8:18 AM, Nov 16, 2013 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Every time you think that we've finally touched bottom on Obamacare, some new problem emerges. So what began merely as a dysfunctional website became a broken and mis-designed system. When it turned out that lots of people were paying more for their plans, it then turned out that others were having their plans canceled—and that some people were even losing their doctors. And now we're finding that, along with everything else, Obamacare contains a marriage penalty, too.
A married couple can get Obamacare subsidies if their income is less than 400 percent above the poverty line. But because the federal poverty level for married couples is less than double the level for individuals, a couple that lives together without getting married can make more money than a married couple, yet still get Obamacare subsidies.
The Atlantic reports that in practice, this means that a married couple in New York making more than a combined $62,040 gets no subsidies from Obamacare. But two people who live together without getting married? They can make up to a combined $91,920 and still get subsidies from the government.
The government has a clear and compelling interest in promoting marriage: Virtually all of the research shows that stable marriages increase economic output, reduce poverty, shrink income inequality, lower rates of incarceration and drug use, and spur the creation of future taxpayers (aka babies). The tax code already discriminates against the government's interest by providing an economic incentive for couples to choose cohabitation over marriage. Now Obamacare has come along to magnify the discrimination.
It's not clear whether this perversity is accidental or by design. But it's yet another line item in the argument against what is clearly the most catastrophic piece of legislation in modern American history.
9:03 AM, Aug 23, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
President Obama likes to talk about income inequality, but what matters far more is the actual income of the typical American. And how has the typical American household income fared on Obama's watch? Well, the economic "recovery" has now spanned an Olympiad, and during that time the typical American household income has not only dropped—it has dropped more than twice as much as it did during the recession.
8:04 AM, Jul 24, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden, speaking today at the Bombay stock exchange, claimed Indian relatives.
Explaining the connection between family and religion. Jun 24, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 39 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
'Time was when the whole of life went forward in the family,” the historian Peter Laslett once wrote, “in a circle of loved, familiar faces. . . . That time has gone forever. It makes us very different from our ancestors.” Laslett was writing in 1965, as he lamented the decline of the family over the course of England’s industrial age. But even then, after a century and a half of upheaval, families in Great Britain and the rest of the West were relatively large, divorce was rare, and illegitimacy was frowned upon.
Claudia Anderson revisits TexasMay 6, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 32 • By CLAUDIA ANDERSON
Garden City (“What a misnomer!” said cousin Betty, who’d been there) is the seat of Glasscock County, a rectangular piece of flat, dry West Texas with a population density of two per square mile. The population of the “city” fell as low as 100 early in the last century, but the 2010 census put it at an all-time high of 334.
Lee Smith’s Christmas present (and past)Feb 25, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 23 • By LEE SMITH
We had hoped that she would live to Three Kings’ Day. My mother loved Christmas and all its rituals, and as a Puerto Rican, she taught us children that the finest day of the season was January 6, when the wise men from the east arrived at the stable in Bethlehem bearing gifts for the infant Jesus.
6:59 PM, Feb 15, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a speech near his Chicago home today, President Barack Obama got personal. He talked of the importance of family, using himself and his own experience as an example.
6:02 PM, Dec 21, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
After delivering remarks on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, the White House notified the press that President Barack Obama is skipping town for Christmas. The first family leaves tonight for Hawaii.
The White House provides this updated schedule:
12:44 PM, Jul 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The president's reelection campaign is sending around a picture from what appears to be a family celebration of Barack Obama's 43 birthday, from 2004, in an attempt to raise campaign cash. Under the subject line, "Warning: This picture is cute," Obama for America, the campaign team, writes:
9:01 AM, Jul 17, 2012 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Over the weekend Jason DeParle had a long, interesting piece on marriage in the New York Times. The gist of the piece is this couplet: (1) Marriage is a key driver of economic prosperity for families and married parents are more likely to have prosperous, healthy, stable families than single parents, and (2) marriage is increasingly becoming the preserve of college-educated whites while non-colle
11:00 AM, May 9, 2012 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
On June 19, 1981 a vigorously healthy Justice Potter Stewart resigned from the Supreme Court at the age of 66. “I've always been a firm believer in the principle that it’s better to go too soon than to stay too long. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I wanted to have an opportunity to spend more time with my wife, Andy, and hopefully, with our children and grandchildren while I was still relatively young and healthy,” Stewart said. Stewart died suddenly only four years later, at age 70, so he and his family must have been especially grateful for those last years.
6:05 AM, May 8, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
One aspect of President Obama's philosophically revealing — and mock-worthy — "Julia" web ad doesn't seem to have garnered as much attention as one might have expected. Just as Julia's life of government dependency isn't likely to inspire a new set of books along the lines of the celebration of self-reliance and freedom depicted in the Little House on the Prairie series, her romantic life isn't likely to spawn any sequels to Jane Austen novels.