Minimum wage report puts Democrats on defensive

In this Nov. 7, 2013, photo, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 workers, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday. Harkin, author of the Senate legislation, cited other research concluding that a higher minimum wage would create jobs, not reduce them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In this Nov. 7, 2013, photo, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 workers, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday. Harkin, author of the Senate legislation, cited other research concluding that a higher minimum wage would create jobs, not reduce them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report by Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts seems to have thrown Democrats onto the defensive after it concluded that the party's drive to boost the federal minimum wage could cost a half-million jobs by 2016.

A Congressional Budget Office report released Tuesday concluded that a gradual increase to $10.10 hourly by that year — which is what President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are seeking — would increase pay for more than 16.5 million people, mostly those earning low wages. It also would lift 900,000 people over the federal poverty threshold, the study said.

Democrats hailed those findings. But in a congressional election year in which the slow-recovering economy remains a paramount issue, Democrats from the White House to Capitol Hill contested another of the report's conclusions: that the increase would reduce jobs in 2016 by roughly 500,000, or 0.3 percent.

That figure was the midpoint of a range of job losses the budget office estimated at somewhere from negligible to 1 million eliminated positions. And it was an unpleasant number for Democrats, who plan to make their long-shot effort to raise the minimum wage this campaign year a centerpiece of their focus on correcting income inequity between haves and have-nots.

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, and council member Betsey Stevenson referred in a blog post to a statement by more than 600 economists who cited recent academic findings that "increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market."

"There's some respectful disagreement on the emphasis and certainty around that magnitude of employment loss," Furman told reporters of the CBO estimates. He added, "Zero is a perfectly reasonable estimate of the impact of the minimum wage on employment" based on research by other economists.

Among those echoing Furman were Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, author of the minimum wage bill the Senate plans to debate next month. His measure would boost today's $7.25 standard in three steps to $10.10 by 2016, with annual increases reflecting inflation after that.

Citing "the newest economic research using the most sophisticated methodologies," Harkin said, "since the first minimum wage was enacted more than 75 years ago, opponents have argued that a wage floor would cause job loss. But this is a myth."

Republicans, who long have solidly opposed a minimum wage boost as a job killer, wasted no time in using the budget office report to buttress their case.

"Today's CBO report shows that raising the minimum wage could destroy as many as 1 million jobs, a devastating blow to the very people that need help most in this economy," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

"With unemployment Americans' top concern, our focus should be creating — not destroying — jobs for those who need them most," said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The study also examined the impact of boosting the minimum wage to just $9 hourly by 2016, similar to what Obama embraced a year ago, and leaving it at that level afterward. That lesser increase would have smaller effects — about 100,000 fewer jobs, higher wages for 7.6 million workers and 300,000 people lifted out of poverty.

Without any changes in the minimum wage, about 45 million Americans are expected to live below the poverty line in 2016. The budget office estimates that the poverty level that year would be $24,100 for a family of four, less for smaller families.

The report said an increase to $10.10 would add $31 billion to the earnings of low-wage workers.

But it noted that only 19 percent of that increase would go to families earning less than the poverty threshold, while 29 percent would go to families earning more than triple the poverty level. That is because many low-wage earners are not in low-wage families.

In addition, income would decrease by $17 billion for families earning at least six times the poverty level because that group would be affected most by lost business income and price increases.

The report said that besides boosting wages for people earning less than $10.10 hourly, a minimum wage boost to $10.10 would help some people making more than that amount as bosses adjust their pay scales upward.

A minimum wage boost can cost jobs because employers can compensate for their higher wage costs by raising prices. That can prompt consumers to purchase fewer goods and services and, in turn, encourage companies to hire fewer workers, the report said.

A minimum wage increase also encourages some businesses to trim the number of low-paid workers. But the study said the effect can be mixed.

It noted that some companies would react by getting higher productivity from their workers, and some would see savings because increased wages could reduce turnover. Other companies could benefit as increased overall spending on goods and services by low-wage workers boosts demand for their products.

Some workers' incomes would grow as their earnings increase, causing them to pay more taxes. But for others, income would fall — reducing their tax burden — and still others would begin collecting unemployment insurance.

As a result, the budget office said a higher minimum wage would have a negligible impact on federal budget deficits.

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Comments » 17

CopWatch writes:

earn
1. to gain or get in return for one's labor or service according to ones level of expertise.

“This report confirms what we’ve long known: while helping some, mandating higher wages has real costs, including fewer people working. With unemployment Americans’ top concern, our focus should be creating — not destroying — jobs for those who need them most,” said spokesman Brendan Buck.

Senate GOP conference Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) noted that the CBO estimated the upper range of job losses from hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 was 1 million jobs.

“Despite the fact that unemployment is Americans’ top concern, Democrats continue their insatiable quest to pass heavy-handed government policies that are costing jobs,” he said.

The minimum wage findings are the second time in weeks the CBO has stirred up controversy on a high-profile issue.

Earlier this month, the CBO found that over the next decade, ObamaCare would result in the equivalent of 2.5 million fewer workers. It concluded many workers would chose to remain at home due to ObamaCare’s expansion of health coverage.

You want more pay? Try education over socialism.

RayPray writes:

No Problem!

The Grate OBAMA can just hire all these people to work on his massive new legacy Library project....

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/us/...

MIOCENE1 writes:

Increasing the M.W. will probably not result in the loss of jobs seeing that the M.W. has been used many times before and......

SO: It might be wise to give the peasants a little MORE of what we have, or the peasants might someday rise up and take ALL of what we have.

MIOCENE (PAREIDOLIA)

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Peter_Panzer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BS!

CopWatch writes:

in response to Peter_Panzer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just checked YouGov.com and your post is accurate.

New poll: Obama voters regret their 2012 presidential choice

A new Economist/YouGov.com poll has shown the high level of dissatisfaction that voters have with the president. Over seven in ten people who voted for Obama in 2012 regret their decision. 55 percent of Democrats also regret voting for Obama in 2012.

This poll reflects the dissatisfaction that voters have with Obama, as his second term has proven to be less-than-sterling.

The poll asked the question “Do you regret voting for Barack Obama?”

71 percent of respondents said yes, and 26 percent said no.

http://usfinancepost.com/new-poll-oba...

BarbieDoll writes:

Obama will screen Nazi Germany movie at White House. Is that just sick or what?

1Paradiselost writes:

Someone is plagiarizing another writers work again!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to BarbieDoll:

Obama will screen Nazi Germany movie at White House. Is that just sick or what?

If that is true it is sick. But what are the name of the movie? And on this blog w have NAZI supporter Peter Panzer alias SS General Fegelein alias Albert Speer. He used this blog for his sick enthusiasm to support this time. Unbelievable. Two times banned from this blog in 14 days. However - I can not believe that GREAT President Barack Obama is watching NAZI movies. Must be another bad rumor of GOP!

Konfuzius writes:

''I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if "I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out.''
—Glenn Beck, May 17, 2005"

Dumb - more dumb - Republican!

MIOCENE1 writes:

in response to Peter_Panzer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If so they are probably the young who don't know how bad things can REALLY be.

Look out the window:
The trucks are still rolling, the tourist areas are booked well in advance, the supermarket shelves are stocked, there is ample gas supply at the pumps, the mall parking lots are full, the roads are crowded with cars, Broadway Playhouses are full every day, ninety percent of us are still working, there is a waiting line at Chili's Restaurants, and people are still buying bottled water. (water; something they can get for free)

The only real problem is the paranoia being spread by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Fox News.

Sure there are problems; but there always are, and there would have ALSO been problems if Romney had been elected.

MIOCENE (PAREIDOLIA)

MIOCENE1 writes:

in response to BarbieDoll:

Obama will screen Nazi Germany movie at White House. Is that just sick or what?

"The Monuments Men" (title)

"The movie follows the band of soldiers, as they are ordered by president Roosevelt to go into Germany to rescue masterpieces stolen by Nazis."

What's so sick about that?

Considering the complexities of today's world; here and overseas; and in light of his inexperience; I don't feel that Obama is doing such a bad job.

Regardless of all the rantings and ravings of Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity; we have more freedoms now than we had back in the 1950's.

Conservatives seem to be going to "great lengths" to make Obama seem bad.
Do you really believe that things would have been much better under Romney?

MIOCENE (PAREIDOLIA)

WMissow writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

BS!

Those must be your real initials,

WMissow writes:

in response to Peter_Panzer:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

71% Why? Did the cell phone batteries go dead?

Konfuzius writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CopWatch writes:

FIRST CLASS - SEMPER FI

George W. Bush Makes Plea For A Different 1 Percent

Former President George W. Bush put the spotlight on veterans while speaking during the Bush's Institute's Empowering Our Nation's' Warriors summit on Wednesday.

Bush said veterans are the one percent of the population others should wholeheartedly support.

"They are the 1 percent of Americans that kept the 99 percent safe," Bush said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We owe them and their families a deep debt of gratitude."

Bush weighed in on what veterans want after serving.

“What most veterans want is to have their service understood and appreciated for what it is: A formative experience in their lives and a source of skills and values that prepare them to succeed in civilian lives,” Bush said, according to ABC. “Our veterans have defended the American people and now they want to experience the American dream.”

Bush said it's "not surprising" it can be tough for veterans to find work after returning to civilian life.

"You don’t see many job postings that say ‘Wanted: Experience in hunting insurgents and terrorists. Willing to risk life for coworkers,’” Bush said. “What’s a veteran supposed to put down? ‘My last office was a Humvee?’”

Justin Constantine, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marines and a Purple Heart recipient, also spoke at the summit, sharing his own experience about the "complicated transition" from military life to civilian life.

"Today's veterans don't need a handout, but a hand up," Constantine said. "Some of us are facing very tough obstacles right now, but we all want to be productive members of our society."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02...|netscape|dl3|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D445315

Konfuzius writes:

The bottom line is very simple: W.Bush said an did .... nothing!

1Paradiselost writes:

Back on subject......

Why taxpayers should be tired paying for corporate welfare!

A SINGLE (No Children) employee who works at Wally World (Walmart) makes an hourly wage under the poverty line. Those employees qualify for welfare and food stamps benfits. Which we both PAY FOR in our taxes.

The excuse for not raising the minimum wage is that high school age kids working a Wally's are the only group effected.

Just look at the age of the people employed at the Wally's on Collier Blvd. Your eyes don't lie!

Question... Why is the American Taxpayer subsidizing corporations like Wal-Mart and McDonald's, to name a few to the tune of $287,000,000,000 Billion dollars a year?

Bring the minimum wage ABOVE the poverty line, then, cut people off welfare and SNAP benefits and give the American people a tax cut!

Speaking of tax cuts... Also, why do WE the American taxpayer give Exxon Mobil 5 billion dollars a year? They have reported record profits even during the recent downturn. And why is it the General Electric has payed no corporate income taxes for the past 40+ years?

However you and I don't get a break and pay a percentage of our earnings to pay for welfare recipients & corporations?

Where are the American taxpayers dividend checks from Wal-Mart or McDonalds?

Subsidizing corporations while the American taxpayer pays the difference in welfare benefits is acceptable, period.

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