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White House Sings New Tune on Labor Force, Now that CBO Says ObamaCare Will Decrease it By Over 2 Million

February 06, 2014

White House Two Months Ago: Decline in labor force participation increases inequality (i.e. the “defining challenge of our time”) and is a sign of a not “strengthening economy.”

“Q:  You’re now concerned about inequality — I’m wondering if there has been any changes to the labor supply that help or hinder inequality?
MR. FURMAN:  What you’d like is to increase the supply of skilled labor…There’s a lot of things that matter for inequality, but that supply of skilled workers is certainly one of them.
Q:  When you look at the jobs numbers and the employment picture, the labor force participation rate has been on the decline.  And I think it’s sort of a longer-term trend, but how much do you worry about that when looking at the labor market?
MR. FURMAN:  That’s certainly something you want to look at…A strengthening economy will make our participation rate go up.”

Note: “Mr. Furman” is Jason Furman, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

White House Now: Decline in labor force participation due to ObamaCare, as estimated by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, means people are “empowered” to “pursue their dreams.”

“Over the longer run, CBO finds that because of this law, individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods, like retiring on time rather than working into their elderly years or choosing to spend more time with their families. At the beginning of this year, we noted that as part of this new day in health care, Americans would no longer be trapped in a job just to provide coverage for their families, and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

Reality: A smaller labor force is bad for the country, and even worse for those families going without work – in particular those low-wage workers who are most likely to be affected by loss of hours and wages resulting from ObamaCare.