Did Obamacare kill the Obama recovery? 

The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk has a fascinating new paper out showing that the U.S. economic recovery stalled almost immediately after Obamacare became law. Before Obamacare became law, private sector job creation had been averaging 67,600 net new jobs a month. After Obamacare passed net private sector job creation fell to 6,400 jobs a month. Sherk identifies some provisions of Obamacare that discourage job creation:

  • Businesses with more than 50 workers will see their costs for health coverage rise—they must purchase more expensive government-approved insurance or pay a penalty;
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 workers have a strong incentive to maintain this size, to avoid these higher costs; and
  • Employers face considerable uncertainty about what constitutes qualifying health coverage and what it will cost. They also do not know what the health care market or their health care costs will look like in four years. This makes planning for the future difficult.

Missing form this list is the $500 billion in new taxes Obamacare also inflicted on the nascent recovery.

But also missing from this analysis is other events that might have slowed the economic recovery in April 2010. The Greek Debt Crisis comes to mind. On April 27th 2010, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded Greece’s long-term and short-term debt to junk status. While a bailout plan was quickly approved by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, a Greek default is still possible today.

Germany, however, has managed to survive the Greek Debt Crisis far better than the U.S. In fact, their unemployment rate is at a 20-year low. But they also did not burden employers with $500 billion in new taxes or make it harder for companies to hire more workers through expanded health care regulations like Obama did. In fact, they did the opposite.

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Conn Carroll

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