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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Time to realize what you voted for. Update: Instalanche!

Update: Thanks to Instapundit for the link. Welcome, Instalanche!

It's been hashed out in the comments on this blog before -- contract attorneys in Washington are, by and large, liberals. Usually, very liberal. By this of course, we mean the old-school, early 1900s Progressives, not  the classic, Thomas Jefferson liberals. We're talking about the far leftists who changed their label from Progressive to Liberal when Progressive became a pejorative, then back to Progressive when Liberal became a pejorative and people had forgotten that Progressive used to be a pejorative.

Philosophy aside, it is important to realize that elections have consequences. One of the consequences of this election is that Obamacare is here to stay, at least for a while. It is too inherently unworkable to stay for long, but it isn't going away in the next few years. Live with it.

Liberal contract attorneys might want to consider what "live with it" means. Under Obamacare, companies with 50 or more full-time employees either have to provide them with government-approved health insurance policies, or pay a per-employee fine. Further, the fine kicks in at the 31st employee, not the 51st, and it starts at $2,000 per year per employee. It goes up later. Companies, therefore, are discouraged from having full-time employees, or at least 50 or more of them. Hello, part-time employment. Think I'm fucking with you? Think again.

While you're thinking again, start thinking about the industry in which you work. Obamacare, unlike other government regulations, defines a full-time employee as one working 30 hours a week. Every temp agency in town worth a shit has 50 people working "full-time" in any given year under that definition. If you think that temp agencies will give you employer-funded health insurance that meets Obamacare standards (hint: lots of mandates make insurance less affordable), you are delusional. They already didn't offer comprehensive insurance, which was cheaper before Obamacare started affecting rates, so they won't start now. They also are not going to pay the penalty. Margins are too thin. What will the agencies do?

There are only two choices. First, nobody works 30 hours a week for an agency ever again. That probably is an unworkable solution, but it is not unthinkable, given the trend in the industry toward a 40-hour cap on projects. A 30-hour cap would mean more bodies, staggered, but would not be a dramatic departure from the no-OT policy that already governs so many projects. Given the staggering costs of forced health coverage (or penalties), agencies won't consider this option unworkable. They'll think about it, and you'll have to start finding two projects at a time to make a living wage. Assuming, of course, that agencies and the firms that hire them stop enforcing their concurrent employment policies that ban working two projects at a time.

The second choice is, your taxes just got harder. Agencies could deem contract attorneys to be independent contractors and start issuing 1099s instead of W-2s. That means you'll have to make quarterly estimated tax payments for withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. Oh, and by the way, it also means you'll be responsible for the employer's half of those Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, as you will now be self employed. Of course agencies will raise your rates to make up for the fact that your share of the payroll taxes doubled while their share disappeared. Don't doubt it for a second. Yeah, you're fucked.

One way or another, you're fucked. Temporary employment as we know it is unlikely to survive Obamacare, at least as it is currently structured. That's not my opinion, that's what temp agency heads said to Congress. I suggest you read the entire transcript. These guys have a pretty good idea of how Obamacare will fuck their industry and, by extension, you.

But don't worry about them. Maybe they're full of shit. Maybe you'll be fine. Or maybe you're fucked. but hey, that's what you voted for.

36 comments:

Unknown said...

Really really horney? Don't worry, become a temp in the Brave New World of this rehash Administration. Then you'll get fucked every day!

Jeff P. said...

Great Article! I hope you don't mind, I re-posted it on my site: redinknews.org

Check out my blog. In between posting news articles, I tend to go off on a vile rant or two.

Unknown said...

So liberal lawyers are going to get screwed by Obamacare. Where's the downside?

autothreads said...

We should do everything that we can do to make sure that America gets what they voted for, good and hard, as Mencken put it. The only way that we can prove, with no doubt, to Americans that Democrats policies will fail, is to let them fail. It won't be fun if the dollar collapses but maybe that's the only way to clean out Washington. I think the Republican leadership should publicly state that against their best judgement they will support any and all Democratic legislation. Make sure that the Democrats get their way and make sure that the American people know exactly who is driving the fiscal buss off of the cliff.

Sam L. said...

Downside? Everybody gets f***ed!

Inkling said...

Lawyers working contracts aren't the only ones who'll be hurting. Others making far less will too.

I sometimes do contract work at a major art museum. There, many of the staff are kept below 35 hours a week so the museum doesn't have to provide the pricey benefits of full-time employees. Most are young, healthy, and working there because they love art, so it's been no great hardship for them, apart from the smaller paycheck those less-than-35 hours brings in.

Now with Obamacare coming online those less-than-35 hour weeks will become less-than-30 hours. Since some are only making $10/hour before taxes, that $350/week paycheck drops to less than $300 or a mere $1200/month.

Where I live, that'll cover a hole-in-the-wall apartment and Ramen noodles but not much else.

boricuafudd said...

Is okay, they will qualify for Food Stamps. That way they can afford something in between those noodles.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

My brother runs a small business with 55 employees. Looks like his headcount is going to go down by five.

Robin Kaye said...

Ernst, it better go down by six...no more than 49 employees, 50 is the magic number. Does the owner count as well as they are getting the same coverage?

Autothreads, been arguing your point with someone today. I hope the Republicans put up their bills so they say they have done something but let the Dem bills pass by voting present. Obama should respect them, that's how he voted in the Illinois senate most of the time.

Orrin said...

Republicans in the House will author a teensy, tiny little change in some minor regulation on page 89,546 of Obamacare. That will be their "giveback" for massive tax hikes. Then in 2014 and beyond, people will hate how the Republicans COMPLETELY FUCKED UP HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY!!!!

Dollars to donuts Nancy already has that little poison pill/magic bean ready to sell to Boehner...

David said...

We have become a people of the Government, by the Government, and for the Government.

Chaz said...

The downside is that Liberal Lawyers are fairly close to the top of the screwing order... and you tend to start at the bottom and go up.

By the way... you're more likely pretty close to the bottom.

SirIzakNuton said...

Quoting autothreads: "I think the Republican leadership should publicly state that against their best judgement they will support any and all Democratic legislation"

I disagree with you. If the Republicans go with anything the Dims want, they'll get the blame for the failures and NONE of the credit for the successes. The fact that most Dims' solutions are basically more regulatory control and tax increases, their attempts at fixing problems are going to fail anyway. Republicans should fight tooth and nail on EVERYTHING, I say.

The Sanity Inspector said...

At first I thought the "think I'm f^$#@ing with you?" was going to go to the Alec Baldwin scene of Glengarry Glen Ross

Raised.by.wolves said...

Wish I had thought of that.

Raised.by.wolves said...

Don't mind at all. Thank you very much!

Jonathan said...

In IT there's the Microsoft rule. Microsoft used to pay a lot of its employees by 1099 rather than W2. The employees got pissed ... seems they did all their work for Microsoft on-site at Microsoft. They thought they were employees. The courts agreed. So no, I don't think placement agencies will have the option of going the 1099 route, unless they take steps to meet the guidelines that the courts defined ... No single clients, no working on-site, etc.

So now what?

Eric said...

"The only way that we can prove, with no doubt, to Americans that Democrats policies will fail, is to let them fail. "

That's what's been happening in California for a decade now, and it doesn't seem to phase Democratic voters at all. Once the tax eaters outnumber the tax payers, there's no going back. They don't care - either they work for the state and have great benefits or they don't have jobs.

htom said...

I thought it was 120 hours a month, which is not 30 hours a week. More like 25 hours a week. (23 business days some months.)

Thucydides said...

So now what?

You will be unemployed, plain and simple. I do hope agencies and corporations will make it very clear that your termination is due to the costs of Obamacare

Jean Lotus said...

Maybe if we had insurance covered we wouldn't be working 40 hours a week anyway? Ever thought of that? Or be working one money job and one avocation job. Or be home with our kids more? Most 40 hour a week jobs are shitty and could be easily done in 30 or 20 hours.

Raised.by.wolves said...

The compliance costs alone in figuring out who is full time will make agencies (and other companies, not just temp firms) look for ways to make sure they have no full-time employees (or at least not 50 of them).

Atlas1156 said...

Jean, you need to eat before you need health care. Perhaps we should have food covered too. And a place to sleep, perhaps we should have that covered. By the time we get done covering our needs, nobody will need a paying job. Right?

jvermeer51 said...

As Glen Reynolds might say, being unworkable is not a flaw of Obamacare, it a feature. The more we hate it, the more every election is a bidding contest about how to fix it. The public, like a drug addict, knows it doesn't have to live like this but will lack the will because it just feels so good.

Hawk said...

Isn't the purpose of the law to force everyone into National Health Care anyway? If its just a $2000 a year penalty watch how fast every company dumps their health insurance and just pays the fine. That is what the Govt WANTS employers to do anyway. To further encourage that result they will manipulate the private health industry into higher rates to accelerate the transition.

Bandit said...

Actually $2000/per is a lot less than what it costs companies to provide health insurance. And don't think companies are going to give you the differenece in compensation. Welcome to the jungle.

rantsofthegadfly said...

Eric, not ALL tax-leaches have the California mindset, though I'll admit a fair number do.

The fact is, while a sizeable chunk of the electorate will still vote for the hand that feeds, another chunk will recognize the source of the policies that are failing them. That only works, though, if Republicans get out of the way and let it happen, as even among those who may be persuaded, there are far too many that are eager to swallow any excuse Dems give them. While it's true that for many on the left and "in the middle" (I'd even say most), logic won't play a factor, there ARE those who will see that there's no way to blame Republicans for the results of policies which they had nothing to do with.

As it is, Republicans under Boehner haven't done a whole lot, and Boehner seems almost to enjoy caving on the big issues. What little resistance they show, though, is all the ammo Dems need to convince the weak minded that all their woes are caused by Republican obstructionism.

Dave said...

Fast-food and retail tend to cluster together, so there's a simple solution. After the lunchtime rush subsides, all McD, BK, and KFC employees slip into the restrooms, switch uniforms, and finish the day at different jobs.

Rich Vail said...

The problem is that most "Prossives"/Liberals just don't understand economics. It's "right" to provide health insurance to those that don't have it...but when that mandated insurance begins to cost more and more (already the case. Mine has gone up 50% every year since this obamanation--pun intended--was passed), then those "part-timers" will be forced to buy their own...which will cost even more than if they had been able to get employer based insurance. That's the kicker of this.

The entire bill was intended to fuel the push for "single-payer", government provided health insurance. That intrudes upon the 10th Amendment. The only state that hasen't screwed the Consitution is massachusetts. The State, not the federal government, has the power to require you to purchase insurance, wehther auto or health.

Dave said...

Those 1099ers were very happy to be paid by the hour, working 80 hours a week. Then their salaried W2 coworkers started cashing out stock options, and the 1099ers screamed "We wuz robbed!" i.o.w. my horse lost, so I want to change my bet.

Jonah Kyle said...

Re: Atlas Shrugged

Directive 10-289

In the name of the general welfare, to protect the people's security, to achieve full equality and total stability, it is decreed for the duration of the national emergency that:
Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the Unification Board, such Board to be appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. All persons reaching the age of twenty-one shall report to the Unification Board, which shall assign them to where, in its opinion, their services will best serve the interests of the nation.
Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business, under penalty of the nationalization of their establishment and of any and all of their property.
Point Three. All patents and copyrights, pertaining to any devices, inventions, formulas, processes and works of any nature whatsoever, shall be turned over to the nation as a patriotic emergency gift by means of Gift Certificates to be signed voluntarily by the owners of all such patents and copyrights. The Unification Board shall then license the use of such patents and copyrights to all applicants, equally and without discrimination, for the purpose of eliminating monopolistic practices, discarding obsolete products and making the best available to the whole nation. No trademarks, brand names or copyrighted titles shall be used. Every formerly patented product shall be known by a new name and sold by all manufacturers under the same name, such name to be selected by the Unification Board. All private trademarks and brand names are hereby abolished.
Point Four. No new devices, inventions, products, or goods of any nature whatsoever, not now on the market, shall be produced, invented, manufactured or sold after the date of this directive. The Office of Patents and Copyrights is hereby suspended.
Point Five. Every establishment, concern, corporation or person engaged in production of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth produce the same amount of goods per year as it, they or he produced during the Basic Year, no more and no less. The year to be known as the Basic or Yardstick Year is to be the year ending on the date of this directive. Over or under production shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.
Point Six. Every person of any age, sex, class or income, shall henceforth spend the same amount of money on the purchase of goods per year as he or she spent during the Basic Year, no more and no less. Over or under purchasing shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.
Point Seven. All wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and forms of income of any nature whatsoever, shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive.
Point Eight. All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive, shall be settled and determined by the Unification Board, whose decisions will be final.

Andrew_M_Garland said...

The major problem in writing the healtcare bills has been how to hide the massive tax increases by making them taxes on business and insurers, or merely claiming savings that will pay for the bills. All of these "business taxes" will and must be passed on to the employees, in all income categories.

This (fake but true) memo has surfaced [excerpt]:
Memo - Health Plan Deficit Reduction
==========
The estimated deficit for our health reorganization plan is causing us trouble in the press. President Obama has promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, and not to increase the deficit. Unfortunately, we have to live with this until the plan passes Congress.

After passage, we will spend what it takes, just like the last times.

Now, this is how we will "pay for it". Assign whatever fees (not taxes!) you want against insurance companies, big businesses, and "private" doctors. Make the fees big enough to cover the entire added cost of the plan. Yes, even if you think we can't raise that much money from those fees.

So, we will have a plan that does not increase the deficit, and there are no taxes on the middle class, only fees on evil companies and rich doctors.

To Fred: Yes, the fees will be passed through, and effectively would be a tax on employees and patients. I appreciate your insight. Forget about it. We will be rearranging everything in any event, after the bill is in effect for a while.
==========

The Real Tax Burden
The real tax burden is government spending. Government borrowing and delayed taxes are merely finance.

Jeff P. said...

My brother is a big shot attorney in NY. Nothing worse than a liberal that has a fucking rebuttal to every fact you state.

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