Tom Jackson’s conservative opinion column is published each Sunday. Read The Right Stuff on TBO.com at tbo.com/tomjackson/
Here we go again. Again. Yet another portion of The Law of The Land — that sacred legislative triumph known as the Affordable Care Act and “Obamacare” — has been unilaterally delayed by an increasingly imperial White House. Why not? The program bears the President’s name. If Barack Obama can’t rewrite it, who can?
This time it’s an additional one-year postponement of the employer mandate for companies with between 50 and 99 full-time employees, to 2016. You may recall last July the administration punted the entire employer mandate to the start of 2015.
Moreover, there’s fresh wiggle room for larger companies allowing them to phase in the mandate. And although you can be sure CEOs of those bigger outfits are happy for any break they get under Obamacare’s onerous demands, the White House simultaneously incentivized those CEOs with somewhat more than 99 full-time workers to scale back operations or convert full-timers into part-timers … just in time for the 2015 Christmas shopping season. They just have to tell the IRS it’s for reasons apart from the ACA.
Well, jingle all the way.
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This is all to give affected companies “a little more time to adjust to providing coverage,” according to a Treasury Department official. They needed more than five years? Yeah, right.
Far more likely is the White House belatedly figured out the calendar, and also that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was perfectly delusional for claiming Democrats would “stand tall” on the ACA in the run-up to the 2014 midterms.
As things stood, companies would have begun in October — also known as the Month Before Election Day — alerting employees about nasty hikes in costs (premiums, co-pays and, especially, deductibles) they were facing because of Obamacare.
Just now, polls indicate Republicans will easily hold their majority in the House of Representative and have an about -even chance of reclaiming the Senate. Without the delay, however, shocked employees could turn their anger into votes, and November into a Democratic bloodbath.
Now the administration has punted those notices to October 2015, when the news is likely to be every bit as upsetting, but voters’ response will be left without immediate targets ... unless you count Democrats in early primaries hoping to succeed the president who made the mess in the first place.
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Reaffirming his opinions are nothing if not malleable, Charlie Crist has declared himself to be simultaneously on both sides of an issue that offers no principled middle ground.
Having contorted himself into an unappetizing pretzel, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat candidate for governor says, regarding abortion, he is personally pro-life, but operationally pro-choice ... and always has been.
Leaving aside as irrelevant — except for comic relief — Crist’s side-splitting claim of consistency, the problem with this two-positions-in-one declaration is not its uniqueness. Lots of politicians who are, in fact, pro-abortion, attempt to curry favor with less radical voters by claiming they personally root for the unborn.
This is twisted nonsense, as demonstrated below. Still, reasonable people nod their heads, allowing themselves to be sucked into a world of cognitive dissonance, to put it mildly. The positions aren’t just mildly contradictory; they’re at war.
No one who is personally pro-life can be operationally pro-“choice” unless they have failed to think honestly about what each philosophy means. To be truly pro-life is to acknowledge that what has formed and is growing within a pregnant woman is a unique human individual, and thus has indisputable claims on certain unalienable rights.
This individuality, achieved early in gestation, is the chief reason the pro-abortion crowd fights ultrasound procedures mandated by statute. The only way logically to endorse “choice” is to deny the humanity of the voiceless lump floating in amniotic fluid. This, then, is the question Crist avoids: What is the nature of what grows within the womb?
This is not a difference that can be split, and a politician who tries to purchase a foothold in both worlds gains a foundation in neither.