want. … ‘Because it’s the only way to get what the Obama Democrats have wanted all along: A government-run system open to all Americans and the eventual demise of the employer-based insurance system that has been the norm since the end of World War II.’ … In other words, much like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, once the entitlement genie is out of the bottle it stays out forever. And just like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, when the inevitable cost explosion occurs, the best Americans can hope for will be a ‘fix,’ that will entail a combination of higher taxes and a reduced level of care.” –columnist Arnold Ahlert

Opinion in Brief

“The simple fact is that [ousted Egyptian President Muhammad] Morsi has achieved in just one year what it took his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, three decades to do: completely antagonize Egyptian society. … President Obama has been like a gambler who only wants to place his bets once he sees the cards on the table. But it’s long past time the United States sees the big picture. … When Iranians sought to break free from their Islamist dictatorship in 2009, Obama was silent. And when, more recently, Turkish liberals sought to check the power of an increasingly authoritarian Islamist leader, the State Department appeared again to support the Islamist leader over the people. The third time, however, might be the charm. Egyptians recognized that what the Islamists were peddling was a corruption of religion in the pursuit of power. Democracy was just a show for them, rhetoric to throw at Western reporters and diplomats, but not an ideal to embrace sincerely. Such is a lesson that Iranians, Turks, and Egyptians have all learned the hard way.” –American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Rubin

The Gipper

“No longer can it be said that conservatives are just anti-Communist. We are, and proudly so, but we are also the keepers of the flame of liberty. … American foreign policy is not simply focused on the prevention of war but the expansion of freedom. Modern conservatism is an active, not a reactive philosophy. It’s not just in opposition to those vices that debase character and community, but affirms values that are at the heart of civilization.” –Ronald Reagan

Essential Liberty

“[I]n our time, many seem to think ‘the Declaration’ was penned to proclaim eternal verities about the human condition – a poetic tribute to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ – as if it were a collection of fine words about high-minded ideals. No! It was a rebellion against bad governance, against political arrogance, against oppressive laws, against restriction, constraint, and imposition without representation. We call it ‘the Declaration,’ but that’s not the object. It’s the ‘Independence,’ stupid. The members of the Second Continental Congress did not expect to forfeit their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for stating the obvious about the ‘laws of nature and of nature’s God.’ Their necks ripened for the noose because they altered, abolished, and threw off the yoke of their government. They counted all as loss to obtain freedom; to be absolved of allegiance to their government, to dissolve all political connections between themselves and the state which they had always referred to as their own. ‘The Declaration’ offers exhaustive reasons for committing open treason, nonetheless, treason it was. Independence Day then is not a celebration of government, but a regular reminder … of the necessity to reject corrupt, abusive government.” –PJMedia’s Scott Ott


“The worst enemies of enduring freedom for all may be certain folk who demand incessantly more liberty for themselves.” –historian Russell Kirk (1918-1994)

Re: The Left

“Leaders of the left in many countries have promoted policies that enable the poor to be more comfortable in their poverty. But that raises a fundamental question: Just who are ‘the poor’? … ‘Poverty’ once had some concrete meaning – not enough food to eat or not enough clothing or shelter to protect you from the elements, for example. Today it means whatever the government bureaucrats, who set up the statistical criteria, choose to make it mean. … Most Americans with incomes below the official poverty level have air-conditioning, television, own a motor vehicle and, far from being hungry, are more likely than other Americans to be overweight. But an arbitrary definition of words and numbers gives them access to the taxpayers’ money. This kind of ‘poverty’ can easily become a way of life, not only for today’s ‘poor,’ but for their children and grandchildren. Even when they have the potential to become productive members of society, the loss of welfare state benefits if they try to do so is an implicit ‘tax’ on what they would earn that often exceeds the explicit tax on a millionaire. If increasing your income by $10,000 would cause you to lose $15,000 in government benefits, would you do it? In short, the political left’s welfare state makes poverty more comfortable, while penalizing attempts to rise out of poverty.” –economist Thomas Sowell


“If a Martian were to observe the human condition, he would have to conclude that the left has an agenda to deprive children of their innocence. … The most recent example is the cover of the current issue of the New Yorker, which depicts the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie. They are seated on a couch snuggling with Ernie’s head on Bert’s shoulder watching television. The TV features a picture of the U.S. Supreme Court. … [N]o cause animates the left these days more than the social advancement of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered. One consequence has been the robbing of children’s innocence by prematurely sexualizing them. … Other examples abound. … In California … the state passed a law last year that all textbooks in California – from first grade on – describe the contributions of gays, bisexuals and transgendered individuals to America and to California. … In New York City, seventh graders are taught how to use condoms. All these policies have been enacted in the name of tolerance, protecting girls and health. But the left always has a noble reason for its damaging policies – even when they involve something that when taken away can never be returned: children’s sexual innocence.” –radio talk-show host Dennis Prager

Reader Comments

“To the Staff and Supporters of Patriot Post: I write to express my sincerest apologies for not giving my financial support to The Patriot Post for the Independence Day Campaign. I’ll not make excuses for myself but I am not able to contribute to your tireless (and expensive) mission to protect our liberties from those who seek to trample them. But I wish to thank the staff of The Patriot Post for their hard work and dedication and I’d also like to thank those that are able to contribute their financial support. Truly, you are all Patriots and defenders of our great Republic and the principles upon which it was founded. I will, as soon as I am able, stand with you as one of the few protectors of our liberties, but until then, thank you all for making this service available to myself and others like me who reap the benefits and rewards of your service.” –J.

“Thank you for the fine work of your entire editorial staff. Please accept my gratitude in the form of $26 for your work in analyzing the weekly news. Since I chose to spend some money on fireworks this year, certainly, I can contribute to The Patriot Post so you can continue to sound the alarm and call all Patriots to take a stand. Thanks to The Patriot Post and your fine work, I’m educated every week and can communicate to the people around me about what is really going on.” –Kent

“A sincere thank you for being the Voice of Essential Liberty for us all. We stand tall and proud as Patriots of this great country, but feel constantly trod upon by those who are either un- or ill-informed. It is your publication that continues to give us strength to stand up for what we believe in, no matter the consequences. A check is in the mailreally!” –Patti

“Please allow this apology for my reticence in joining fellow Patriot Post supporters in the good work of maintaining the sharp-edge of the 1st Amendment. The continuation of The Patriot Post is a bulwark against the collapse of our natural right of speech freedoms (truth to power, for the low-information folks). I could not bear the thought that The Patriot Post might cease operations for lack of funding while I still have any resources at my disposal. Unemployed, as I have been now for quite some time, such decisions are not reached without considerable struggle but reason has dictated my action in donating, for if the accountability of government is not maintained, all else is for naught.” –John

The Last Word

“During the August 2009 recess, legislators conducted often tumultuous town halls where they discovered that intensity resided disproportionately among opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Opponents’ anger was registered emphatically in congressional elections 15 months later, which is one reason why the implementation of the act’s most onerous provisions were delayed until 2014, after the 2012 presidential election. … Although the Constitution has no Article VIII, the administration acts as though there is one that reads: ‘Notwithstanding all that stuff in other articles about how laws are made, if a president finds a law politically inconvenient he can simply post on the White House website a notice saying: Never mind.’ Never mind that the law stipulates 2014 as the year when employers with 50 full-time workers are mandated to offer them health care or pay fines. Instead, 2015 will be the year. Unless Democrats see a presidential election coming. This lesson in the Obama administration’s approach to the rule of law is pertinent to the immigration bill, which at last count had 222 instances of a discretionary ‘may’ and 153 of ‘waive.’ Such language means that were the Senate bill to become law, the executive branch would be able to do pretty much as it pleases, even to the point of saying about almost anything: Never mind. –columnist George Will

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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