When Mike Ruffer, an eight franchise owner of the Five Guys hamburger chain revealed this week that the economic impact of Obamacare would force him to raise the price of the popular burgers, he received national attention including a segment on The Rush Limbaugh Show.
Did you see the story, one of the franchise owners for that hamburger chain, Five Guys hamburger chain or whatever (paraphrasing), “We’re gonna have to get rid of a whole bunch of employees, get down to mostly part-timers. We can’t afford Obamacare. We can’t stay in business with it. The prices are gonna go up. The consumer’s are gonna pay for it. That’s the only way my employees can have health care, is if I raise the price of the food here and the customers pay for it.” And he’s worried the customers aren’t gonna have any money, nobody is, because of the budget situation and the economy.
When a business owner sticks his neck out and criticizes big government policies like Obamacare, you can count on the media to try to bully him into silence.
Matt Yglesias at Slate.com called Ruffer a liar because, you know, Yglesias knows the hamburger business better than the North Carolina entrepreneur:
This is self-refuting nonsense. The only situation in which it would make sense for Ruffer to raise prices is if price increases will on net lead to higher revenue. And if price increases will lead to higher revenue (which they might) then it makes sense for Ruffer to raise prices no matter what happens with Obamacare.
Yglesias then negates his own argument for the sake of demonizing all corporations who dare to make profits with their businesses: (emphasis mine)
In fact, Ruffer himself articulates the truth later which is that Obamacare is going to reduce his profits by about one-eighth and he (and any investors in his business) will eat the loss. With corporate profits as a share of the economy at an all-time high, nobody’s going to cry for him either.
Center for American Progress, John Podesta’s team of bullies, basically called Ruffer a dead-beat for denying his employees “basic health care”:
As the Examiner explicitly states, Ruffer is actively trying to “escape” the health reform law, and has had his mind made up about it for a while. That’s become an increasingly common position among large employers — particularly in the service industry, where large restaurant chains have been threatening to cut workers’ benefits by shifting costs onto them, cut back on wages, cut back on hours, or raise their products’ prices. Ruffer has, by his own admission, considered every single one of those options. But that isn’t a reflection of the reform law itself — it’s a reflection of companies’ desire to protect their own bottom line by having their low-wage employees go uninsured or obtain coverage through Medicaid, rather than provide them with basic benefits.
Center for American Progress goes on to claim that companies who have gone public with the problems implementing Obamacare suffer due to the bad publicity they receive. They point to Olive Garden as an example:
The negative press led the company to reverse course on its threat to shift employees to part-time status to avoid covering them under Obamacare. The latest report on Darden’s earnings prove that was a good move, since the restaurants did take a turn for the worse as a result of their bad publicity. Its net income fell 37 percent:
The claim that criticizing Obamacare hurts your bottom line due to bad publicity is a self-fulfilling prophesy, as Center for American Progress is one of the driving forces trying to drum up that bad publicity by trying to bully skittish CEOs who don’t want any bad publicity ever for anything.
The report on Olive Garden points to a Huffington Post article titled Darden Restaurants Profit Plunges 37 Percent After Bad Publicity Over Attempt To Skirt Obamacare. Ironically, Huffington Post also weighed in on the Five Guys story, thus showing the chain of information flow from liberal think tank to liberal media outlets and back again.
The clear lesson to businesses like Five Guys, or Olive Garden, or Papa John’s, or Wendy’s, or Whole Foods is obvious: If you dare criticize Obamacare, the media will out you, bully you and shame you into silence. Forget about the news. Forget about the truth. The White House can not be criticized.