Friday, August 10, 2012

A Shout-Out For A Papa John's "Buycot"

The Courier Journal today claims that John Schnatter "endorse[d]" Obamacare with his recent answer to a stock analyst's question regarding the impact of that legislation on the price of pizza.  Schnatter said that the price of an average Papa John's pizza order would need to increase between 15 and 20 cents in order for his company to pay for the health care insurance mandated by the statute.  According to the C-J, "that's a bargain if it means thousands of Papa John's employees in all 50 states are going to be getting health coverage."

Gee, that doesn't sound like much of a bargain to me.  That's because, by my calculation, the price of my carry-out dinners from Papa John's (which average around $15-$20) just went up by about 1%, and if every product and service in the economy went up by the same rate (and there's no reason to believe they won't), Obamacare will take an additional $200 per year if I spend $20,000 on annual purchases, $500 if I spend $50,000 annually and $1,000 if I spend $100,000 annually.  You can do the math.  The increase in purchasing costs from Obamacare is by no means "(Small) change we can believe in!", as the C-J's editorial headline reads.

I'm sorry, but I think Papa John's employees and all other individuals in America should make their own decisions as to whether they buy insurance, pay for it out of their own pockets, and not take money out of my pocket to pay for it.  I already have health insurance and pay for it handsomely, thank you.  I don't need to tack onto my bill the tab for somebody else.

The C-J calls Schnatter "an increasingly vocal Republican".  That's news to me.  True, he hosted a dinner at his home for Mitt Romney earlier this year.  But through the years Schnatter has had the political reputation of being more a raging moderate.  He has hosted fundraisers for both Democrats and Republicans (and, I daresay, more for the former).

Schnatter's problem is that he spoke the truth, and the liberal media don't want to hear the truth, which is there is no free lunch (or dinner) when it comes to mandating health insurance.  Someone has to pay for it, and those someones will be me and you.  Schnatter's comment highlights that not only our taxes will go up to pay for Obamacare (as the Supreme Court made clear in its opinion upholding the statute), but also we will have to pay significantly more for products and services.  In other words, Obamacare will effectively mean a real reduction in everyone's purchasing power.

Not since the president of Chick-fil-A spoke his mind has a fast-food chain's head produced such a firestorm in the media.  Maybe it's time for Mike Huckabee to issue the call for a "buycot" of Papa John's so that the Silent Majority (I love that Nixonian term) can have some pizza along with their chicken.  That would be the best answer to any stock analysis's question as to how the public feels about having to pay the increased taxes and costs of Obamacare.

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