Cutting jobs the Obama way

A couple of recent studies by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are creating quite a battle between conservatives and liberals.

The latest focused on increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour; currently it’s set at $7.25 an hour. President Obama and his congressional Democratic backers want to jack the rate up to help what they call “income inequality.”

The CBO report said it would boost earnings for about 16.5 million low-wage workers. We’d say that’s sort of a scientific equivalent of “no duh.” You raise someone’s hourly rate, basic math means they bring home more. And liberals are all over that number, saying they are out to help poorer Americans.

Much more interesting is the fact the CBO estimates about 500,000 jobs would be lost. That’s equivalent to about 1.5 percent of the roughly 33 million low-wage workers. And that’s the number conservatives are highlighting.

Half a million people losing their job doesn’t seem to be helping out that whole “income inequality” very much. Try telling those people how raising the minimum wage is helping them out.

Or as the CBO said, "Some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly.”

The other CBO report - on impacts of Obamacare - isn’t any better. The CBO estimates that there will be about 2.3 million fewer full-time employees by the year 2021.

According to The Washington Post, not the most conservative newspaper out there, “After obtaining coverage under the health-care law, some workers will choose to forgo employment, the report said, while others will voluntarily reduce their hours. That is because insurance subsidies under the law become less generous as income rises, so workers will have less incentive to work more or at all.

“The design of the subsidies — like many programs in the social safety net — represents “an implicit tax on additional work,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said in the article.

So basically, two key pieces of Obama’s administration, Obamacare and raising the minimum wage, are actually going to cut jobs, not grow them. And this is good because?





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