I suppose I should begin this article with a disclosure: I once had Brad Wenstrup examine my right foot in his capacity as a podiatrist (this was before he was elected to congress). My impression of him was that he was extremely competent and professional (after a brief examination of my foot, he accurately predicted what the x-ray would show). He seemed like an intelligent guy and had a likeable personality. As a result, up until now I have been reluctant to dispute his articles in the Sun even when they were factually inaccurate.
However, his latest article (entitled “President Obama’s War on Work”) is not only inaccurate but is in some respects the exact opposite of the truth. He states that the labor force participation rate has declined (true) and then goes on to say that the Affordable Care Act is the cause (false).
The report of the Congressional Budget Office stated that some people who were staying in their current jobs either entirely or primarily because it would be difficult or unaffordable for them to gain access to health insurance otherwise (due to age, pre-existing condition, etc.) might choose to quit their job or choose to retire if they found that they could now access health insurance affordably in the insurance exchanges. If the CBO Director did indeed say that the Affordable Care Act “creates a disincentive for people to work,” then he is distorting the findings of the report.
Congressman Wenstrup then goes on to mention Ronald Reagan (I am old enough to remember Ronald Reagan. Although he was conservative, he could not be nominated in any primary in today’s wingnut – controlled Republican party) and correctly states that Ronald Reagan believed that the best social program is a job. Why, then, do the Republicans block every attempt the President makes to put people to work repairing our crumbling infrastructure? (Graded “D+” by the civil engineers). Obviously, they want to sabotage the economy in the expectation that people will blame Obama for the result.
The Republicans are so heavily invested in ginning up hatred of the President that they not only try at every turn to limit or cripple the Affordable Care Act, but put our infrastructure and our economy at risk.
Paul Schwietering is a former Democratic state central committeeman for the 14th state senate district.