We all remember the college student who was working so hard at McDonalds, but just wasn’t getting ahead, right? Well, it’s interesting to go back and look at what was actually asked of President Obama and what President Obama’s answer actually was.
First, the question – “Oh this is such a belssing to see you Mr. President, thank you for taking time out of your DAY! Oh gracious god thank you so much!” (President Obama interrupts and asks “What is the question?”) “All right Mr. President, my name is Julio Osequeda, I’m currently a student at Edison State College in my second semester, and, OK, I’ve been at the same job, which is McDonalds, for four and a half years becauseof the fact that I can’t find another job. Now, with the fact that I have been there as long as I’ve been there do you have any plan or any idea of making one, that has been there a long time receive any better benefits than what they’ve already received?”
Got it, the question is “Do you have any plan to bring Social Promotion to the private sector?”
The President avoided the actual question and went on and on about “Tax breaks for tuition”, providing healthcare coverage (the President assumed that he dosen’t have it), and offseting his payroll taxes. Let’s look at each of these things one-by-one:
Offsetting Payroll Tax: Assuming Julio earns less than about $9,350/yr as a part-time McDonalds employee, he’d pay no income taxes, and only be paying a 10% income tax on income above $9,350 and less than $17,700… An offset on his Payroll Taxes will likely result in a refund for taxes never paid.
Tuition Tax Breaks: If Julio works at company-owned or certain fanchisee-owned McDonalds, they already offer Tuition Assistance to help employees like Julio to be able to afford college tuition, and since Julio probably doesn’t earn enough to actually pay taxes, any “Tuition Tax Breaks” likely come in the form of a refund for taxes that were never paid.
Healthcare Coverage: McDonalds offers a “Mini Med” program to all employees, and has for years. How do I know this? Because the Obama Administration just this past week was forced to draft a one year waiver for McDonalds and 29 other large employers that offer similar coverage to continue to offer that coverage under “Obamacare.” The coverage offered by McDonalds has a defined limit on the benefits, but it could save part-time workers thousands of dollars a year on their medical expenses and covered preventative healthcare. But, even if McDonalds didn’t offer the “Mini Med” program, in the state of Florida the child can remain on their parent’s health insurance plan as a covered family member until they are 25 or 30 (“Florida 627.6562 allows for dependent children up to 25, who live with their parent or are a student, and up to 30 years old, who are also unmarried and have no dependent child of their own, to remain on their parents’ insurance.”).
The President also made a comment about “working at a job that doesn’t pay as well as some other jobs” – McDonalds pays exceeds the Federal and State Minimum wage in every restaurant they have control over the payroll, and I don’t think Julio would remain at McDonalds very long if he could get a job elsewhere for higher-pay.
Finally, there was a wrap-up “on the street” interview (of sorts) with Julio Osequeda, where he compared being picked by President Obama to ask the final question with “getting a Playstation 3.”