Obamacare, and the Right to Order Extra Cheese

Posted on August 8, 2012


While most of the general population of the country has been occupied with the Mars landing, the Olympics, the longest presidential run in history, and learning to do the steps to the pasa doble, a disaster has been in the making.

Papa Johns, the third largest pizza takeout and delivery company in the country, has been stuck between a pepperoni and a hard place.  Under Obamacare, the company will have to offer health care coverage to more of its 16,500 total employees or pay a penalty to the government.

Papa John’s founder and chief executive John Schnatter announced that if Obamacare was not repealed, consumers would pay the price, in order to protect shareholders’ best interests.  Estimates are that the price of a pizza will rise 11 to 14 cents, to cover extra costs incurred by the company.

When asked whether affordable health care for his employees might be something that he should embrace, in that it would allow for healthier, more productive employees, he responded, “We sell pizza, you fool, not tofu. Anyone working for our organization understands that the right to consume copious amounts of grease, salt, and sugar is the foundation of the American way. And what the hell is tofu, anyway?  Is that a Muslim thing?”

Judy Nichols, owner of three Papa Johns franchises, would like to open a fourth. She says that Obamacare has caused her to come to a skidding halt in her grease-laden tracks. “Now, a long and productive career is about to be destroyed by slavery instead of being rewarded with retirement,” she explained.

In 2011, her business income was $36,000.  Nichols paid $3,875, or 10.59 percent, for federal income tax. Another $14,048, or 38.35 percent of her income, went to state franchise tax; and $14,122, or 38.56 percent, was paid to the county for property taxes.   That comes to a total of $32,045, or 87.49 percent of her income, she had to pay on the “Big Three” taxes (federal income, state franchise tax, property tax) alone, she said. After those taxes were paid, she was left with $4,582 income.  “Now add to that sales tax, phone tax, trash tax, water tax, gasoline tax, payroll tax and other taxes ad nauseam,” she said, and her yearly income was $124.76.

Mohammed Amroliwallah, a longtime pizza delivery person, was appalled. “Man,” he said, “I don’t own no company and I make a lot more than that lady. She should be delivering pizza, instead of being in charge. I’m happy to show her the ropes.”

Jorge Chavez, another Papa Johns delivery person,  agreed.  “I make about $10,000 a year delivering pizza.  But, by never taking vacations and having my family living in one room with my brother and sister-in-law and their seven kids and only eating leftover pizza, combined with sound investment strategies, I have been able to put four kids through college.”

Word of Amroliwallah and Chavez’s comments eventually filtered back to Schnatter.  “This is exactly what we are talking about, employees who make more than execs and who are able to maintain extravagant lifestyles while we at the top slog along and bleed taxes from every orifice we own.  I rest my case.”